Prince of Whales

updated 06/13/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/13/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Look there, on the beach! It's a bodysurfing hippo...it's the world's largest Jell-O mold it's...it's...Flabio!

Flabio? Surely you mean Fabio, the blond-maned beefcake star of calendars and romance paperback covers? No—Flabio, star of just one poster, which probably appears mainly on dieters' refrigerator doors. Flabio, 6'6" and 440 lbs. of red-meat-eating guy in a blond wig—strictly for women who can handle love handles.

But who is the real Flabio? What sensitive '90s guy lurks behind this parody of a sex symbol? Well, actually, it's Michael Glover, unemployed aspiring actor and househusband. Glover, 37, who lives in Redondo Beach, Calif., with his wife, Carol, and their two children, does the chores while Carol works as a pharmacy technician. He beat out 70 rivals for the Flabio job after answering an ad placed by entrepreneur Eric States, who had come up with the poster concept "His face was perfect," says States, "and his body was good."

Glover—who attributes his avoirdupois to "dense bones"—was paid $125 an hour for his work. He also got something even more valuable—the gift of selfesteem. "No one ever told me I had a good body before," he says.

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