Apr 27, 2017

Beefcake and Bulges in Old Swim Team Photos

I love old high school and college yearbooks, now usually digitized and put online as "Alumni Memories."

You can see hundreds of men and boys who have left us now, or who are elderly and reminiscing about their lives, when they were energetic, powerful, full of hope, when they had all the world to choose from.

When they had tight, muscular physiques and bulges that wouldn't quit, judging from old swim team photos.

This is Brighton College in England, 1946, guys about the age of my older uncles, looking forward to the post-War world.  Some nice bulges.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the boys' swim team at Jackson Junior High (West Virginia) clowns around.

California State University, 1949.  No baskets on anyone in the front row except the second from the right.  They must have put the other bulgeworthy boys in back on purpose.  Some nice physiques, though.

Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, 1951, at the beginning of the conservative 1950s.  Every guy has his hands demurely folded over his basket.  I like the hairy chest and thinning hair of the college boy second from the right.

University of Georgia, 1952.  Notice the sharp crewcuts and extended ears.  Also notice that the boys are all white.  Segregation was in full swing.

More after the break.

At Memphis Tech High School in 1954, they were all wearing different swimsuits, and the bulges are back.  The guy on the end has an impressive chest.

Lycoming College, 1958. More bulges, especially in the guy second from the left, but the physique award goes to the guy in white trunks, rather a nonconformist as well.

West Linn High School in Oregon, 1961.  The guy second from the right is a rebel.

Springfield High School in Illinois, 1965.  Check the front row, second from the right.

It's fun to compare the old photos to swim teams in 2017.  A lot more diversity, not only in race but in size and shape, in pose, in expression.  Some Nautilus-toned physiques.  More blatant bulges.

By the way, some of the old swim teams competed naked.  The photos are on Tales of West Hollywood.

See also: Beefcake and Bulges in Recent Swim Team Photos.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a boomer and grew up in Riverside, Ca, about an hour from L.A. On certain days, probably weekends, they had all men and boys naked swim hours, it was probably around 1957 or so, I would have been about 7 years old. It was a more innocent time, it was not considered sexual in any way. So the idea that some swim teams swam naked in an indoor pool is not that far off. Remember that in those days the showers even in high schools were wide open and everybody was naked. I cannot imagine that any naked boys on a swim team were ever featured in a yearbook.


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