You ever heard someone say that they are exercising for tone, not for bulk? Especially for women, most people aren't actually looking to become a behemoth and it is unreasonable for a normie to think they are ever going to achieve that anyway. This is especially true if you don't adjust your diet accordingly, which is the biggest factor in muscle gain anyway.
I have seen many people that will do high reps at a low weight because they are trying to achieve the ripped look without bulking up and unfortunately for those who don't adjust their diet, this notion of bulking up isn't going to happen and neither is the "ripped" notion that you are looking for.
The thing in the container is just as responsible for his size as the weights are
I have a tendency to accuse people who are lifting low weights a lot of reps of simply making excuses to be lazy in the gym. The smaller weights are easier, we all know that. The heavy weights incorporate you figuring out your upper limit while just anyone can pick up a 5 lb barbell and do 20 of those with zero difficulty. Here is the major issue with your "getting ripped instead of bulking up" strategy.
Muscle growth happens with fibers get torn or overworked in your body, the increased strength comes from when the muscle repairs itself thus resulting in a larger, more toned muscle eventually.
Lifting heavier weights accomplishes the same thing as the lighter weights just with much less time and reps. This is not to suggest that you should just grab the heaviest thing in the gym and immediately hurt yourself trying to use it - you need to figure out that sweet spot of 8-10 reps in order to maximize your efficiency in the gym.
The reason why the bulked up guys are lifting heavier weights is because they have to in order to tear their muscle fibers. The muscle growth is largely determined by diet and not as much about what you lift or how.
This idea that lifting low weights a higher number of times will create "tone" is nonsense and it might also be counterproductive. Don't take my word for it though, you can look at a peer reviewed study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise where it was conclusively shown (in women) that women who lifted a "challenging" weight 8 times instead of an easy one for 20 times burned twice as many calories.
The myth of toning is a fallacy because the only way that muscles grow is to stress them enough that they "want" to get stronger. If you don't fatigue the muscles, there is no reason for them to change.
If you are telling people you work out for tone but in reality the heavy weights are too difficult for you then you might just be lazy. Step up your game and start to see results. Find a weight range where it simply isn't possible for you to get to 12 reps and that is where you should be.