Body and soul
Pietro Boselli wears many hats—a math teacher, a PhD holder in mechanical engineering, model, and BENCH ambassador—and he wears all of them well. Anton San Diego gets to know how this Italian sensation balances it all and why he is so much more than just
The world’s sexiest math teacher and now BENCH model Pietro Boselli comes to Manila
P ietro Boselli, decked out in BENCH clothing, entered the holding room with a smile on his face. Still pumped up from a successful press conference and fashion show the day before, he didn’t seem to be at all bothered by the busy day ahead. With his laid-back charm, good looks, and kind demeanour, it wasn’t difficult to see why Boselli became a worldwide phenomenon practically overnight.
He started his modelling career at the young age of six when he landed a Giorgio Armani campaign. He later took a hiatus from the industry to focus on his studies. In 2010, he received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University College London (UCL) and, come 2016, completed his PhD in the same institution.
In January 2014, a student took note of his physique and subsequently found out about his modelling career. The Facebook post eventually went viral, catapulting the young teacher and thenPhD candidate into global stardom.
The world was fascinated by how he juggled being in the academe with a growing modelling career—a rarity in both industries. At only 28, he begins a new chapter in life after getting his doctorate and focuses once more on modelling. The handsome gentleman, blessed with a Greek god physique and angelic face sits down with Philippine
Tatler to talk about the ins and outs of his fame and career, how he deals with stereotypes, and what keeps him motivated to achieve more.
PhilippineTatler:engineering begin? When did your interest in math and Pietrowas good Boselli:in math. AroundI rememberthe age thisof 15 book or I 16, readI realisedtitled Evolutionthat I
to of infuse Physics physicsby Albert into Einstein—athe lives of the provocativegeneral public.book that Althoughtries I engineeringlike other disciplinesthat fascinatedsuch as me. the It’s artsa creativeand humanities,way of usingit was math and physics to create new things. PT: PB: I How studied about swimmingyour passionwhen I was for four fitness? years old. As a teenager, I began running near the Alps, working out at home, and creating my own makeshift gym. PT: What is your ultimate fitness goal? PB: I go through my exercises in phases; it sets the objective. To become better, I try different things like swimming or cycling. Some people fall into a routine, repeating their exercises. The ultimate goal is to use one’s body in the best way possible. PT: So you’re not the typical
Zoolander male model. What do you think of that stereotype and how people perceive male models? PB: Modelling is the one profession where it’s advantageous to be a woman. If you’re endorsing a brand as a guy, you always need to be an athlete, an actor, or have something else besides modelling. People say that, in this profession, you don’t really use your brain. We measure intelligence by one’s academic achievements, but there are other types of intelligence. PT: What do you think about the common misconception that models are not intelligent? PB: I’m confident enough with my intellectual ability not to be affected by that, but I can see how a lot of people are bullied. If you’re a male model and that’s your only career, people assume you lack an intellectual sphere. PT: Do you find it important to show another side of you?
PB: For me, no. I’m lucky because I’m known for my PhD. Maybe that’s why I feel like social media can be a positive place. There are a lot of kind comments, there’s no hatred whatsoever. If you see other guys who are focusing mainly on their image and that’s what they want to achieve—unavoidably, they will attract that male model stereotype. There’s nothing that can be done about it; they can only ignore that. PT: You’re 28 now. What else do you want to achieve? PB: So many things. Throughout my life, I’ve always felt I’m at the beginning of something. I never felt I was at the end. Being complacent has never really been my thing. I always believe in seizing the opportunity. I don’t want to walk a single track. It would’ve been easy after studying it to jump into an
engineering career. But I feel like this [modelling] is a great opportunity. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving everything up. PT: How would you describe who you really are? How do you want to be perceived? PB: I always struggle to come across as the person I really am beyond the image. That is very difficult to achieve unless I meet someone in person. I’m sure you have a completely different idea of me when you saw my pictures and then you met me and… PT: Definitely. You’re such a nice guy! PB: I want to come across as a nice and simple person like everybody else. I care about people around me—not exactly about what they think of me—but more about how they feel. That’s very important to me. Are they comfortable with me? Travelling and meeting all sorts of people, I’m enjoying these moments. Everything else is a bonus. PT: At the press conference, you talked about seeing the beauty in small things, like your stories about backpacking. When you go back to those memories, you said they were the best times of your life. Any particular story that you can share with us?
PB: I remember walking all day, trying to get to my place. There was this guy, it was like he had just finished a day of work repairing a car; he was wiping his hands. I was sitting on a bench as a 16-year-old boy—tired, hungry, and thirsty. I saw his wife there and they were laughing. Then, they saw me, and gave me a bag of apricots; they enjoyed sitting with me. It’s a simple thing, but it was so memorable. PT: How was the Bench Davao charity event? PB: It was a great experience, not only did I get in touch with a unique local culture, but I was also moved by the great effort of this small community in running a school despite the challenges, and the importance attributed to giving these kids a chance for education. PT: What’s a specific image / memory that will be stuck with you when you leave? PB: I was impressed by the beautiful nature and the close connection felt by the locals with their islands. Also, the great diversity in landscapes even within few miles of distance. PT: You are a world traveller, how do you compare Palawan? Did it live up to the superlatives that the Filipinos told you? PB: Palawan was exceptional, I will definitely carry fond memories of the gorgeous sceneries, beaches, and natural richness of El Nido and Coron. PT: Lastly, will you be back? PB: You bet.
“I want to come across as a simple, nice person like everybody else. I care about people around me— not exactly about what they think of me— but more about how they feel. That’s very important to me.”
back is beautiful Pietro braves Manila’s heat wearing a BENCH tank top