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Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Past

True confession.  I once, long ago, got caught shoplifting a copy of Tiger Beat from a grocery store. Yes, it's true. Sadly, I had the money to pay for it,  but I couldn't let myself be seen buying a magazine with shirtless boys on the cover. Could not do it.  So, naturally, I stole it.  Or tried to.  Had it been a copy of Playboy, no problem! I was buying Playboy (for the articles) from age 16 with no shame, and no questions asked. But Playboy marked me as a heterosexual, and Tiger Beat marked me as... something else.

On another occasion  I successfully excised a centerfold from some teen rag on a drug store magazine rack. It was a full body portrait of Jimmy McNichol, lying on the floor. He was wearing white overalls, no shirt, one nipple artfully exposed.  I had to have it, so I carefully pulled it out of its rightful home and stuck it into a copy of Esquire, which I was going to buy anyway, and it was mine. 

It's hard to recall in this era of social media when every teen idol has a Facebook page, as well as an Instagram, Keek, and Twitter account, that in those days if you wanted to find out about a star you liked there was nowhere to turn but the teen mags. They gave a remarkably false impression of the world these kids lived in, making it seem as if they were all wise beyond their years, clean-cut, heterosexual, hardworking, studious, and drug-free, and most of all, single and looking.   Teen fan magazines still exist,  but they aren't what they once were, although the content is remarkably similar. I suppose that someone still reads them, or at least pulls out the pinups in them and sticks them on their walls. If  the internet had existed then, I, a teenager who was not yet out,  never would have taken the chance of getting caught stealing Jimmy McNichol's photo.  I would have found it on the internet, and "enjoyed" it on my computer. Times change, and not always for the worse.

Below, some examples of what a young Vera was secretly salivating over.

Robby Benson

Sean Astin

Willy Aames

Christopher Atkins

Scott Baio

Ian Mitchell (briefly of Bay City Rollers)

Clark Brandon

C. Thomas Howell

Jimmy McNichol

Leif Garrett

Matt Dillon

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