Thursday, July 9, 2015
'To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning... in the same way as it is for women.'
Model Pietro Boselli in unequivocally gorgeous. Great body, (those legs...) perfect hair, great face and those beautiful eyes. Pietro is also an academic, a math lecturer (TA really) in an industrial engineering program. Earlier this year, Pietro had the audacity to vocalize struggling with being seen as a hunk and the response was swift and severe and laced with mockery. 'Poor Pietro, what a horrible problem', 'How dare he, given he gets paid to be a model, make such a comment.'
Initially, I chose not to respond. Every blog and site focused on the male form had some sort of post, most using the unoriginal 'Hot For Teacher' as the title. I also didn't respond because I understood where Pietro was coming from. Although I run a site devoted to the male form, I understand completely the need to have some control over the attention that comes my way. With the story of his 'day job' out, Pietro found himself not a academic who models for extra cash, but instead a teacher model with his worlds banged together by media and the net. I then wrote an article, in Pietro's defence, but a week later, deleted the piece.
As I got ready to post, Pietro's ATTITUDE cover came out, using the already old 'Hot For Teacher' as part of it's promotional campaign. Next, Pietro's headlined Charlie's #Headmaster underwear collection using a student desk, glasses and an apple as part of the shoot. Although Pietro may not have come up with these idea's, it was clear he had now accepted that the role of 'teacher' was now part of his identity as a model.
My article seemed no longer relevant, yet the basic premise was one I didn't want to let go. When I was in high school I played sports. I played baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter. My family was hockey, my siblings all played and my father coached. I enjoyed basketball, to watch, but never really enjoyed playing. With my height however, I was always asked if I played. In grade 11, the new coach asked me to join early in the season. No try out, just join as they were down in numbers. I joined, I played, I did ok, not the worst player on the team, but far from the best. I never really enjoyed it. I never played in an organized league again, basketball again became something I just watched, but did not participate in.
Sometimes we do things we don't necessarily love. This is especially true when it comes to earning a living. Although many find it difficult to believe, not every actor and singer want fame, some... fell into fame pursuing their passion for their art. Today's world is so full of fame whores, it is unimaginable to some that people who could have fame, choose to step back and let their work speak for itself. This philosophy applies to everyone, including models.
I have a pretty good track record with models saying yes when I approach them about being on FH. But there are always a few not interested. Some, maybe because of the site, but most politely write back saying they model for work, and welcome a profile, if I pay. I don't. Although I don't claim to have made any model famous, I do know appearing on FH has led some models to paid work and connections with other photographers and agencies. Seeking success as a male model for some, is about those connections, those contracts, those editorials and those pay cheques. If you study models on social media, not all are as comfortable as others with the attention and adoration that comes with their career.
It is possible to model, even underwear or nude work and be uncomfortable with being admired as a sex object. There are many who might be comfortable with the shooting process, but experience nervousness or anxiety over the fame that may come with it. It was disheartening to see so many comments, many from people who preach acceptance and freedom out one side of their mouths, judging and belittling another for their feelings. I know it may be the way of the world, but it is ironic and judgemental none the less. Pietro exposes much of himself through his work, it is fine by me if he feels the need to set a boundary on where it starts, and where it ends.
I have always been more comfortable with the attention I pull towards myself, than the attention others may bestow on me. I have gotten up and sang on karaoke night one week, then been paralysed with fear when pressured to sing on another. There are many factors as to why, my stress level, who I am with, how I am feeling and of course, how much alcohol I might have. Fame is an odd thing and there are no rules to how to handle it. Some fly with it, others crash and burn. If a model puts himself out there, but prefers to put his head down, make his money and not pay attention to the attention that surrounds him, that is just fine with me.
Pietro Boselli on Instagram