Abbey 'Pudgy' Stockton was a professional Strong Woman who became famous during the 1940s for her endeavours at Muscle Beach, Santa Monica California. Her nickname 'Pudgy' was given to her as a child even though she ironically only weighed 115lbs (52kg) standing at 5' 2" as an adult. Abbey is described as a pioneer for female bodybuilding, as she completely smashed the current stereotypes of female beauty at the time. She is the Classical Bodybuilding Era's Golden girl.
While writing a column named 'Barbelles' for the most prestigious Fitness magazine of the times, Strength & Health, she helped create the first Female Weight Lifting Contest in 1947 where she pressed 100lbs, snatched 105lbs and clean and jerked 135lbs.
Pudgy received fame for various stunts she pulled off. One included an acrobatic feat involving her and her Husband Les; She managed to support him above her head (all 180lbs of him - 81kg) in a hand to hand stand. Stunts like this made her a media sensation, and she thus did many photo-shoots, eventually totaling over 40 magazines - some while posing with male bodybuilders of the time like Steve Reeves and John Grimek.
Abbey was a woman who followed her passion, lived her dreams and ignored common perceptions of what was acceptable and what was not. As a result she was received with great admiration and respect. Culture changes and adapts all the time, and it's people like Abbey 'Pudgy' Stockton that drive big changes, even if it was not her intent she paved the way for millions of aspiring female fitness models, bodybuilders and Strong Women today.
"People used to say that if women worked out, they would become masculine-looking or wouldn't be able to get pregnant. We just laughed because we knew they were wrong."
- Pudgy Stockton, 1917-2006.
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