Women battle 40-something fears through pro wrestling
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, June 14, 2019 6:26PM PDT
LANGFORD -- Melanie and Jackie are walking towards the now empty Luxton Fairgrounds. The last time they did this, they were full of fear.
"It's scary," Melanie says. "Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone."
Jackie adds: "It's not easy when you're not a size two, to just put yourself out there."
To understand what the friends are talking about, we need to go back a year when Melanie received an unexpected video message from Jackie.
"Here it is," Melanie says, clicking play on her computer. The video features a close-up of Jackie's face. Her head is bobbing to a beat playing in the background, then she starts rapping.
"You take your life in your hands when you come for Sugar Lips…"
Jackie continued for a few more verses, challenging Melanie to a rap battle.
"When you start to be our age, people expect you to be serious," 40-something Jackie explains. So she was thrilled when Melanie responded with a rap video of her own.
"Don't touch my head," Melanie says through the screen with her mom and son dancing in the background. "Because if you do, you'll be dead."
"We were both in a place where we were looking for something fun to do," Jackie says.
Soon their friends were joining in the fun, and they started battling in character, inspired by 1980s professional wrestlers. That was followed by creating outlandish costumes, polishing over-the-top personas, and inventing dynamic names.
Melanie was dubbed 'Mel the Mangler.' Jackie took on the title of 'Sugar Lips,' after the nickname her husband called her. Together that became B.L.O.W – Beautiful Ladies of Wrestling.
But instead of stepping into the ring, the friends stepped out of their comfort zones. They went to their neighbourhood fair in full character.
"We were so scared," Melanie recalls of wearing the skin-tight costumes. "We got people in all different shapes and sizes." But the women wrestled their fears away and marched towards the entrance.
"Security was there," Melanie says, before laughing. "But they high-fived us when we went in!"
A video was shot of their exploits, showing the woman often overshadowing the bright lights of the amusement rides.
"The group dynamic, knowing your girls got your back," Jackie says. "I swear we grow three inches taller."
The combination of increased confidence and empowering fun proved so unexpectedly inspiring – the Beautiful Ladies of Wrestling are planning a rematch as soon as they can.
"There's a lot going on in the world, just do something fun," Melanie says. "And don't care what anybody else thinks, just get your freak on!"