When a student posted an image of heartthrob maths teacher Pietro Boselli on a social media site, it sparked an internet frenzy in the weeks that followed. The handsome Italian model with a PhD was widely celebrated for being the perfect mix of beauty and brains.
However, it seems such attention comes with a downside. Boselli is now claiming he’s unhappy with the way his looks have all but dwarfed his academic capabilities…and that some women can’t keep their hands to their selves.
Harington said recently: ‘To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning…in the same way as it is for women.’
Boselli said his rise to fame has seen women grab his bottom, which made him feel uncomfortable, adding: ‘If a guy did to a girl some of the things I’ve been subjected too, everyone would agree how out of line they were – yet it’s often accepted the other way around.’
Boselli, who has been modeling since he was six years old, originally tried to keep his modeling a secret from his colleagues at the University College London (UCL) where he taught, for fear they might ‘look down on him’.
In an interview with the Times earlier this month, the advanced maths lecturer said that when he was trying to establish himself as a teacher, he didn’t want to include his work for fashion companies such as Abercrombie and Fitch on his CV and was less than proud of his alternative career.
He added that he didn’t want students in his classroom or his teaching peers to know, saying: ‘I think, in a way, I was ashamed. I thought people in academia would look down on me.’
Although Boselli admits that his new-found fame has plenty of upsides, he also adds that he now has to be careful about his male friends because often they ‘just want to hang out with me as they think I’ll attract the best-looking girls. It’s made me defensive because I have to prove my personality.’
Growing up in Italy, the young Boselli was scouted by Armani Junior, which started off a double life of studying hard for his exams and posing in front of the lens whenever he could. He calls himself a ‘nerd’ and says that his studies were his priority growing up, forcing him to turn down lucrative jobs that would take him away from his books.
His students at UCL, where he taught while studying for his PhD, did eventually discover the fitness fanatic’s secret, after Googling him. When one maths student, Arief Azli, discovered his 6ft 1in lecturer’s Instagram account, which has now amassed more than 480,000 followers, and has plenty of images of him in varying states of undress, he tweeted: ‘That moment when you realise your maths lecturer is a top designer model.’
Azil posted a picture of his lecturer scribbling equations on the whiteboard next to one of him shirtless with the caption: ‘Only at UCL #MechanicalEngineers? #ModellingandAnalysis #Bromance?.’
Other students soon followed suit and posted pictures of him taking classes, with one saying: ‘This is why I never miss a class’.
Boselli says he knew his students had cottoned on when they started to take ‘sneaky’ images of him while he was at the front of the lecture hall.
Now the secret’s out, the model, who has signed for top agency Models 1, says he’s not worried about them seeing him posing topless.
‘People ask me “why are you topless in pictures? Why don’t you have any clothes on?” But training is a big part of my life. I started going to the gym when I moved to London and, like everything I do, I’m very focused. I train once or twice a day and I’m happy to get recognition for having a good physique.’
Boselli has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and is hoping that the money he earns from modeling will help him to establish his own engineering company in London.