Sunday, March 23, 2014

Russet: Liam by Tom Silk

'Blondes are noticed but redheads are never forgotten.'

There is a reason our years as a teenager have such an impact on our lives and our souls. So much of what plays out in our adulthood stems back to those transitional years between the innocence of childhood, the sexual awakening of puberty, and onslaught of becoming an young adult. Experiences during this time affect how we act, and react for decades to to come. When I think about it, almost every view I have, passion I hold and struggle I cope with, can be directly tied to a moment when I was a teenager.

My own teenage years spanned from the late eighties through the mid nineties. If you were not straight, it could be a risky and dangerous time to explore your sexuality. The risk was not about physical harm, it was emotional more about social ostracization and being totally alone. Today, we celebrate differences, then, it felt like the worst thing in the world you could be, was yourself. Straight guys could check out girls opening, and with rousing peer support. We, had to be more careful.

In the neighbourhood I grew up in, there were lots of kids my age. Around the corner from my house was a cul-de-sac. At the end was a bike path that took you to the lake. That path became my reason (excuse) to cruise through the cul-de-sac on my bike. There was a large family who lived at the entrance the circle. There were about seven brothers and two sisters who made up the clan. Because of their size, the cul-de-sac became their playground, bike riding, street hockey and basketball were staples in the paved circle. Colin was the one of the middle sons, just a couple of years older than I. Colin was the one redhead among his otherwise mostly blonde and light brown sibling group. He is also the only one of the nine kids that I actually really remember.

Colin was straight, but accepting of everyone, friendly, and usually with a smile on his face. We were not friends but he always waved and said hello. If there was a game going on, he was playing and thankfully for me, usually shirtless. I found tons of reasons to drive through the path to the lake when Colin was outside. I was captivated by his pale skin, skinny legs and the way his skin color and coloring sparkled in the summer sun. His freckles dove me crazy and his nipples, set against his white chest was my favorite place to 'sneak glance' as I whizzed by on my mountain bike.

There were of course other guys who peaked my sexual awakening, but I think Colin is one of the most memorable. I think Colin is solely responsible for my continued love of redheads, one I have explored many times on FH, including my 2010 post, Seeing Red. When I find a great shots of a good looking model, I get excited to put together a feature to share on the blog. When I find great shots of good looking redhead model, it becomes something special, something that takes me back to the cul-de-sac.

'Models like Liam just don't come along every day! Try once every ten years.'

When I was profiling photographer Tom Silk's work with Sean this past February, (Living The Life) he was in the process of shooting, and sharing his work with Liam. Liam is pretty much the spitting image of a slightly older Colin including his hairstyle, nose, lips and grin. Tom's images of Liam transported me beautifully back to those spring and summer days on my bike. Liam's personality so strongly comes across in Tom's images, in particular with his facial expressions, especially in one of my favorite images below. Liam didn't always think of himself as good looking but over time has come to appreciate his looks, He remains humble however, but has gained confidence in himself and more self assurance when it comes to looking for the right woman. I am not sure if all lovers of the red and russet have a Colin in their past, but we can all hope for a little Liam in our future.

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