Senior year of high school featured a huge dose of senioritis, a self-concocted sickness where one is completely checked out from all things school. I blame senioritis for failing trigonometry. But it really wasn’t my fault-I swear! Besides the self created drama of senior year boredom, I was also realizing my sexuality. At 17 years old, everything around you feels sexually charged. Add to that an environment where a closeted gay man has little options and confidants and you have quite the quandary.
Enter pop diva Diana Ross, on a Top 40 hot streak of 14 hits in the early 80s. Doesn’t she go and release one of the most homoerotic singles of the early 80s, “Muscles”? This track was simmering with sensuality and the video was damn steamy too. Add to this, it was written by Michael Jackson. So, wait a minute-the presumably straight, multi-million selling success story, high off of that year’s “Thriller”, gets to pen a song called “Muscles”? Wow. I was at once extremely turned on and embarrassed for him! I mean, it’s not like Michael Jackson was the model of masculinity to begin with, and then he writes “Muscles”?
Either way, I mostly enjoyed the track as Miss Ross slinked her way through 1983 and I skulked about trying not to let the world see how very enthralled I was by the song. “Muscles” indeed!