This is how female empowerment is supposed to work.
Presley Pritchard was a paramedic who aspired to be a firefighter. She was told, however, that at 120 pounds (that’s the “before” photo on the left above) she was too small and weak for the physically demanding job. Did she sue? Did she take advantage of reduced strength and fitness qualifications to get what she wanted anyway? Did she try to find a firefighting outfit that had a “diversity” quota to meet? Did she give up? Did she decide that she treasured her Size 2 wardrobe more than her ambition?
No, what Presley Pritchard did was begin a long, tough training regimen involving weight training and power-lifting along with a muscle-building diet and increased caloric intake. She raised her body weight by 30%, and aced the firefighter fitness requirements, allowing her to join Evergreen Fire Rescue in Flathead County, Montana without any relaxed standards. She writes,
People told me I couldn’t do it. They said I wouldn’t be a firefighter. They said I was too small and that I was a female which would make it harder…. I’m the healthiest mentally as I’ve ever been. I can keep up with the guys, I am confident in my job performance, and most of all, I’m happy. …I’m hoping if any of you females (or males) are struggling with not feeling like you’re good enough or like you can make it, this will give you hope. Don’t let them tell you you’re too weak, too small, not good enough, not strong enough.
Pritchard has also used photographs of her upgraded physique on social media to inspire others. She has 33,000 followers on her Instagram page, where she sometimes displays photos like this…
…along with messages like this..
And, just as sure as it is certain to rain on the Fourth of July, some complained to the Fire Department that Pritchard’s photos made them feel “uncomfortable.,” meaning, I guess, that they would be “uncomfortable” if an attractive woman carried them out of a burning house. Would Pritchard’s pride in her physical transformation cost her the very goal she transformed to attain? Is the Too Sexy Firefighter Principle a sub-category to the Naked Teacher Principle?
Defiant, Pritchard prepared a powerpoint slide show for the board, including her workout and bathing suit photos with various calendar photos of male firefighters. She also read from the Montana Annotated Code for gender and sex discrimination.
Speaking for the board later, Evergreen Fire District Board Chairman Brodie Verworn said that Pritchard’s online photos were not a concern.