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.
|Ian Mitchell (briefly of Bay City Rollers)|
|C. Thomas Howell|