Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5

Scott Madsen: Soloflex Memories

My blog readers who are old enough to remember the 1980s will surely recall
the Soloflex workout machine -- or at least the Infomercial.
The muscle pup who starred in the ads and posters
was a former high school gymnast named Scott Madsen.

In 1984 Scott was waiting tables in a seafood restaurant
while attending the University of Wisconsin when he answered a modeling ad.
Fame was instantaneous.  His poster sold 700,000 copies.  
He released an exercise video, featuring Soloflex equipment, of course.
He was interviewed by fitness magazines. 
He also published an exercise book, Peak Condition.

The 5ft-8in. 165 pound hunk became an instant gay icon. He signed copies of his poster book
at gay bookstores across the country. Everyone thought that he was gay.
He was so obviously inviting the male gaze, so obviously displaying himself in ways
that emphasized sinewy hardness, flexibility and vulnerability. Gay.

Two years later, Scott vanished, no doubt because Soloflex figured out that he was a gay icon,
and they didn't want to limit themselves to gay business. They replaced him with
Mitch Gaylord and Frank Zane and added a woman's hand to the men's shoulders
to make sure everyone understood the target audience.

Well, as it turns out, Scott Madsen wasn't gay.  He was straight and homophobic.
In an interview, the man who became famous by being idolized by gay men
complained that he didn't want to be "chased around the room by faggots."

Scott resurfaced briefly in 2010, when a court sentenced him to two years in federal prison plus three years of supervised probation for embezzling from Adair Financial Services,
where he worked for his uncle.

Agents first learned about Madsen's crimes after news leaked out of his divorce proceedings
in 2008. Between 2005 and 2008, while general manager of the financial services firm, 
he had submitted 37 fraudulent expense reports for such things as 
computer software and business travel. Madsen fabricated the receipts, 
making off with $248,544.60. Ouch!

After 2010's sentence of 2 years + 3 years of probation, Scott should be a free man this year.

Madsen in happier times:

Speaking of muscles...

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