Wednesday, March 3, 2010

1968 Mr. America Jim Haislop







When it comes to impressive mass and proportions, who could possibly top Jim Haislop? What a dramatic v-shape. With that narrow waist, he had a back so wide he could glide with it. His stomach was flat and hard, and he lacks the pregnant belly look of many modern bodybuilders.

You know what I miss about vintage bodybuilders? The fact that they have normal-looking thighs. Sure, they're massive and deeply cut, but his look normal, instead of an enlarged bag with cats keg like Ronnie Coleman's.

Here's my question: why didn't Jim Haislop become a big actor or something, like Steve Reeves did? He was certainly good looking enough. The answer is that he came around in the late sixties and so missed his window to be a bodybuilding movie star - by the late 1960s, the era of Dustin Hoffman, the muscle movie star was already passe, even more so for parody. There was a scene in "Beach Blanket Bingo" that had two men that were objects of fun: a leather jacket wearing, rebellious beatnik, and a bodybuilder. By the late sixties, these symbols of rebellion and virility were just objects of fun.

Periodically, our culture goes through phases of extreme redefinition of hipness, where cultures that were previously cool vanish. One major era of this was the early to mid 1990s, when Seattle grunge rock culture came in.

Here's something interesting: when was the last time you saw any Goths? It seems that a previously ubiquitous hipster subculture is starting to die out.

By the way, check out the old-school issue of muscular development. Obviously it was aimed at a different demographic than bodybuilding mags today, emphasizing great physical attractiveness. "A Greek God" indeed. What, he didn't want to be BIGGERSTRONGERLARGER?



4 comments:

Michael said...

Jim was certainly a modern Greek God, thanks for reminding me. When did I last see a Goth? Well, yesterday, actually - two of them. But that's Seattle for you, we're so far behind we eventually wind up ahead. Grunge was really just the last remnants of a hippie culture that had died out long ago everywhere else, but it held on long enough in the NW to be considered "new" again.

Esperanto Grrl said...

Ha ha ha, interesting take on the Seattle cultures, Mike! From the perspective of where I live, I'm mostly familiar with the ones that developed here: Brooklyn scenesters into Lou Reed, which radiated out from Williamsburg.

(Though I am a big fan of the idea of people under 40 smoking pipes. I have a couple myself, to which I have some pleasure in saying I had for a year before the movie Juno came out.)

Say what you like about goth guys, at least they took care of themselves. I missed most of the heyday of grunge rock, though I can't stand the idea of a time when it was cool to actually be a slob/slacker.

Though yeah, I'd say I haven't seen any Goths in a really long time. In fact, one of the biggest goth clubs - so ludicrously over the top it had a hearse out front and the cage dancers wore welder goggles - is now a major gay club.

I am a little shocked...it used to be the case I figured that Goths would be around forever. They're the one kind of scenester subculture that would survive a nuclear war.

Interesting way to put it - sun god. Interesting how the reverse, referring to someone as a Lord of the Underworld, isn't a term of sexual appreciation but refers to evil underlords like Dick Cheney.

T. Money said...

That's a pretty impressive array of Jim Haislop pics despite the fact that my current degree of musculature makes his appear pre-pubescent.

He achieved that physique before the rampant use/abuse of dianobol by recreational and professional bodybuilders, correct?

T. Money said...

BTW, I hope that anyone reading my above commentary realized that I was just being sarcastic. I would never want to be as big as Haislop and even if I was, I wouldn't be arrogant about it.

I don't even lift weights anyways- strictly cardio for me.