All Male
Thom Fitzgerald's Beefcake, an odd but likable documentary-docudrama twofer, takes us back to the 1950s, when muscle magazines flourished. These publications served up Olympian images of slicked-up studs with beatific expressions, flexing in the name of fitness; they asked readers to admire the beauty and manliness of the models' carefully sculpted physiques, and to view their very existence as a call to improve themselves physically, mentally and morally. It goes without saying that many of the folks who bought these magazines never set foot in a gym. For them, the photos and accompanying information on the models ("Chet is a varsity athlete who lettered in track and field and enjoys fly fishing and origami") were used primarily to facilitate fantasy (sex in a locker room, sex on a fishing trip, sex while making paper animals).