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Meet Trailblazer Courtney Shove

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Shove.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Courtney. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
One day, I found myself in a very controlling, unhealthy relationship. I changed the way I dressed and became a homebody because of him. Almost two years ago, a close friend told me she was joining Beach Cities Roller Derby and something sparked inside me. My now ex told me I “couldn’t join.” It was the first time I broke my brainwashed submissiveness and bought a pair of Moxi roller skates and joined the wonderful world of derby. Through derby, I gained a second family and met my new girlfriend. Through street skating, I found freedom and my old confidence which now is better than ever. I decided to start an Instagram to promote body positivity in and out of the skate community and it has turned into a movement!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The hardest thing for me is to come up with new ways to inspire people. Representation is hugely important. I’m a fat, black, queer woman that wears daisy dukes and crop tops without hesitation. The messages I get from other big girls saying they put on skates or their first crop top because of me is what keeps me going. I remember being a young girl, much smaller than now and thinking I was disgusting and undeserving of love. There was no one who looked like me that was challenging the social norm. I want to be that person for people. My advice for others is to do it for the right reasons. Don’t lose track of why you started your journey.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
By day, I manage a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. By night, I’m an artist, roller skater, and body positivity advocate. I’m known for my sense of fashion and skating the streets of Long Beach. I’m the proudest of the effect I’ve had on others. I’ve been sent so many messages that have made me cry because they said I encouraged them to be more confident and try new things. What sets me apart from others is that there aren’t too many women my size and color in the skate community. As I’ve said, representation is important, especially in the body positivity community where trolls commonly tell us that we are unhealthy and inactive due to our size. I think I confuse body shamers because I’m fat and doing cardio EVERY DAY.

Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
I don’t have a mentor… yet. I have people that have inspired me to help me get here though.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: Fat_girl_has_moxi

Image Credit:
Instagram @queergirlstraightskates

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.


  1. Janet

    February 11, 2019 at 16:17

    You’re beautiful and inspiring!

    • Shove

      February 11, 2019 at 22:52

      Thank you so much!

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