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Bring it On: An Appreciation in Photos of L.A. College Cheerleaders

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Courtney Lenz, a 23-year-old cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens, is making headlines today for being benched and not allowed to cheer at the Super Bowl because of a two pound weight gain. Lenz, who is 5'4 and weighs 124 pounds, told the Daily Mail that she feels like the benching is a "slap in the face:"

"During the season, I weigh 124lbs. At every practice, the trainer brings her scale and all the girls are taken aside, weighed and the number is recorded...I was told I was being benched because I had gained weight and when I asked how much it was, the scales showed 1.6lbs...It's agonizing to know that you have gained weight. They really wanted me to lose more weight and be around 120/121lb. I was told: ''I don't care how you do it, just do it...But I'm not going to do anything to my body and health that affects me in the future."

Lenz has been cheering for the Ravens since she was 18, reports the LA Times. According to Boston.com, the Ravens announced that all cheerleaders who had been on the squad for over three years would be going to the Super Bowl. Despite having been with the team for five years, Lenz discovered that she was not on the list.

Lenz' teammates and fans have rallied around her, and a Facebook page has been started to get her to the Super Bowl. Signatures are being gathered to try to convince the Ravens to let Lenz cheer at the big game this weekend.

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For reference, here's what Lenz looks like (third from right):

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Photo via Facebook
Meanwhile, as a point of comparison, we've put together the above gallery to show what L.A.'s local college cheerleaders look like. These are the ladies of USC, UCLA, CSUN and UC Irvine. As you will see, there's a range of bodies and sizes, and they are all lovely.