• Wed, Jul 25 2012

Cute Blonde Weightlifter Samantha Wright Changes The Game

Over the past week or so, the internet has gotten itself sprung on a young weightlifter named Samantha Wright. The petite 22-year-old has a bleached blond pixie cut, huge crystal blue eyes, and a thick line of black liquid eyeliner trailing out over each lid.

In other words, she’s adorable.

And that’s awesome.

See, when young women like Wright to break into sports that are traditionally considered masculine, like weightlifting, they challenge basic stereotypes about women; specifically, that the way we look means anything about what we are and are not capable of. Why, just last week Joseph Gordon-Levitt said that pretty girls can’t be funny. Olivia Munn famously got skewered for being good-looking and getting hired on “The Daily Show.”

The world, for whatever reason, seems intent on clinging to the notion that women are either cute or capable, funny or pretty, sexy or smart. But of course, as those of us with a vagina know, that’s a bunch of bullshit.

The message is not that we should all try to look adorable. The message is that we should be able to look any way we want, and under the umbrella of looking any way you want is deciding that you want to bleach your hair blond and wear make-up. Or shave your head and pierce your face. Or doll yourself up like a pageant queen. The point is that the way women look — whether we’re going for traditionally pretty or very happily bucking mainstream notions of beauty — does not, and should not, have any implications about what we can achieve.

And it takes women like Samantha Wright to help drive that point home.

Photos by Kait Privitera

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  • Lindsey

    Still… It’s the pretty blonde that gets attention instead of “America’s best weightlifter” Sarah Robles.

    • Samantha

      Right!?
      I thought the exact same thing. There’s a woman out there who can outlift most the men on the Olympic team, and we’re talking about the ‘cute’ one?

    • Lastango

      “There’s a woman out there who can outlift most the men on the Olympic team”

      Samantha, where are you getting that from?

    • Lindsey

      I think she means that Sarah is the best-ranked member of the olympic team. I think I read somewhere that she’s our best chance of getting a medal in weight lifting…

      USA USA USA. I’m so excited for the olympics.

  • Trista

    Right. Sarah Roble had to struggle to raise money to get herself and her coach to London for the Olympics. Because she’s not “cute” enough to land the big brand sponsorships. I’m sure Samantha here will have no trouble with that. And that’s awesome, I think they’re both amazing and great role models for girls everywhere. I’m not disagreeing with this article at all. But for all our preaching about women being more than our looks…it’s still the cute, photogenic blonde who gets fawned over.

    • koldobika2020

      I got to this article through a google web search after stumbling on a video of Samantha here. I just wanted to let you know that, as a man, I have a massive amount of respect and admiration for Sarah Roble. She can lift more than I can and by all means she is much more dedicated and driven in the pursuit of her life’s dream than I am with mine. After watching videos of her and reading her blog, I can honestly say that I like her. However, she is not sexually attractive to me. That is not something that I can be blamed for or any man in the same position can be blamed for. Truthfully, we are only assholes if we open our mouths about it to her face. The rest is biology.

      And as they say, sex sells.

      Some day, Roble will find a man who is sexually, emotionally, and intellectually compatible with her. That’s not her priority right now though, by her own words.

      Samantha Wright was blessed with traditionally good looks. She is very healthy and beautiful (especially in the greek sense). People, especially the male-dominated media, are going to notice this. Sex sells. That’s the economics of it and it’s not going to change.

      Attractive men also make it a lot farther with the media than ugly men, the only difference being that men can make up for a lack of looks with extreme talent and a great sense of humor. Then again, so can women.

    • Lindsey

      Uh, who asked you if you were attracted to Sarah Robles? No one? OK, moving on.

    • Jordan

      It’s also important to remember this goes both ways. I’ve never seen a male olympic athlete who wasn’t squarely placed within the confines of what makes most males “attractive”.

      The sad and depressing truth is that any person who gets public attention tends to fit into some ridiculous model the majority of us — male or female — don’t.

    • Lindsey

      “I’ve never seen a male olympic athlete who wasn’t squarely placed within the confines of what makes most males “attractive”.”

      Do you mean muscular? I mean. They’re athletes. EVERYONE there is buff as hell. Do you mean ‘pretty in the face’? I want to remind you of Michael Phelps, Shaun White, and Apollo Ohno. I guess I disagree with the point I think you’re trying to make.

      Like, Phelps has a great body and is praised for his athleticism. But Sarah Robles has a beautiful face, but a body born from her sport, and is cast aside despite her amazing talent because she doesn’t fit into the mold of what’s good… even though her body does AMAZING things that we as a nation should be proud of.

  • Iadge

    Levitt didn’t say that pretty girls can’t be funny, he said that most pretty girls aren’t funny. There’s quite a difference there, between an absolute falsity, and a reasonably plausible generalization.

  • Pest

    Wait, Smanatha Wright has broken into the sport of weightlifting??

    She’s cool looking, she’s hot, would marry/10, but come on I’m not from the states and I’ll be cheering for Sarah Roble. She’s awesome.

    Maybe thegloss could do a spread on Sarah Roble??

  • Dromeda

    I’m glad a lot of people here have also mentioned Sarah Robles- to be honest, Samantha didn’t even come up on my radar until a few days ago, but Sarah’s been there for weeks and weeks. That’s why the line “Over the past week or so, the internet has gotten itself sprung on a young weightlifter…” and meaning Samantha Wright seemed kind of out of place and weird to me.

    I’d also like to point out that Sarah Robles is, in fact, really pretty, in addition to being a ridiculously talented weightlifter. Just look at the picture here: http://datingjesus.wordpress.com/tag/sarah-robles/. The fact that certain sections of “the internet” have decided that Samantha Wright is the only “cute built female weightlifter” in the US is really telling.

  • Jon

    I bet the men will be enamored by her grace, beauty, strength and power.. all the best Samantha, my prayers are with you!!

    http://www.healthyaction.com.au/tribulus.html

  • Nikole

    She’s so fucking adorable!!! <3
    and gorgeous!
    GAH ^_^

  • Emily

    Women, we are our own worst enemies. Instead of marginalizing the “cute one’s” greatness by putting her down and comparing her to Robles, why can’t we be happy for Wright bring attention to women entering a sport that they otherwise get no glory in? The spotlight on Wright should actually bring some attention to Robles anyway, and like it’s Wright’s fault she’s attractive?! Quick girl, put a bag on your head, quit with the eyeliner, and why go blonde, when there are other, less stereotyped colors to dye that impish pixie cut you got going on?
    C’mon, really? Why the vitriol? Love, support, and education.

    • Ramon

      Envy.

  • flyingpants

    Except she is a nigger lover, and she is a crossfit retard who is fucking terrible at lifting.

    • Emily

      Seriously? Go crawl in a hole.
      how do you report hate speech on here?

  • Brandi

    Sammy is auctioning off the her trusty singlet (the one pictured above) in an effort to raise money for next years lifting events. Consider having a look!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/120990406406?ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

  • Chelsea

    Anyone who knows anything about weightlifting can tell by watching this chic once that she is not hot shit like she thinks she is. She is not that good at weightlifting… sure she is cute but she doesnt have much talent to speak of other than those good looks. I have seen her at seveal meets and trust me you wont see this girl in the olympics any time soon. She needs to adjust her attitude too… she walks around meets and you can tell she thinks everyone is looking at her.. and that she is the greatest thing to have ever competed… she will drop off the radar in a year or two trust me… she doesnt have the potential to do anything great.