November 2, 2021
Well, maybe in your grandpa’s era circa 1932! Swimsuit styles change over the decades, but back then these Bondi Beach boys were on the cutting edge risking arrest in the name of fashion. We admit our gaydar went off on one or two of these guys. Aussie bums forever! The BB Team leaves no surf wave unanswered in our search for the best images for our discerning gays.
Featured image above: Young male surfers (“The Pier Club Mob”) tease Alf “Bait” Gould about his backless swimsuit (a gift from his girlfriend), Bondi Beach, 10 October 1932, by Sam Hood.
Sydney Exposures book and exhibition caption: The boys on the beach, Bondi, 10 October 1932: The athletic young man with the backless cotton costume risks arrest. Regulations from the turn of the century prevented men from exposing their upper torsos on the beach, but from the late 1920’s, more adventurous bathers abandoned the traditional woollen skirted costume.
[“The Pier Club” was first used by the changing sheds attendant, George Proudfoot, who said “You bloody Pier Club Mob will have to stop getting changed on the beach.” The pier under which they changed was one of two on Bondi Beach.]
Never mind the “backless” – What about the hungry bum?!
Bondi surf lifesavers [ca 1930] by Sam Hood.
Today, Bondi surf lifesavers are called Bondi Lifeguards.
5 male swimmers, Noel Ryan on left, Domain Baths, Sydney. Circa 1934, by Sam Hood.
Forgive us, the boys above aren’t identified as surfers or lifesavers, but we couldn’t resist including this photo of these handsome swimmers in their fashionable swimsuits. Plus hats off to you if you know who Noel Ryan was!
Note: This photograph repository is a great example of Flickr, which after enduring years of rough corporate ownership turnover and until recently a lack of platform upgrades, still remains a viable social media platform for photographers and organizations to share their image collections.
Images courtesy of State Library of New South Wales, Australia | Flickr