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Lifeguard weighs teen in front of friends before letting her on slide, gets reported.

Lifeguard weighs teen in front of friends before letting her on slide, gets reported.


Almost everyone on earth has felt self-conscious about their body at one point or another.

One of the tragedies of living in a human is the constant feeling that your body isn't enough, and this is only exacerbated by a world fueled by impossible beauty standards and photoshopped images flying in our faces.

All of this is to say, commenting on someone's body, no matter the context, can get super loaded super fast.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a lifeguard asked if she was wrong for making a teen girl weight herself before going down the slide.

She wrote:

AITA for making a teenage girl weigh herself at the top of a waterslide?

I work as a lifeguard at a waterpark and part of my job includes managing the top of the water slides. I’m to make sure no one does anything dangerous like going face first, cramming too many people on one innertube, etc.

I’m also instructed to ask anyone who looks like they could be over the weight limit–250 pounds–to weigh themselves on our scale, and deny them entry if they refuse. I’m not super comfortable with this, but it’s much better than risking people’s safety.

Here lies the problem: I lift weights, and for this reason, I am very dense–I weigh 185 pounds but somehow wear a size 6. Most of my friends also lift and have similar body compositions to me.

For this reason, I have trouble estimating how much someone actually weighs. This problem presented itself last weekend when an overweight teenage girl wanted to ride the slide. She most likely wasn’t over 250 pounds, but I couldn’t be certain.

I’ve gotten better at estimating weights but my supervisor says if there’s any chance they’re over 250 to weigh them, so I approached her gently and asked her to please get on the scale.

She met me with a snarky teenager attitude and said “what if I refuse?” She was with a group of teenagers, some of whom were giggling.

“Then you won’t be allowed on the slide,” I said matter-of-factly.

She rolled her eyes and got on the scale, and her weight wasn’t even close to 250 so I felt kind of bad. She then said “See?” and went along with her friends.

Although she gave me attitude I could tell she was embarrassed. Her face was red as she went back to her friends, who were all thin.

I asked my supervisor how he would have handled the situation and he said I did the right thing, that it’s better to hurt someone’s feelings than break someone’s bones. However, yesterday I was called into the office of the owner of the waterpark.

She told me she received an angry email from a parent about how I embarrassed their child in front of her friends. I explained to her that I was just following protocol and she asked me how much the girl actually weighed.

I gave her the answer and she laughed at me and told me I could never get a job as a weight guesser at a carnival and that I need to do my job better. My supervisor is backing me up and saying I was doing what he has required me to do.

I’m thankful for his support but honestly this whole situation is making me feel like an a**hole. I know teenage girls are a particularly vulnerable population, as I was a teenage girl not too long ago.

I could have possibly handled that situation with more care. But at the same time safety is my first priority. Does that make me the a**hole?

People weighed in with their thoughts on the scenario.

bordennium wrote:

NAH I guess since it’s your job, but this is a horrible fu*king policy, good lord. Asking people to weigh themselves in front of everyone if they appear fat? Do you have any idea what that could do to someone’s psyche?

Y’all need to change that policy ASAP. I’m sure there’s a way you could bypass legal issues by putting up signs about weight risk around the slide. If someone is too heavy and gets hurt, it’s their own fault. Public humiliation is not the answer here.

tomtomclubthumb wrote:

NAH - but next time pull three people from the group and weigh them all 'sorry I have to weigh 10% of the people going by to check we aren't exceeding weight limits.'

That way you don't target or embarrass one person.

sheramom4 wrote:

NAH. But you should suggest to the waterpark that EVERYONE gets weighed before they enter the slide.

Every single person no matter what they look like. Having you guess who does and does not weigh 250 pounds puts you and others in an uncomfortable and embarrassing situation.

When I weighed over 200 pounds I didn't look it because of the shape of my body and height. Visual guesses on weight are inaccurate and again, can create embarrassing situations.

WhimsicalKoala wrote:

NAH. You were just doing your job, but holy cow, what an awful policy! It should either be weigh everyone or no one.

Making you go up to random people and asking them to get weighed is a good way to get you yelled out by other people for doing your job.

And that poor girl who is now probably going to be spending a lot of time wondering why you thought she looked 250 lbs, even if she's nowhere near it.

And how many people over the limit have you sent down because they don't look over the weight, but it's because they are very muscular or just carry the weight in a way that makes them look lighter than they are.

You aren't the a**hole, but this policy is.

Vuirneen wrote:

NTA but the scale should only have two readings: can ride and can't ride. The numbers should be invisible and everyone should step on the scale.

Clearly, OP is NTA, but the policy itself needs to be seriously overhauled.

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