Mar 22, 2018

Elvis in Underwear

In the 1950s, nude photos of male celebrities were practically non-existent; the few examples we have were taken and developed in private, and didn't get mass exposure for many years.  Even shirtless photos are uncommon.  So it's no wonder that Elvis Presley caused a stampede when he was photographed in his underwear during his induction into the U.S. army in 1958.

At the time he was the most famous singer in the world, a cultural icon who almost single-handedly drew rock and roll away from its roots in jazz and blues.   He had already had a string of #1 hits, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Don't Be Cruel," "Hound Dog" -- the list goes on.  Being drafted was a big deal, even without the underwear.

A few other shirtless shots have surfaced over the years.  Elvis didn't have a great physique; in fact, he was a little chunky.  But that didn't make much difference to his armies of fans, in and out of the army.

He was apparently quite homophobic in real life -- most men of the 1950s generation were -- but that didn't stop him from forging friendships with many gay men.

Including actor Nick Adams.  Of course, he may not have known: Adams was not exactly out at the time.

1 comment:

  1. I think it needs to be understood. Pre-Stonewall homophobes always had exceptions. The tl;dr is that penetration (especially being penetrated), failure to pretend you don't actually enjoy it (as in, you're just desperate for release or really hetero and doing it for money), forming romantic bonds with same-sex partners, showing effeminate tendencies, demonstrating an obsession with same-sex activity, or going after minors was seen as a true homosexual, and of course those stereotypes were seen as correlating.

    Simple reason: Guys in their teens and twenties had few options, and gay guys were supposedly cleaner than hookers. Good Girls Don't do those things; Good Girls Don't even know such things exist.


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