Jan 15, 2018
Searching for Beefcake in "Boys' Life"
The articles were dreary. It said "For All Boys," but it was really just for Boy Scouts, and the articles all assumed gender-polarized hegemonic masculinity. The exact opposite of anything I was interested in.
But the beefcake was intense. Guys in skimpy swimsuits, both photographs and drawings, in every issue!
Norman Rockwell and Salvador Dali have both illustrated covers.
A number of famous writers, including Arthur C. Clarke and John Knowles, have published in Boys' Life.
Photographic covers began during the 1950s.
This is one of the iconic images of my childhood. I think I got it at the Denkmann School carnival around 1969 or 1970. It's dated July 1965.
I wanted to see if Boys' Life was still gender-polarized, macho, and exclusive, so I picked an issue at random: October 2012.
Articles on the fast cars, off-road bicycling, a canoe trip to Hoover Dam, how to make a battery out of a lemon, federal air marshals. Bible stories.
Yep, still gender-polarized, macho, "sports! sports! sports!" And no beefcake. Not even a drawing of a guy in a swimsuit.
They must have realized that gay boys read the magazine, too.
See also: More Boys' Life Beefcake