Better known as 'the world's hottest maths teacher', Dr Pietro Boselli PhD speaks to indy100 about combating the ever persistent stereotype of unintelligent models.
Boselli has been a model since the age of six, and took up an adult modelling career when he was 18.
Fitting in a second career as a model wasn't as difficult as you might think. Most models have other careers, as do most PhD students. Both roles are self motivated and have unconventional schedules. It's surprising there aren't more Pietro Bosellis out there given how nicely the two roles slot together.
He spent some time as a teaching assistant (TA) at University College London, where he was regularly singled out for his good looks... We wonder how his fellow engineers felt.
Speaking about his internet fame, the 28-year-old explained how he earned his sobriquet.
Over the course of my PhD, I taught for five years as a TA and then as a lecturer, and each year I had 100 new students. Sooner or later each year, someone would begin taking sneaky pics in class and posting on social media that their teacher was also a model. I generally ignored these posts. One in particular eventually went viral.
How he started and how he got back into modelling:
I started modelling at 6 years old, and it's always been a part of what I do. At 18 I began working as an adult model, taking part in the fashion shows in Milan, and working with Armani on a regular basis. During the course of my studies I always prioritised my academic work. No matter how lucrative the [modelling] opportunities presented, I wouldn't miss a single hour at college - luckily I could work in the summer after the exams were over.
On the subject of the stereotype of vacuousness in the fashion industry, Boselli commented on his own experiences.
Currently I am fortunate enough to be known for defeating this stereotype, which means that whenever I work as a model, my education is still at the centre of the conversation.
When I experienced this [stereotype] first hand, it was never a thing I took personally - perhaps precisely because I never felt insecure about it.
He also alluded to the fact that for the majority of models, cat walks and photo shoots are rarely their only source of income.
Most models have dual careers, an open mind and great interpersonal skills derived from travelling around the globe and experiencing the world first hand. Furthermore, to be successful at this job one has to be really dedicated and hard working, just like for many other professions.
As to why people assume models are dumb, he responded:
In general, many professions do not require a great level of intellectual involvement, as intended in the more traditional way, such as classical education (humanities) or the post-industrial conception of what is intellectually valid (sciences, engineering, economics etc)... Professions that rely heavily on talent are criticised as futile, unless one becomes extremely successful at them. This criticism usually arises from those who either lack the talent or lack an understanding of it.
Indy100 asked him what was next, now that he's been awarded his PhD.
After submitting my thesis and completing my viva, I decided to take some time off engineering and explore this other talent more and travel the world - especially in light of the newly attained social media popularity.