Strong women

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Strong women

Postby J » Fri Oct 15, 2004 2:06 am

http://www.132poundsofpower.com/j.jpg

http://www.132poundsofpower.com/

Just think it's nice to see a good looking strongwoman. This woman by the way can bench more than twice her bodyweight.
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Postby veganjosh » Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:06 am

Yeah, I saw her bench this past weekend at Bench America - she's great.

Check out www.littlepowerhouse.com for another amazing female powerlifter.
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Postby JP » Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:18 pm

My favourite female strength athlete is finnish Heini Koivuniemi, powerlifter and strongwoman (has placed second few times in worlds strongest woman comps).

Image

tried to find a video of her deadlifting 220kg/484lbs but could not find it... :(
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Postby J » Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:42 pm

Keep looking. :D I remember her allright. Have to say she was the only good looking woman in the strongwoman comp I saw her in. (Well the winner had a nice face and hair but looked like a walking laboratory.) I would have put up a link to her originally but for laziness.
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Postby Mary » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:50 am

Well, I like this thread, because it does provide links to some big strong women, but I have a very serious question to ask here. Why are people concerned with what these women look like? I am sure that they are beautiful to their friends, family and lovers.

It seems that women have an impossible standard to meet. If they are strong they must still be "feminine" (whatever that means) and if they happen to fall short of the standard of perfection it doesn't matter what their accomplishments are.

A woman cannot help her "beauty" or lack of it. She can change her body to something nearer her own ideal. These women have all expanded the limit of what is possible, and should be congratulated. It is a shame that they are oggled over like page three girls by people who should know better. Male strength lifters don't get torn to shreds if they are not "good looking." After all, Arnold Schwarzenegger is an extremely ugly man. However people don't talk about his face, but his body - and rightly so, as that was the standard by which he judged himself. Why should Arnold, a frankly very unpleasant man, be looked up to more than an ugly woman or a skinny vegan?

We live in a style obsessed culture, and it seems to be affecting even the politically aware of us. This thread, combined with the "wimpy vegans" thread in another forum, is alarming, since it shows that even thoughtful and intelligent people are too easily seduced by form, not substance.

I understand better now why some people won't post their WIP pages. Shame.
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Postby sensless » Sat Oct 16, 2004 2:15 pm

What is wrong with posting images of big women that we find attractive? It shouldn't be wrong for us to enjoy the rare combination of physical power and beauty (which is obviously very subjective). The male comparison would be the male strongman competitors. Many women don't find them attractive, but some do.

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Postby Mary » Sat Oct 16, 2004 2:53 pm

Yes, but men are not expected to roll around in photo shoots, taking up submissive postures, gazing adoringly into the camera with "come shag me" eyes. These women's physical strength is undermined, partly so men oggling them and thinking "fwar, I could do with a bit of that" can feel reassured that the nicely submissive woman defers to his strength.

Also, you just don't hear women putting down ugly men in the way that men put down supposedly ugly women. These women are not being judged in the same way the men are. One of the women mentioned here outgripped a man by an impressive margin, yet all people really seem concerned about is that she manages to be the perfect package of feminine grace.

Let's put it this way. I think Arnold has a face like a slapped arse. I think lots of other things about him, like he is a phenomenal body builder, and a credit to the sport, like he is a dangerous politician, more so because he actually has brains and charm. But have you ever heard me say he has a face like a slapped arse before? No. Because it is not relevant.

To comment on female strength athletes, dismissing them because they are not "good looking" is offensive to women, and I imagine that the "attractive" ones might feel offended if they are only paid attention to because of something that happened by accident - their being born with a bone structure that pleases most men.

My opinion, and I think as a woman, who has had to put up with a fair degree of offensive comments from people of both sexes, I know what I am talking about.
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Postby J » Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:53 pm

This is a cross post.

There is a negative stereotype out there about women lifters which causes many women to "just want to tone" and you are basically saying we have to pretend this stereotype doesn't exist. We can't try to dispel this stereotype. If we do try, we are automatically slamming all the women who fit that stereotype.

But whether or not that stereotype existed I still simply like seeing strong cute women. And I still want to see that video of Heini. Am I bothering you that much? Should I just search for good looking strong women furtively in private? My finnish ain't so great.

