athletes · objectification

My inner conversation about naked derby girls


“Body confidence is not thinking you’re perfect. It’s knowing that it’s ok that you’re not.” ‪#‎RollerDerby‬ ‪#‎RollerBeauty‬


I confess I’ve got mixed feelings about women’s sports raising money by selling calendars featuring naked athletes.

When I teach philosophy and get my students to write argumentative essays, I ask them to choose a thesis and argue for it. But I don’t have time for that today. There’s no thesis here. Just complicated thoughts which I thought I’d share. I haven’t worked my way to a conclusion. Have you? Feel free to share in the comments below.

On the one hand, first thought, they’re beautiful. Wow. It’s Christmas soon. Who could I give this to?

Second thought, and look at all the body positive messaging.

“For me, the shoot was about sending a message to women to embrace their curves. We are all naturally self-conscious about some aspect of our bodies, and people can be so judgmental. But at the end of the day, your own opinion is the only one that matters.” – Nana Bruise You

Third, but how diverse are the bodies of the women in the calendar? They all look pretty thin, young, and mainstream beautiful to me.

Fourth thought, I’ve worried about the options women have when it comes to funding the sports we love.  See my thoughts on naked rugby calendars here.

Fifth thought, maybe there’s an important difference between derby and rugby though. Roller derby has always played with women’s appearance and made a thing out of being tough and sexy and wild at a wide range of sizes. That’s not just true for the calendars. It’s true for the sport itself. You can’t enjoy derby without making your feminist peace with miniskirts and fishnets.

Sixth, and it is for a good cause. “Proceeds go toward supporting junior skaters in the northwest, providing skates and gear to children in need. ”

Okay, your turn? What do you think?

And if you want to buy one, you can do that here.

Me, I’m still mulling.

5 thoughts on “My inner conversation about naked derby girls

  1. Fewer and fewer fishnets and mini skirts all the time. At the international championships it’s all spandex capris and matching jerseys. I’d compare it very closely to rugby, except a newer sport.

  2. I concur with your ambivalence. Yes, they are beauties, but not very diverse in the ways they are beautiful. I’d like to see some different sizes, different ages (if that exists), different looks, etc. That I might buy…

  3. I connect most with your fourth point. Often, women’s sports are so underfunded that sexy calendars are a necessity if they want to stay funded, even for professional athletes. I think about how I would feel if I had to choose between my job (if I were a professional athlete) and my personal comfort regarding displaying my body. It’s not a fair position to put women in.

    A few years back, some big-name male cyclists got together and created a sexy calendar. All the proceeds went to women’s cycling. I thought that was great– very subversive.

  4. The Facebook page is down, and apparently it is because there was blowback….due to the fact that many of the models used were….models, not derby athletes. So I think your inner “meh” was well placed here.

Comments are closed.