In Praise of Pudgy



Ever since reading Venus with Biceps, I’ve been fascinated with strong women. And I love these photos of Pudgy Stockton.

Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton was known as The “First Lady of Iron.” In the 1940s, she organized the first women’s weight lifting contest and operated the first all-women’s gym in the United States. She lifted, performed acrobatics on Muscle Beach and wrote extensively encouraging women to include weight training as part of a fitness regime. Born in Santa Monica, California, on August 11, 1917, Pudgy died June 26, 2006.

Read The Belle of the Barbell, New York Times

There’s also a beginner’s workout for superhuman women inspired by Pudgy Stockton.

And more pictures over at the Feminism and Happiness blog.


About Sam B

Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist!

One thought on “In Praise of Pudgy

  1. longviewhill says:

    When I read the title of this post and saw the first photo of the handstand, I thought, “What?!?!?!?”

    I forgot that you had written about Pudgy before and that that was her nickname. I always think of “pudgy” as demeaning – something a father figure person would say when being patronizing (just my personal reaction to the word,) but I think I am going to try to change my mental image over to this gal, because WOW!!


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