We live in a style obsessed culture, and it seems to be affecting even the politically aware of us. This thread combined with the "wimpy vegans" thread in another forum, is alarming, since it shows that even thoughtful and intelligent people are too easily seduced by form, not substance.

I don't think liking cute women makes me obsessed with style. I think it makes me human. Seeing as I'm not christian I'm not concerned with hiding my "humanness".

The vegan wimps thread is an attempt to deal with a very real problem where image unfortunately really does matter. I wish it weren't so. I don't like it. But the vegan image really does matter. So I'm asking how best to deal with this necessary bit of superficiality. That I must be superficial for bringing it up does not follow.

BTW
Except for the teeth Arnold looks great. As long as he's scowling he looks cool. Notice he never smiles in his best movies. (Terminators/Conans)
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Postby J » Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:59 pm

OK this is from you last reply.

Yes, but men are not expected to roll around in photo shoots, taking up submissive postures, gazing adoringly into the camera with "come shag me" eyes. These women's physical strength is undermined, partly so men oggling them and thinking "fwar, I could do with a bit of that" can feel reassured that the nicely submissive woman defers to his strength.

I don't expect women to do that.

Also, you just don't hear women putting down ugly men in the way that men put down supposedly ugly women. These women are not being judged in the same way the men are. One of the women mentioned here outgripped a man by an impressive margin, yet all people really seem concerned about is that she manages to be the perfect package of feminine grace.

I don't put down ugly women. Nor do I make more out of good looks then the strength.

And a HUGE part of why Arnold has been so successful is that he DOES look good. There are tons of bodybuilders just as big and much bigger. But they don't look as cool as Arnold when he scowls like he does as the Terminator, etc. Looks matter for men just like women.
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Postby Mary » Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:16 pm

Have to say she was the only good looking woman in the strongwoman comp I saw her in. (Well the winner had a nice face and hair but looked like a walking laboratory.)


All the other non good looking women are put down in this quote, and the actual winner of the comp is put down with faint praise. (Nice face and hair, but...)

Nothing wrong with liking what people look like, but comparisons are unrealistic, and unfair. Yes, there is a negative stereotype of what women who lift weights look like, but I don't necessarily think that pornographising (if that is a word, which it aint, as I think I just made it up) contestants is fair.

And why do men look cool if they are macho and scowl, but women have to simper? You seriously expect me to believe that the come hither gazes in the photo shoots don't have anything to do with your attraction to these women? Though at least she isn't rolling around in the grass in the pictures you posted. Thing is though, bodybuilders trade on their looks. She is a phenomenal lifter, so why does she have to pose in a bikini?

I am not saying that she isn't entitled to run around in a bikini, and yes, she has the figure for it, but isn't it sad that she has to doll herself up as a baywatch babe, just to be noticed, when her achievements should speak for themselves?

And as I say, the woman who won is considered second class because she doesn't look as "cute." Perhaps she does take steroids. So do many other strength athletes. Maybe she looked like a freak. I don't know, I didn't see her. But she won the competition! Who cares what her hair looked like? She could have been bald as a coot for all I care.
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Postby J » Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:49 pm

Arrrrggghh! What can I say Mary?

If every single strong women looked like an ogre than very few women would want to start lifting. So in an attempt to fight that stereotype I do value a good looking strong woman a bit more. It's sucks but there it is.

I don't like simpering and they don't have to prance around in a bikini. Although if they wear a parka you can't actually see their body so that would be pointless.

Obviously you already don't believe the stereotype so this all means nothing to you. But surely it must to many women? How many damm threads are in the nutrition section from infrequent posters who want to lose weight but don't want to strength train? How many women would change their minds on that if they saw Heini compete? Or saw Jennifer Thompson prance around in a bikini?
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Postby Mary » Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:00 pm

Well, I frankly blame these women for being silly. I have had quite a few women at the gym come up and tell me that if I am not careful I will look like a man, or that I could "look quite nice" if I shaved my legs and put makeup on. And women wouldn't look at these lifters and think it is normal for a woman to look like that - they would think she was a freak of nature. I have already had one woman ask me how much I paid for my boob job, because she didn't believe I could bench and have breasts.

