Sunday, September 18, 2011

Guest Blogger: Natalie, Derby Girl

About now, I'm nursing a hangover (boozy & emotional) from my baby brother's wedding in a quaint cottage by the water. So let's skip the prelude & let me tell you how happy I am to introduce you to Natalie! I know Natalie from twitter through a derby connection.  I've decided to not hold it against her that she plays for our Fog City Roller's rival team Capital City Roller's since she seems pretty great.  Natalie also has her own blog so make sure you check that out as well! Without further ado, here's Natalie (Thanks lady!) xo Em

It’s a girl thing…..

My name is Natalie and I am plus-sized. Recently, I‘ve been able to add “proudly” to that sentence. Proudly plus-sized. Sounds so simple, only it isn’t.

I come from a long line of people who’ve struggled with weight and size. I’m sure some of you can relate to coming from “big families”. I am one of those people. I have one of those families. We are those people. Are you? I’ve spent a lifetime, plus a day, reconciling how my jean size could somehow dictate my sense of self and my sense of worth. I am smarter than that. I’ve read everything from the Beauty Myth to Cosmo and I’ve spent far too much time coming up with far too few answers. I’ve said “I’m happy as long as I’m healthy” and wanted desperately to mean it. But truth be told, deep down, I never did.

So many times, I’ve said “I’m done, and I am happy if I stay this size forever”….so many times I have only felt it for a matter of weeks, and sometimes even days. It never stuck. A new dress usually made me feel better for a brief period and a new bra could even squeeze out a few months at times, but it never lasted…until recently.

What has changed? Nothing really…I’m still the same person…I still weigh about the same, give or take, on any given day…. And try as I might, I’ve not won any fabulous sums of money which would allow me to buy a new bra every day of week. What IS new in my life are the people surrounding me. I have joined roller derby…. and suddenly my world has expanded and so has my appreciation of my body.

We joke about it being a cult, or at best, a sisterhood, naysayers have called it a trend….but for so many of us, especially myself, it is simply more.

It is a new way of seeing myself and seeing all women. It is feeling truly appreciated, loved and attractive for the first time in many, many, years. It is realizing that the tiniest woman can pack a huge punch and that the girl with the big wide hips can roll like a freight train. It is getting compliments from people who are not trying to sleep with me or trick me into buying anything. It is getting support from people who want to see me succeed as a blocker and also as a person. It is understanding that a good pack is often made up of many sizes and shapes. It is being praised for knowing how to use my big ass strategically to defend a fellow teammate when she is trying to score points. It is wearing tighter clothes, brighter colors and more daring cuts. It is not being afraid of revealing that version of me that been hidden under oversized clothes for far too many years.

It is pride…in not only what my body looks like…but what it can do. It is proudly answering “Torrid” when someone asks me where I bought my dress….instead of “I forget”. It is learning that my body can be an incredible thing of beauty, even at a size 16-18.


  1. Natalie,

    What an excellent post! I'm sitting here at work, actually smiling.. and you KNOW how difficult that is for me!

    I feel really bad that I wasn't able to get to see the games when you were down to play the Fog City Rollers...

    But back to the post... you are so right. I wish more of us could feel comfortable in our own skin, but as you know... change is never easy and it has to come from within. I wish I could take credit for those words! :-)

    Take care!

  2. Nat - you beautiful, wonderful, fantastic woman. I love skating with you. Such a great post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you again to Natalie for this post & for those of you who left your comments!

  4. You are awesome! Thanks for writing this.