It is November, it is 9 AM in the morning, and I walk naked around the flat. Sounds like an easy Sunday morning to you? Well, it was a Monday morning and I was in a photo studio, at work, doing a photo session.
I have never considered myself a model or someone to look up to. But as you may know, views can change and so does your body. Now that I am not running to the gym anymore every day, and am limiting myself to chicken, rice and veggies then it happens to be time for a photo shoot.
A popular gay magazine was interested in doing a cover shoot with me. And that’s my problem: I can stand a little attention and I like if people on social media follow my work for the community, but if there is a camera in my face or a microphone up close, I get nervous. You don’t believe me? Take a look at any of my videos online. I need to record over and over; practice, practice, practice.
I love my team
But here is the fun part: I loved the team. My photographer, the stylist and my manager helped me get along. It is so essential and import to trust the people you work with, but even more to show that you are a trustworthy person.
These three people around me made sure even though I was naked all the time, they were not in the same room as me more than what was necessary. As I had done a nude shoot before, I already felt comfortable being naked around strangers. But here’s the trick: They didn’t assume I was. Kindness and respect are virtues you pay in little everyday steps. Gestures you make, eye contact happening or not in the right moment, or even exhaling too loud. You get the idea.
With every breath I take in my life, I try to be a better person. The choices I make when buying new clothes, the clients I work with and what I tell them to invest in, the food I put in my mouth from local producers, and taking the train instead of the plane – these actions might sound hipster to you or even not realistic but let me tell you this: I am willing to make sacrifices for the people in my life, and even people I have yet to meet. All the media attention should be put to a greater good.
Who are these people?
The finalists of Mr. Gay Germany were publicly shamed for being too diverse, whereas last year my competitors and myself were shamed for being too white. That is not acceptable!
Who are these people to judge other people, especially with everything that is going on right now; trans and bi people having a hard time, PrEP shaming, identity crisis about the gay flag, right-wingers on our backs about the newly acclaimed achievements… do you want me to go on?
And stop sugar coating it by voicing it as your opinion: “Not into Asians” to “I prefer European guys” is a huge difference in the message. Preferring one thing over another is fine but let’s please think about our words before they leave our mouths or we hit that enter key.
We humans possess the ability to analyse our actions before we actually go through with them. Use this to strive for greatness everyday: Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up.
Photo: Marco di Filippo. Stylist: Trine M. Skauen.