Dig Baton Rouge

Derby and beauty: Red Stick Roller Derby’s Fresh Meat class talks beauty

On Jan. 19, Red Stick Roller Derby had orientation for its new Fresh Meat class. For the past few weeks these new skaters have not only been learning the basics of skating, but a lot about each other.

Roller Derby is a full contact sport that makes use of your entire body. When learning how to skate, skaters learn what they can push their bodies to do, and the exercises are meant to build confidence just as much as muscle.

Some of the fall 2016 Fresh Meat sat down with DIG to talk about what they think is beautiful. For these new skaters, a lot of what makes someone beautiful comes from within.

“I think what you’re willing to do for others and what you’re willing to do for yourself is what makes you beautiful,” said Dara Calmes. “Whenever you start putting things like self care over aesthetic or likes on Facebook or stuff like that, I think that’s what beauty is. It’s loving yourself and genuine love for other people. It’s not about your eyebrows being ‘on fleek’ or anything like that.”

Haley Cheramie, a Baton Rouge resident trying out the Frest Meat program, echoed Calmes’ sentiment.

“What makes someone beautiful is really how they treat the world, how they treat their friends, and how they treat the ones they love,” said Cheramie. “I think when you’re in a place where you’re giving more than you’re getting and you’re letting yourself shine in a way that’s doing a lot more inward work that outward work, that inward work is what makes you beautiful. It’s what makes you strong.”

“I feel like there’s two different aspects of beauty,” said Jonathan Franks, one of the male participants in this Fresh Meat class. “Obviously there’s the physical aspect and there’s an emotional aspect, and they’re independent. Someone could be aesthetically pleasing, but they can be horrible people. I think that real beauty comes from the way you treat yourself, and that radiates outward. The way you treat other people is like a reflection of your relationship with yourself.”

Many of these new skaters also feel like cooperative and physical sports like roller derby help can help with their process of self-love and confidence. They say pushing your body and learning new things to build confidence can help you feel great inside and out.

“I struggled with an eating disorder for about nine years, and for the past two years I’ve really gotten into health and fitness,” said Cheramie.” Working out and doing things like derby is really putting you back in your body and using it as a tool. You realize how strong you are and how capable you are. So instead of working against your body and hating it for everything it isn’t, you’re loving your body for everything it is and what it’s capable of. I think that’s what’s really beautiful.”

Calmes said that simply coming to practice and sticking with derby is helping her confidence.

“You kind of realize all the things you do give up on,” said Calmes.” It reminds you ‘I give up on a lot of crap, a lot of stuff, and it’s because I’m scared to do it. But if I can just do this one thing I’m pretty sure I’m going to love the hell out of myself in three months.’ It’s just sticking with it, no matter how many times you tell yourself you’re going to quit.”

The window for Red Stick Roller Derby Fall 2016 Fresh Meat is closing. However for more information on the next Fresh Meat class or Red Stick Roller Derby in general, visit their Facebook page or redstickrollerderby.com

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