L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gilded Youth - Bob Jensen, photographs by Bob Mizer for AMG, circa 1966

In Physique Pictorial Volume 16, Number 1, Bob Mizer writes about his model, Bob Jensen, who was about eighteen years old when he posed for these photographs:

"His is a build developed from natural sports rather than from formal training. Though a cooperative model, he was quite indifferent to physique display, and it was only through the efforts of his attractive mother (since passed away) that he was persuaded to pose for these photographs." *

Whenever I see pictures like these, of a young man in the sunlit perfection of his youth and beauty, I can't help but wonder what became of him in the years that followed. I wonder what he thought about posing nude or nearly nude, at the time and in later life. Was he proud or embarrassed? Did he bring out old copies of photographs or magazines, or was it a secret he kept? Though many of the names of physique models from this period have come down to us, most of them are still otherwise anonymous; Google their names - if their names are sufficiently particular, if they even used their real names - and it's very unlikely you'll find anything at all.

That was certainly the case with this "Bob Jensen". Other than the quotation from the photographer, I've found nothing. What became of him? He came of age at a time when the Vietnam War cast a shadow on the life of every young man in this country. Did he go to war? Did he come back? Did he marry and have a family, is he still living? If the information is correct, he would be about sixty-seven now; is he a different form of beautiful now? I find a certain degree of poignancy in the fact that we'll never know. That his youthful image - handsome and tanned, perfectly proportioned - is to be seen by thousands on the internet, all across the world, while the person he was - and has hopefully become - doesn't really exist in any other public way.


* The quotation and its context was found on the Male Models Vintage Beefcake blog.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photographs. There's a movie "Beefcake" (1998) that deals with Bob Mizer's story (somewhat fictionalized) and the types of young men who posed for him and what drew them to do it. It's a fun movie, a bit of an odd mix of tragedy and romantic comedy, well worth seeing.