Creative Loafing's Summer Guide is, for the most part, about fun.
But even in the midst of all this fluff, we Creative Loafers feel the need to weigh in on more serious subjects — to knuckle down and ask the really hard questions.
Who's got the hottest bod on the beach?
Yes, we know, "tough job but somebody's got to do it," "wish I had THAT gig," "didn't Creative Loafing used to do stories that MATTERED," etc., etc.
But hey, it was tough. Well, a little. The danger of sunburn. Of eyestrain. Of cold-hearted snubs. We hit the sands of St. Pete Beach from The Hurricane to the Undertow and found so many worthy contenders that our photographer's battery went dead. (Her camera battery, that is — her own battery seemed to be humming along just fine.)
Along with the many pectorally endowed gentlemen and long-limbed lovelies we found on the beach, we also received a number of entries online, several of which made it to the finalist stage.
And now it's your turn to confront the Big Question.
Who wins the Less-Is-More Swimsuit Contest?
Check out the photos below, choose your favorite man and woman, then send us your choices, with your name and contact info, to [email protected]. (Or see our online voting instructions below.) The winners get a passel of summer-worthy prizes — as will one voter, randomly selected from ballots submitted.
But vote with care — the winner will have, well, no power at all, but think of the pride you'll feel when your favorite beach bum or bunny gets the respect he or she deserves.
All right, don't think. Look. Enjoy.
Job: Transfer agent at Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund; Friday night bartender at Ringside Café in St. Pete
Beach Bod Fitness Regimen (BBFR): Lisa works out four to five times a week — "40 minutes cardio, the same amount of time on weights." She also quit smoking seven years ago and gets a regular workout at Ringside: "The kitchen's upstairs."
Job: Owner and operator of painting business, Dreschel Professional Painting
BBFR: "I try to hit the gym quite a bit," says T.J. "By this [age], ya gotta be out there, or it all goes downhill. My business helps a lot, carrying ladders and buckets, physical work." And playing volleyball: He was in a doubles match with a buddy from Bradenton when we met him on the beach outside the Undertow.
Job: Real estate and commodities
Status: "I have a beautiful girlfriend, Melanie. If you could print that, it would score me points."
BBFR: "I try to work out whenever I can break away from work."
Status: "Single and loving it"
BBFR: "I attend kickboxing classes twice a week and also go jogging during the week." She's not doing weight training at the moment, but she says, "as long as I don't eat too much, I'm all right. But I do like to splurge."
(see photo below)
Job: Office manager at accounting firm
BBFR: "I work out, kick box, run around the park, lift weights, lots of abs."
Job: Dental Business Assistant
BBFR: "The gym, three times a week, the whole body workout — lifting weights and cardio." And she's on the beach every weekend that it's nice out — "for the right tan."
(see photo above)
We'd like to give you more info on Kimberly, but she's shy. Or she didn't get our phone call. Or whatever. But she looks good, eh?
(see photo above)
Job: Hostess at the T ampa Gold Club (but she doesn't dance there); aspiring model; criminal justice major at Hillsborough Community College
BBFR: Casey hits Lifestyles Family Fitness three or four times a week, and also runs 5Ks whenever she can, usually with her dad. Her time at this year's Gasparilla 5K: 29 minutes.
Ryan Heacox (with his dog Kado)
Job: Account executive for Emporion, a software development company
Status: "Extremely single"
BBFR: Ryan played college baseball, and he's always been into working out. Now that baseball's done, he hits the gym and eats "pretty healthy."
BBFR: Mike tells us that he lifts four or five times a week. That's lifting. As in heavy. "I could look a little better," says Mike, "but hey..." Mike, buddy, ya look fine.
BBFR: "Going to the beach with friends and keeping tan all year. I do crunches every night." But, adds Amelia, "I'm not really a workout fiend."
Job: "Starving student, modeling to pay tuition!" Veronica (a former manager for Victoria's Secret) is majoring in government and world affairs at UT, and is currently studying global marketing and modern urbanization at London's Huron University.
Status: Single. "Hot yet confident nerd seeks funny confident guy!"
BBFR: Weight training, Pilates, cardio, swimming, Stairmaster. She eats "several small meals per day" and drinks "three liters of water per day — no exceptions!" But chocolate is her downfall.
Job: DJ at Hyde Park Café
BBFR: Besides getting exercise spinning records, Chris aka "DJ Gravity" tries to run about three miles every day. He also weight-trains four to five days a week.
Job: He just passed the Florida bar exam. Congrats, dude!
Status: Single and ready to mingle
Regimen: Boxing class at Xtreme Fitness. Possible weight-loss bonus: "There's no air-conditioning in there."