Redefine Health and Fitness: Nicolas Bloise
“Let’s change the image of what “health” looks like! It’s not a super buff bodybuilder or a fit AF model on IG holding a broccoli bundle — it’s you! It’s me! It’s everybody who takes the time and energy to nourish their minds and bodies with love.” Nicolas Bloise on redefining “Health and Fitness.” The Visuals Editor at OUT Magazine also delves into the construction of masculinity, shares a not so thotty gym story and talks Instagram’s impact on self-worth, beauty and the importance of embracing your vulnerabilities.
Feature Image of Nic shot by Hao Nguyen @haonguyuen.jpg
FITNESS THROUGH A QUEER LENS
What does “Redefine Health and Fitness” mean to you?
I think those four words carry a lot of meaning and I’m going to try to put this succinctly, but to me it’s about dismantling our traditional understanding of what health and fitness means and allowing that to inform our motivations and change the imagery typically associated with these ideas.
Let’s embrace ALL forms of health, not purely the restrictive definition of “exercise and diet” I’m talking about mental health and doing things that feel good for the soul. Let’s examine fitness not as a way to change your body for a hypercritical society that wants you to feel less than perfect so you can be marketed and sold empty promises that claim to bring you closer to this impossible ideal, but rather recognize it as a pure and ultimate act of self love that can bring you happiness and energy and an abundance of other positive reactions.
Let’s change the image of what “health” looks like! It’s not a super buff bodybuilder or a fit AF model on IG holding a broccoli bundle — it’s you! It’s me! It’s everybody who takes the time and energy to nourish their minds and bodies with love.
In your extensive experience capturing the queer collective. What shifts in beauty and the construction of masculinity have you noted?
I don’t think my experience is super extensive, but I do think that though individuality is being celebrated now more than ever, there is still much to unravel and disrupt.
Do you have a thotty gym story you can share with us?
I wish! All my gym stories are the opposite of thotty because I’m so awkward and shy at the gym…one time my friend took me into a steam room that was notorious at the time for housing hookups. I gave myself a little pep talk as I walked in like, “OK, you got this, you are going to bag the man…” but once I stepped in and sat down it was just so hot I got claustrophobic, and also my eyes didn’t want to wander at ALL…I just sat there and was like, I’m good, gotta blast and left after maybe 2 minutes.
“… create a ritual or exercise that you can participate in whenever that critic inside of your head is just a little too loud.”
What impact has Instagram had on your own personal journey of self-worth and understanding of beauty and gender constructs?
Instagram is a blessing and a curse! I think that it has introduced me to so many people who have inspired me with their fearless expressions of themselves and for that I am forever thankful. I think on the other end of things, it also can be a bit of a blow to your self-esteem seeing these curated images and the quantified success of likes and followers that accompanies them.
What does the future of wellness look like to you?
Individual happiness! <3
As a photographer, what insights into people’s vulnerabilities and insecurities have you had? And what advice would you give someone struggling with their self-confidence?
I think people are surprised when they shoot with me because I’m just like, be yourself! You got this! Wear what you want! Come as you are! I would like to think I approach my photography and the way I shoot as a collaboration between the subject and myself, though I recognize that it is ultimately my gaze being documented.
As for advice! I struggle with this all the time, but I think it’s important to practice kindness to yourself and others. Maybe create a ritual or exercise that you can participate in whenever that critic inside of your head is just a little too loud. And take risks! Get out of your comfort zone to become confident in your ability to try, learn, and grow. I took a salsa class the other day and I didn’t know what to expect but I came out with new moves and a big smile on my face. 😉
What would you graffiti on the back of a toilet door?
Papi was here 😉
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