Friday, June 20, 2008


In honor of all you hard working referees out there in derbyland, today’s Campaign for Real Booty is dedicated to YOU! I there fore declare today, June 20, Referee Appreciation Day (cause I have the power to do so—I’ll be calling my people at Hallmark later)!!! And in celebration of Referee Appreciation Day, I give you a very colorful, and almost blinding at times, referee rump: DayGlo Divine!

(Photo by Holden Minefield)

DayGlo, a referee for DC Rollergirls (and guest ref often in Charm City), has been skating since January 2007. When asked why she joined derby, she puts many of our thoughts into words.

“It's one of the few sports that really has a place for women of all shapes and sizes. When it comes to sports, women tend to be more typecast and judged by physique than men are, and it's really unfortunate,” DayGlo says. “Fitness and athletic ability come in all sizes, and roller derby encourages women to use their body types -- whatever they may be -- to their advantage. It doesn't limit them to certain positions, either. There are really small blockers who lay down monster blocks by virtue of the ability to fit into tight spaces between unsuspecting skaters, and there are much larger skaters whose stability and strength make them really effective jammers. What really attracted me to derby, though, was the fact that many of the people who play it are not lifelong athletes, and even those who do come into the sport with an extensive athletic background don't have it easy. Trained speed and figure skaters still have to learn to take hits and fall, former soccer and lacrosse players still have to learn how to replicate their moves on skates, and everyone has something to learn from everyone else.”

(Photo by Alex Barth)

Additionally, there’s many things we all like about derby, and it’s great to hear what those things are from a referee’s perspective:

“Referees in other sports call themselves ‘the third team,’ and there's some truth to that nickname. We skate in every single jam, and regardless of position, we have to have just as much awareness of each other's whereabouts as skaters do. Each position comes with its own set of challenges. Jammer refs need the ability to maintain an ironclad focus on one person's actions, as well as the reflexes to stay glued to her when she gets knocked down or flies through a wide-open pack like lightning. Inside pack refs are watching eight people on their right while communicating with penalty trackers on their left, all while remaining aware of where the jammer refs are and being prepared to get out of their way on short notice. (In my particular case, being 5'1" means I have the added challenge of finding creative ways to see around much taller jammer refs when their jammers are caught up in the pack.) Outside refs have to skate faster than the pack to stay on top of the action, and they often find themselves in the line of fire when skaters get blocked out-of-bounds. It's a challenge, and one that I love. But more than anything, it's increased my assertiveness and self-confidence. Timid refs don't last very long.”

When contemplating her booty, DayGlo goes back to grade school, that unforgiving place many of us bootylicious babes first experienced taunting:

“I've been bottom-heavy all my life, and it hasn't been easy. When I was in grade school, I got called ‘shock absorber’ because my ass would wiggle like Jell-O when kicked or smacked. Back-to-school shopping was always an ordeal. Nothing in regular sizes ever fit me, and my mother refused to look at the "pretty plus" sizes; instead, she'd buy pants in whatever size I could squeeze into, then getting her seamstress friend to chop 6" off the legs. (This meant having bell-bottom pants well into the mid-80s.)

As an adult, I've weighed as little as 115 and as much as 160, and any extra weight I've had in that time has gone straight to my ass; I've been anything from a 4 to a 14, all while rocking youth-medium shirts. That, in combination with being short, makes it very difficult to find flattering clothes. There have been many times when I wished my ass were much smaller, or at least didn't have rolls (which it did at my lightest), so that it were in keeping with the rest of me. There have been other times when I wished I were heavy all around so that I could at least be balanced out. But in a way, I've learned a lot by struggling with size as much as I have.”

(Photo by Roxy Toxic)

She goes on to say, “Seeing my first derby bout, where people of all sizes took such obvious pride in their bodies and were shown so much support, was when I weighed my least I realized that it really doesn't matter. Since I started reffing, I've gained 10-15 pounds (I yo-yo that much), most of it muscle. Once again, it's gone straight to my ass. But while I can't quite get up the nerve to part with opaque tights, I've traded in my baggy shirts for hot pants. Roller derby has made me feel safe enough in doing so that I can handle the occasional snide comment. After a DCRG bout, I went to dinner with a couple other refs while still in my ref uniform. As we were leaving, a woman at a nearby table made a very loud, very rude comment about my ass. I shook it a little bit just for her.”

That’s what I’m talking about! ASS PRIDE! Seriously though, one of my biggest fears in life if getting the flat white-woman ass (and balding).

Thanks for representing for all the referees out there, DayGlo! Not only will she put you in the box, but she can obviously articulate why quite well too. Thank buddah for well-spoken women!

Okay refs, if you like what you saw here, you can buy me a beer in Philly on Sunday! Just kidding, I wanted to honor you guys and continue the “thank you” I started yesterday (but you can still buy me that beer if you really want…).


Adam said...

RAD!! What an appropriate day.. See you ladies at ECE.

A-Damn Ref
Head Referee
River City Rollergirls

Kender said...

Damn, Day-Glo, I can't believe you still get insulted about your size. You've got a great ass!

-the former Zoya Destroyya

Ruth of All Evil said...

YAY! Ref booty!

steak knife said...

so eloquent and insightful for some one dripping in safety colors! say word dayglo! keep ass alive!

Hailey said...

Thats my Ref- Sister I couldnt be more proud. Shake that money maker!

Hailey Hawkeye
Green Country Roller Girls