Besides which I find it hard to understand that you don't see the sexual politics of this. Men can scowl, and look like an ogre, but women can't? Seriously, Arnold is at his most ugly when scowling. When he is grinning or making jokes he is actually at his most attractive, at least to most people I know, because a cheery grin is one of the nicest things you can see on a face. Arnold is funny in pumping iron, at least as often as he is sinister machiavelian maestro, and that is why people liked him. He carries it off in the documentary too, making jokes about inhaling. So I don't go with the macho notion that men are "cool" when they smile. In fact I find it hard to take blokes seriously when they are stood around scowling. I laughed my head off when predator was on a couple of weeks ago, so hard I had to leave the room, as Neil was enjoying the film. And what was I laughing at? Arnies scowl...

Anyway, it seems we will have to differ. Most women are not "attractive" according to what society considers attractive. Most women have something or other that is considered ugly, unfeminine, unattractive, and most women are unhappy about it.

When people see a strong woman with small breasts she is accused of being too manly. To see what this would feel like, imagine how you, as a man, would feel if people said, "well, he is strong, but he has a vanishingly small penis."

Men do not get attacked in the same way that women do, and consequently don't understand why we get pissed off. Most women absorb male attitudes and try to pander to them, becoming miserable in the process, and in the worst instances become unable to form female friendships, as they have learnt to hate their own sex. Hence walking up to strangers and accusing them of having falsies, hairy legs, too short hair, not enough makeup, etc.
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Postby JO » Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:31 pm

Well, keep in mind these are pictures... not reality. Lots of people get their information and standards from pictures... not reality. I'm curious about whether you vegan guys see any examples of strong women beauty in reality? Does anyone moving about in the gym, exercising make you hot and not look quite like these... pictures?

Really, curious.

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Postby sensless » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:41 pm

Mary,

So because the woman is a strength athlete we, as men, can't declare that we find her physically attractive? That would be too insulting? If the woman doesn't fit the "stereotypical" beauty because she is large and a strength athlete, by posing in a seductive picture she is then bastardizing her accomplishments as a strength athlete? Don't you think that maybe she is going against the stereotype that is pushed that a woman can't be big, muscular and beautiful, and thereby inspirational to people that don't possess a waifish build? I still don't see what is wrong with complimenting a woman because you find her attractive or how that diminishes any of her other accomplishments as a person.

If I find a woman physically attractive and deliver a compliment or have a desire to see her, it isn't me taking away from her other accomplishments, it's just that I am not speaking to them. If someone thought I was an attractive man and commented on the matter to their friend, should I then take that as an insult as a novice powerlifter or as an insult to any other talent that I may possess?

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Postby Mary » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:58 pm

You just don't get it, do you? J was more impressed with the woman who came second because she looked good, than he was by the woman who came first, because she "looked like a walking laboratory." By this I presume he meant she looked "over muscular" and manly.

I have looked in vain for a picture of a Japanese woman who came first in a powerlifting competition, beating Jennifer Thompson, who is easy to find online, because she is "pretty" as well as strong. The Japanese woman is invisible. Did she look too manly as well?

Men do not experience what it is like to be judged purely on appearance in the way that women do. I am actually offended when somebody comments on my appearance, rather than who I am, even when the comment is complimentary. If I got to be a great bodybuilder and people commented that would be different, because what I looked like would reflect the effort I had put in. But my face, hair and boobs are accidents of nature. Men might like them, fine. I don't mind Neil liking them. But other blokes can keep their comments to themselves. I am sick of them.

Sensless. There is no way that you would understand what it is like to be judged purely on your looks. If it ever happens it would be a flattering distraction (assuming the person liked what you looked like) or a startling insult. But it wouldn't be a burden either way, because it wouldn't be incessant. You wouldn't for example go up to a market stall and have somebody look you straight in the mammary, and then make suggestive comments as you walked off. You certainly wouldn't have unwanted pricks groping you.

Whether I dress in jeans and a teeshirt (as I usually do) or in a dress with high heels, someone is going to judge me on what I look like. I am either a "dyke" because I have short hair and dress scruffy, or when I make an effort to look smart I am talked to like an idiot, because I have big breasts. And it is a well known fact that women with big breasts have no brains. Which is how most men seem to like their fantasy women.

On the other hand, and I have said it before, strong men like strong women. But I don't think you guys have a clue how offended many women are when you start a conversation with flattery of what they look like. It has always been an out and out no no to me.
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