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Strong Like Her: A Celebration of Rule Breakers, History Makers, and Unstoppable Athletes

Strong Like Her: A Celebration of Rule Breakers, History Makers, and Unstoppable Athletes


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Beautiful and powerful, Strong Like Her presents the awe-inspiring account of women’s athleticism throughout history.

Journalist Haley Shapley takes us through the delightful untold history of female strength to understand how we can better encourage—and celebrate—the physical power of women.

Part group biography, part cultural history, Strong Like Her delves into the fascinating stories of our muscular foremothers. From the first female Olympian (who entered the chariot race through a loophole) to the circus stars who could lift their husbands above their heads and make it look like “a little light housework with a feather duster,” these brave and brawny women paved the way for the generations to follow.

Filled with Sophy Holland’s beautiful por­traits of some of today’s most awe-inspiring ath­letes, including Peloton instructor Robin Arzón, bodybuilder Dana Linn Bailey, actress/dancer Patina Miller, and many others, Strong Like Her celebrates strength in all its forms. Illuminating the lives and accomplish­ments of storied female sports stars—whose con­tributions to society go far beyond their entries in record books—Shapley challenges us to rethink everything we thought we knew about the power of women.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982120856
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 480,891
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Haley Shapley is a journalist whose writing has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Fodor’s, SELF, and many more. She has cycled 206 miles from Seattle to Portland, summited the highest glaciated peak in the continental United States, competed in a bodybuilding show, and finished a marathon. The author of Strong Like Her, Shapley lives in Seattle.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Original Warriors: Ancient Depictions of Strength 9

2 The Outliers: Victorian-Era Women Who Walked on the Wild Side 21

3 Sink or Swim: Strength as a Means of Survival 41

4 The Sandwina Effect: Strongwomen, the Circus, and Suffrage 53

5 Beach Babes: Pudgy Stockton and the Crowd-Pleasing Ladies of Muscle Beach 67

6 Unladylike: When a Babe Is Not Considered a Babe 83

7 Breaking into the Boy's Club: Running toward Opportunity 101

8 A Woman's Place is in the Weight Room: The Rise of Strength Sports in the '70s 119

9 A Built Body: When Muscles Are Required to Shine 131

10 Form Follows Function: How Body Expectations Are Born 143

11 The Power Within: How Outer Strength Breeds Inner Confidence 157

12 Strong(h)er than Yesterday: The Modern Athlete and the Fight for Equality 171

Afterword 183

Athlete Bios 191

About the Author 221

Acknowledgments 223

Historical Photo Credits 225

Portrait Credits 226

Notes 229

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