He’s Got the Look – Interview with Benoit Bartolo

Maybe you know him from his appearance on local lifestyle magazines, or his presence on one of Malta’s annual catwalks, or his travel blog. Or maybe he’s the guy you double tap on the regular on Instagram. His name is Benoit Bartolo and he’s got something to say. Benoit Bartolo, Malta’s male modelling newest star, is far more than just a pretty face and a perfect body. He has a story to share which brings together his early years as a promising basketball star, his full time job with the government, his passion for travelling, his modelling career and also his personal life to which he jealously holds on to.

Who is Benoit Bartolo?

I am twenty-two year old freelance model who works as a full time EU officer. I am a former basketball player whose career stopped abruptly due to an injury I suffered at the age of eighteen. Modelling came into the equation thanks to Marco Parascandalo. I am also a travel blogger with a good insight on how to travel the world on a budget.

What does it look like being a freelance model?

Every profession has its ups and downs, so does fashion modelling. Working as a model can be very challenging. It’s not all about the glamour, photo sessions and magazine covers, behind the glory lies a lot of pain – the reality of being a model. The modelling industry is very particular. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted. It calls for discipline, perseverance, determination and focus. Yet where there is a will, there is a way and with that premise in mind, I work hard to reach my goals. The male model industry is not big which can be seen both as a limitation yet also an opportunity. Indeed, being a male model, gives you more options what to do.

What does beauty mean to you?

I always felt that beauty can take several forms. It can be physical, spiritual and emotional. Although it sounds like the usual cliché, I feel beauty is something which is both connected to the outside and the inside of each and one of us.

You have been featured in many campaigns. Considering all your career successes so far, what do you think is your biggest achievement?
That is quite a tricky one. I take pride in everything I do. Representing Malta in Mister Supranational contest held in Poland in 2018 was certainly a memorable experience as well as modelling for Pierre Cardin. Yet if I really had single one out, I would certainly go for the award I received in 2019 as the (best male model) at the Malta Fashion Week and Awards is the Male Fashion Week and Awards.

What challenges does the industry offer?

For decades, modelling was a silent profession, where models were supposed to be seen and never heard.

This has changed since now models have social media platforms through which they can articulate their views in a way they weren’t able to do before. Moreover, there are many misconceptions about modelling especially by people who do not operate in the industry. Indeed, many do not see modelling as a career.

I will certainly keep on travelling and live a good life as much as possible.

How does a freelance model find a good compromise between a public and private life? 

You certainly have to set clear boundaries to safeguard your own personal life. Work must never be mixed with one’s own personal life.

I note you love travelling.

The simple opportunity to be in a foreign environment and (do not come across on a daily basis) is in itself a valid reason why one should love travelling. Travelling also helps you grow when meeting different people, different cultures and different stories. Travelling also serves as a way to reboot your brain.

The simple opportunity to be in a foreign environment and (do not come across on a daily basis) is in itself a valid reason why one should love travelling. Travelling also helps you grow when meeting different people, different cultures and different stories. Travelling also serves as a way to reboot your brain.

How are you dealing with COVID-19?

As best as I can. Modelling and travelling are at the moment limited and thus I try to focus more by keeping in contact with my friends and colleagues through different mediums.

What advice would you give to young people who aspire to be the most successful models in the industry?
Go for it! Do not hesitate. Just take the plunge. I was invited to an event and it happened by sheer coincidence. Yet once you are in it, you have to be prepared to make sacrifices and to give it your all without regrets.

What are your plans for the future and where do you see yourself in the next five years?
My goal is to seek a career in the modelling industry overseas. If I do not achieve such objective, I will happily continue to work in the local modelling industry. I will certainly keep on travelling and live a good life as much as possible.

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