This transgressive, gender-bending sepia photo shows a handsome young guy we’ll call “Len” wearing what I’ve come to think of as a hairkini. It’s topped with a pleated bonnet which looks like a flattened lampshade. The pencil moustache is decidedly debonair and recalls Errol Flynn c. 1940.
While his bra seems pretty standard issue, his “skirt” is nothing more than stripes of fabric torn below the waistband to create a ragged fringe. Is that pubic hair down in his dark nether region? Oh là là!
Looking up though, his face is a work of art. A frozen smile and slightly elevated gaze seem beatific. His bonnet even forms a kind of halo. But as he delicately slips a bra strap off his shoulder it may not be the glory of God he’s contemplating.
As inspiring as this all is, it’s a heartfelt and moving handwritten inscription on the verso that makes this photograph extraordinary.
The best sweetheart, pal, buddy and friend a guy could have.
Original sepia photo c. 1940
3 ⅛” x 4 ⅜” hand-trimmed