Plus-size lifeguard proves she too is a Baywatch babe!

By Kim Abrahams
03 June 2016

"It can be cutthroat."

With the recent recreation of popular '90s TV series Baywatch into a film, the image of perfectly sculpted bodies and unbelievably good-looking lifeguards has once again been thrust in our faces.

Never mind their swimming skills; who wouldn’t want to be saved by hunky David Hasselhoff or Zac Efron, or busty Pamela Anderson?

Well, step aside Dave, Zac and Pam, plus-sized lifeguard Courtney Harrough is inspiring each one of her more than 7 000 followers on Instagram.


When your second round of interviews requires you to get a little wet, don't mind me. ? - How many times have you set your sights on a job, a position in life and doubted yourself? Uh- I have done that MANY times! Yesterday in my interview I was met with such excitement that I wanted to be a lifeguard by the board of my prospective employers. They informed me the Deep Water position is rigorous and can be tiring at times, I answered with a resounding "I have no doubt I can rise to the occasion and swim with the best of them!" My weight and height may cause some to think that I'd only be a pleasantly perched beached whale upon a lifeguard stand - but that isn't the case. My body is strong, sturdy, and sexy! I don't have smooth legs, or cut shoulders accented by tiny boobs like most of the girls in my class but I have courage, and a spirit to try. That is all is takes in this world. Carry yourself with courage my dear friends and do not let your size, shape, weight, or height be a factor of fear to your future endeavors! ?? - Wish me luck as I dive in to save some folks and swim my butt off for a deep water lifeguard position. ??

A post shared by Courtney Paige ?Somewhere, USA (@peach_e_paige) on

Twenty-four-year-old Courtney is a certified deep-water lifeguard from Orlando, Florida, in the US who despite her weight has been a competitive swimmer since high school.

"It can be cut-throat," she told Refinery29. "The reality is that it's a physically demanding job, and you need stamina and resilience to keep up."

Courtney said her weight has never interfered with her ability to keep up with the demands of her strenuous job.

"When I went through training I passed and there was no question as to what my weight could do.”

SCORED ? ON MY TEST OUT! GAGH. A post shared by Courtney Paige ?Somewhere, USA (@peach_e_paige) on

There was a slight issue though - finding a bathing suit.

Read more: This fitness blogger hasn’t shaved in more than a year – and she ‘freakin’ loves it!’

“When it came time for actually implementing my job they had no uniform for me. They said, 'You don't look like a regular lifeguard; we're going to have to pull you from your job'.”

But the feisty brunette was having none of that.

“I said, 'I'm sorry, you're not going to pull me. If my weight was such an aesthetic issue you would have seen it because I've been half-naked in a swimsuit. If you knew you couldn't accommodate me you shouldn't have put me through this. And you're not going to fire me because that's discrimination. We're going to figure out how to get it done.'"


She took matters into her own hands and bought her own swimsuit, for which she was never reimbursed.

“They said, 'We never assumed a person of your size would want a job like this.' I said, 'Oh good.'

"If it's a matter of my ability to perform my job, that's one thing. If it's aesthetics, you're fat-shaming and size-shaming. And you're being really rude because fat people can do so much more than we think they can. Fat women have a right to be lifeguards."

And what does she think of the Baywatch movie with its slim and airbrushed lifeguards?

Read more: This body-positive blogger gets real about ‘being the fat one’ in the relationship

“It's sad because that movie will further ingrain in the minds of other people — especially aspiring lifeguards or trainers — that they couldn't possibly fit in and be considered capable or valuable in that field of work.

“Nobody cares what you look like when they're near death and just want to be saved. You don't have to have your boobs perky or your cellulite hidden — all they care about is if you can swim and whether you have their back.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Sources: Refinery29,

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