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How Modeling Boot Camp Transformed Olympic-Fencer–Turned–Wilhelmina-Model Tim Morehouse

Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse, who is represented as a model by Wilhemina, just got a coveted endorsement deal to be the face of diet-food provider Bistro MD Sport. This is rare for fencers, who seldom have sponsors like more mainstream sports stars. But Morehouse just went through Wilhemina’s modeling boot camp, which he credits — along with his athletic prowess — with helping him land the deal. Looking thinner last night than the last time we’d seen, Morehouse said he also just lost fifteen pounds and looks forward to seeing his shirtless picture hanging around the city to advertise the diet food. At last night’s Get Low premiere, the athlete explained exactly how the agency has turned him into a better — and better looking — model.

Being an athlete must have helped you land this campaign.
Every little bit helps. So being with Wilhelmina helps; obviously my pictures look a lot better. If you saw my before pictures, like, after–Beijing Olympics pictures and what they look like now, it’s like I actually have learned a lot. It’s harder than you think to take a good picture. So I’m learning, little by little.

So you learned how to pose?
Yeah. I learned how to get a spray tan, also. [Laughs] And I look really pale if I don’t, because fencers don’t get a lot of sun.

Tim, before and after losing 15 pounds.Photo: Courtesy of Tim Morehouse; Chiun-Kai Shih.

So when you signed with Wilhelmina, did they give you lessons like that?
Yeah, they give you a lot of advice. It’s really interesting to sit in a meeting and talk about — you know, I’m used to, like, talking about your skills or whatever, and here you’re just sitting there talking about, well, you know, you should get your eyebrows threaded and get some more sun.

Your eyebrows look kind of bushy right now.
Yeah, I know. I’m getting them done tomorrow. Now I have to regularly maintain it. These are things I never thought about before. I draw the line at chest hair, though. I still have chest hair.

They told you to shave it off?
Yeah, yeah. If I get paid to do an ad that requires no chest hair, I will shave it off. But until then, I’m keeping it.

Is eyebrow threading painful?
It hurts. I find it very painful and I scream and make a lot of noise. So when I’m in the eyebrow threading place at 23rd and Park, right across the street from Wilhelmina, you can probably hear someone screaming from the store in the street, that’s me getting my eyebrows threaded.

What other things did they tell you to do when you signed with Wilhemina?
Shave the chest hair, get some sun, which turned into spray-tanning, which in itself is an experience. Fencing is the worst with spray tan because you sweat so much in your suit, it wears off immediately.

Can’t you spray tan the day before a fencing match instead of day of?
Yeah, I realized you have to do that. I have a fencing suit covered in golden tan from my spray tan.

Which brand is the best? Do you use Lindsay Lohan’s tanning product?
No, I use Beach Bum. I have someone spray me. You, like, stand there in your underwear and a guy sprays you, a guy or a girl sprays you. That is pretty weird. It took some getting used to. But I didn’t want to do a tanning bed and I was too scared to do a machine, I thought that was something I’d mess up, so I just let the professionals handle it.

Any other weird modeling stuff? Do you have to do anything to your hair?
I go to the Plaza to get my hair done. I shouldn’t admit that.

Do you go to a certain stylist?
Two guys, there’s a guy named Pich [Prum] and a guy named Sei [Hamada].

Did Wilhelmina send you there?
Yeah. I sit there with, you know, a lot of women and I get my hair done.

How Modeling Boot Camp Transformed Olympic-Fencer–Turned–Wilhelmina-Model Tim Morehouse