One of our most popular galleries last year was Men Over 50, by photographers Tommy and Alan. It struck a chord with those of our readers who point out culture's emphasis on youth at the expense of all else.
So it's a year later and there is another harvest of hunks past the half-century mark. Be sure to check out the photographers' website for more images and very revealing audio interviews with the men. (And see if you can spot one of our previous managing editors in the mix.)
Here is what Tommy and Alan had to say about the project:
"This personal project was created to raise both visibility and temperatures by featuring some hot men that range in age from the big 5-0 to the mid-70s. The men look good, but they are not models by trade. And while the pictures burst with swagger and confidence, the accompanying audio clips sometimes contrast with the photos. Many of the men in this project talk with us frankly about both their triumphs and their struggles. We felt it was important for you to hear their stories in their own words, so please turn on your audio to hear a clip one or two minutes long from each model. Several men talk about surviving serious illnesses and how that gave them an appreciation for turning 50 and beyond. Other topics of conversation include ageism, self-doubts about looks, and struggles with societal conventions. Yet other inspiring topics include looking at one’s life clearly from a wiser vantage point, creating community, and manifesting personal power as part of growing older."
The Advocate: Why do you think folks are so interested in these pictures of men
Tommy: In many ways, the photos are defying stereotypes of being over 50. These guys are real guys who you would meet in your daily life such as at the gym or the grocery store. From the audio clips that go with each gallery, you gain insight about these men’s lives, both their
achievements and their challenges.
Alan: Many of the men in our project talk about how important fitness is to their overall well-being on all levels: physical, spiritual, emotional. Some of them had families that encouraged fitness all their lives, and some were the first in their families to start going to the gym...a few in their 40s.
Any chance that some of these models came from seeing the portfolio
Alan: Several of these men contacted us after seeing the photos on Advocate.com! Some people saw themselves as being good for the project right away. Other guys we met in our daily lives in L.A. and asked them to be in the project. Actually, a few guys said no because they didn’t want the publicity. One wanted to be in the photos and didn’t want his partner to see, and I went, uh, sorry, we can’t guarantee that....
Tommy: From the previous Advocate feature, there seemed to be some controversy in the comments section about us showcasing only “attractive” men. But our goal here is to show men who inspire us. It’s just like someone you see at a party or on the street or wherever...we want to feature guys who generate some kind of magnetism. And if they’re over 50, that’s even better.
Who is your most popular model at this point?
Alan: We get requests for different guys’ phone numbers from time to time. There’s no one “man over 50” who’s more popular...it depends on personal taste, I guess.
Tommy: But I can say that the more “daddy-like” the guy, the more fan mail he usually gets!
Click through the following pages to see this year's magnificent men.