Jan 4, 2019

More "Boys' Life" Beefcake

When I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, the main draw of Boys' Life magazine was the photography: cute boys my age, shirtless teenagers, muscular men in swimsuits.

But there were also a lot of comics, some drawn from regular syndication (Hi and Lois), some unique to Boys' Life (Pee Wee Harris).

Many of them offered substantial beefcake, too.

During the 1960s there was a comic adaption of John Christopher's Tripod books, about boys in the primitive world after an alien takeover fighting against their overlords.  And taking their shirts off.

I don't remember this one, but apparently there was a strip by comic great Joe Kubert about a boy trapped on a desert island with monsters.

Stories from the Bible was a regular feature, with ample depictions of muscular Bible figures.

Scouts in Action, true stories about scouts performing noble deeds, often involved boys swimming, boating, and otherwise shirtless.

Even the ads had a sizeable beefcake quotient.  Here Johnny Crewcut tells you how to rescue someone from drowning: practice taking off your clothes fast (helpful in the bedroom, too); perform the rescue; and then use hair gel to get your crewcut back in place.

See also: The Tripods; Searching for Beefcake in Boys' Life


  1. At the time, it was assumed swimming in the wild would be nice and all-male. Inviting a girl swimming had an implicit sexual connotation, and Good Girls Don't do that. So, speed stripping was part of that.

    The meme "It's not gay, it's manly." would seem to apply to Scouts, and LDS in general.

  2. The pics are hillarious, especially the headline on the first one... xD!? there is no way that every single person involved in creating these (& suchlike materials) was completely innocent, asexual, & clueless about the shaded meanings & double-entendres.

    1. Never underestimate the innocence of Scouts. It was taken over by fundies quite some time ago. That tells me everyone either is completely innocent or has done things you can be put in prison for a long time for.

  3. also; what the hell does somebody with a close-crop crewcut need to "fix" about their hair, when it's only got wet? (as opposed to glue/paint/gum/etc.) i mean it's super-short, it barely moves, it can't really get tangled or mussed up, presumably it's clean, having just gone swimming; what actual "styling" concerns does a boy need to have in this scenario... o__0

    1. This was the era where you smeared goop on even a crewcut. I remember the commercials stating that it was a way of attracting girls, who were drawn into a frenzy of sexual desire by a perfectly groomed top.

  4. Never any nipples in all those shirtless comics. :-(


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