Men Over 50 in the Sexy Spotlight

By: Joe Thompson
10.19.2011

Whether you're looking at TV, movies or magazines, in the gay world or straight one, the stereotype is that young people are the most beautiful. But that idea may change and, shockingly, that paradigm shift could very well come from the gay world.

The two men behind tommy+alan photography, multimedia designer Alan Reade and photographer Tommy Wu, set out to find men over 50, prove their beauty in images, and showcase that work on their website tommyandalan.com. Advocate author Christopher Harrity, who also created Gay.net's Inventors of Gay column, explains that the Los Angeles duo's goal "is to push the boundaries of editorial and commercial photography and to rebel against what is called sexy. For many of the 'Men Over 50,' who talk openly about both their triumphs and struggles in a series of accompanying audio clips, the picture we see is of a man who beat back adversity and came out looking great."

The project originated from Tommy's own experience; he was heading toward his 50s and feeling some anxiety about it, but then he saw some photos he'd taken of older friends and realized they looked good. "So this series inspired me to look forward to my 50s and beyond," he says. Alan adds, "As I saw the photos, I liked how they came across as both vulnerable and sexy, which is not always how older men are portrayed in pop culture."

The models vary from the couple's friends to guys they met through leaving postcards at their gym in Palm Springs. Interestingly, Alan says that some of the men backed out once they realized that the photos wouldn't be Photoshopped to created youthful portraits. "I think they wanted to be portrayed in a way that was more polished or porn-like," he says. "We had to explain that the goal of the project is to show the beauty of real men over 50, not some airbrushed ideal."

Did they succeed? See for yourself, then check out the full article and more images at The Advocate.

Check out the full article and more images at The Advocate.
See more of the exhibit at tommyandalan.com.

Tags: SEX
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