I just finished the book by Shauna Cross by which the movie was based off of, and it definitely cemented the fact that it was about the struggles of growing up Bliss Cavendar and how roller derby helped her along the way. I can definitely relate to her teenage struggle against her parents, the mainstream and yearning for freedom.. but for me this is about 8 years too late. Although, I can't even fathom throwing roller derby into the dramatic mix of my high school years.
I was an athlete in high school, but became very discouraged by petty attitudes from teammates and the overall structure and control the school had over it. By senior year I had dropped softball and basketball, things I had played all my life. A need to return to this active part of my life I lost, and my competitive spirit is what brought me to roller derby in the first place. It's an open, welcoming organization that gives everyone a hand in the athletic and organizational aspects which ultimately lead to its success. But like Bliss, people who aren't normally drawn to being an athlete can find their niche in the derby world. It is a much larger thing than just playing a sport.
I was a poster girl as was Bliss Cavendar.
Cross did a good job of exploring the different conflicts that often plague a 16 year old girl's life. Fighting with parents. Lying to parents. Hating your parents. Having a break through with your parents, and finally understanding your parents. Crushes on boys. Dating boys. Boys breaking your heart. Getting over the boy. Explosive, heartbreaking fights with your best friends, bitchy girl nemesis, awful high school jobs, and struggling to find yourself. For Bliss, or Babe Ruthless, derby helped her discover confidence, an accepting group of friends and what is really important in life.
Cross did a good job of telling a story I could relate to nostalgically, but what I really wanted was more roller derby. But, I guess I already made a movie about that...
and remember. NEVER date a boy in a band.