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Many of us know Russ Meyer, the photographer and filmmaker—among other titles—who became known for his frequently cheesy renderings of women in various states of undress. But what about Bob Mizer, the photographer who provided a male counterpart to Meyer, with his homoerotic photographs and films? Mizer co-founded the Athletic Model Guild in in Los Angeles, where he took nude and semi-nude photographs of men at a time where it was not only controversial to do this, but dangerous.
Male nudity was front and center in many pictures of roughhousing soldiers during World War II. To them, being nude in front of other men was nothing of which to be ashamed. They might have been used to not having any privacy. And, of course, when men serve their country in times of war, privacy is lacking in just about every sense of the word.