Every month, The Underwear Expert sits down with underwear models to discuss their work, lives, and anything relevant happening in pop culture. This past month, The Underwear Expert went global, interviewing men from different countries who had unique yet similar perspectives on the underwear they love. The interviews also hit on coming out, fatherhood and growing into passion. Check out some highlights below!
The Underwear Expert: What was it like growing up in Australia?
James Magnussen: I grew up at a time when Australian swimming was very successful. You had people like Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett, and Michael Kim. That helped inspire me to want to take up the sport. My favorite part about growing up was the beach in the town I grew up in. It would often feel like we had more beaches then people sometimes. I would spend most of my time in the water. I feel comfortable and at ease when I’m in the water. As much as I chose swimming, I think it chose me. I felt really natural at it and was good at it. It was an obvious path to take.
The Underwear Expert: What was it like growing up in Brazil?
Rodiney Santiago: I was a very normal and happy kid who would love to play with the other kids. I was always kind of like the leader of the group. That childhood allowed me to become who I am now: an easygoing normal guy with great friends living a really full life and always staying true to who I am. The best part about living in Brazil is the food. I also love the culture, the emphasis on close families, and the language. Coming out wasn’t difficult for me. We Brazilians don’t come out, really. We have a similar perspective that we are who we are, and we don’t label ourselves. I never discussed it with my family formally. They know that I am who I am, and they want me to be happy. They are fine with it.
The Underwear Expert: What was it like coming out?
Jonathan Ackley: I was raised nondenominational with roots in Pentecostalism. It was a pretty strict upbringing, so I was scared to come out to my parents. My sister’s not straight. So, my parents already had a child come out to them. Part of me was comforted, but, I also had to see how they dealt with her coming out, which was the most ideal. But, we have a great relationship now. My mom invites my boyfriend and me over. I grew up in a little hillbilly town, but it wasn’t hard surprisingly. No one was really mean to me. I had friends who were gay.
The Underwear Expert: What’s it like being a father?
Jordan Steele: It’s something I thought would never happen to me. I have two wee girls. My oldest will be five in December. My youngest will be two in January. The best thing that has ever happened to me was my daughter Mia being born. Kids make you grow up really quickly. I’m 26 now, and I feel like I’m a lot more mature than a lot of my friends. My fiancé Louise is a model as well. She stopped when she became pregnant with Mia. Then she went back to modeling and stopped again when she became pregnant with Faith. So, she’s been in and out. She’s been back to modeling now. The whole family is in the agency actually. I’ve done three shoots with my youngest, Faith, and two shoots with the family. It’s great working with family. My oldest absolutely loves it. My youngest just copies her sister with all the poses. It’s good fun.