By Jorge Zavala | Creative Director
Every year, numerous brave women and men take an oath to serve their country through the military. The experience, unique to each individual and path, shapes the return home to further serve one's local community. Glenn Marshall, squad leader for a machine gun section of the U.S. Marines and current superintendent for Woodson Inc., is determined to continue serving his country through an exciting and vibrant mission at home: Kayaks for a Kause. The Kayaks for a Kause website reads:
"We are just three normal southern men. Like any outdoorsmen, we searched for our next adventure. Over the past year, we tossed around the idea of taking an extended kayaking trip; but due to circumstances something always interfered with our plans. Finally, we concluded this trip was NOT for our own desires, but for a greater purpose. With our purpose solidified, we set the countdown to serve - the charities and the people they represent."
The mission is clear and admirable, but these men are anything but normal. One in particular, Glenn Marshall, a young man with a passion to do good for his community, country, and the soul of a people, is bracing himself for a giving journey of a lifetime. Kayaks for a Kause (#K4AK) was founded on the idea of taking a journey, a spiritual, mental, and physical endeavor, for the sake of bettering and empowering a significant portion of the population. For Glenn, #K4AK is an experience that is not only an exciting fitness feat, but also one that will raise money and awareness for the prevention of military suicide.
"Every day in the United States, more than 22 veterans and at least one active duty member take their own life. Suicide is a very real threat in our military community, this has hit home to me over my six years in the Marines. I lost one of my very good friends who I knew from our first day at boot-camp, and as the years have gone on I have had numerous men I have served and trained with take their own life."
For Glenn, giving back is an integral part of his commitment to serving his country. The 6'2", 25 year-old marine turned male model is using his status as a prominent figure within the industry to bring awareness to such a worthy cause. "My goal is to raise a awareness and donations to counter act these threats to our service members. In doing so, I have selected a non-profit foundation that assist our brave men and women when they come home to ensure they are safe and know they are appreciated for their sacrifice."
The foundation, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, seeks to help military men and women and their families, particularly those who've lost a loved one in combat or military servicemen and women who are severely injured. The IFHF is supported by donations.
Kayaks for a Kause, the actual physical journey, will begin on May 20, 2016 in Krotz Springs, Louisiana. The team of 3, will travel through the Atchafalaya Refuge to Morgan city and onward to the Intracoastal Waterway. From there, they will make their way through Houma and then due south to Port Fourchon. Finally, the team will reach open salt water until they land on East Timbalier Island National Wildlife Refuge, estimating an end date of May 30, 2016.
While he is making a name for himself within the modeling industry in the United States, the charismatic, confident, yet humble military man firmly believes in the importance of giving back. "As United States citizens, we can no longer stand idly by as these brave men and women return from battle to experience the unforgiving pressures of the modern world without support."
To learn more about #K4AK, visit their official website here. Donations are accepted, encouraged, and much appreciated.
For updates on Glenn's journey in service, the modeling industry, and his preparation for Kayaks for a Kause, follow the fun on Instagram.
By Jorge Zavala | Creative Director
Sara Walker | Media Guru
The world of volleyball is a complex, intriguing, and adventurous one filled with confident, strong individuals full of talent and charisma. If you follow the world of volleyball, the name Marcus Nilsson will resonate with the aforementioned qualities in addition to assertive and cosmopolitan. Marcus Nils Jon Nilsson is a native of Torup, Sweden and the pride of the Swedish people.
The 33 year-old athlete received the acclaimed title of MVP during the European Champions League in 2012 and since has been a sensation to watch.
Growing up, Marcus probably didn't think he would become the international volleyball figure he is today. As a kid, he dabbled in all kinds of sports, everything from swimming, to soccer, tennis, and rugby. "Trying volleyball came very natural. When I got older and it came to choosing one sport it became volleyball just by chance because a relative of mine applied to the Swedish volleyball high school and thought I should do the same, which I did and got accepted," Marcus told PdM.
In a PdM exclusive, when asked about the inspiration and motivation behind his athletic career, Marcus was gleeful and honest. "I really hate to lose...and in order to avoid losing I train more than my opponents. My motivation I've always felt is the support of my family and friends. Even though I've lived outside of Sweden for about 13 years now they continue to support what I'm doing and as long as they see that I'm happy, they're happy."
Marcus has mainly spent his volleyball career in Europe, and his last 3 seasons were spent in Siberia and Russia. Within Russia, he spent one year in Novosibirsk and two years in Kemerovo. However, he's also been in Kuwait, Dubai and Qatar for some short playoffs.
While the Swedish superstar admits he enjoys traveling, he stated that there is one place he holds dear to his heart: Paris. "Paris is definitely a favorite. I spent one year there having so much fun! I had a coach that year that was really cool and he allowed me, in addition to practice with some great people, go to a university to learn French and only practice in the evening. Consequently, that meant that I met a lot of "non-volleyballers" which gave me a super social life. Plus, Paris is one of the coolest cities in the world so I had a lot to do that year (and we won the championship, so just a perfect year)."
While Paris is definitely a place Marcus was influenced by, Greece is not too far behind on his adventure trail.
"Thessaloniki, Greece, is another favorite. I spent 3 years there and enjoyed it very much. Greek people love sports, so the atmosphere during the games is amazing. The weather is great and the mentality there is perfect if you are an athlete. They take really good care of you."
When asked about his opinion on the best place in Sweden to live, Marcus had great insights. "I would have to say Halmstad, which is the city I live in. It's a real summer city with one of the best beaches in Sweden. The city explodes during the summer with a lot of tourists.Then, of course, Stockholm is really pretty during the summer. There is so much water running through the city and it has everything from high end shopping to beautiful parks and historic old town."
In our opinion, this guy definitely knows where the party is and how to live the good life a la Swede.
When asked about Chicago, the wonderful city where PdM is based, Marcus smiled it off. "I've unfortunately never been to Chicago. The only thing I know about it is that it's one of the biggest cities in the U.S. It's a huge sports city with big teams in all the major sports, such as the Blackhawks, the Bulls, the Cubs and the White Sox. It's also called the Windy City. That's about it!"
The same way we've had the pleasure to visit Sweden, we're sure Marcus will have the opportunity to come to Chicago one day!
What's next for Marcus? Well, plenty, and, you guessed it, there's more volleyball magic to be made. "I'm getting back to playing in the European Champions League once again, which I won 3 years ago with my Siberian team and was also named the MVP of that competition then. It's going to be fun to see how far we can reach this time around with this new team in this competition. Moreover, I do enjoy languages and seeing different cultures so I'm gonna try to learn Turkish (because I will be living there next) and it's going to be great to experience more of the Turkish culture."
Looks like another adventure is soon-developing for the awesome Marcus! Lycka, bror, and we can't wait to receive updates from your experiences!
By Jorge Zavala | Creative Director
Photography by Jorge Zavala for #PdMModels
The modeling realm, while one of the most exciting and fast-moving industries in the world, is as diverse as the models encompassing it. Even Fjaestad, a native of Norway, spent a year of his high-school experience in Chicagoland making new friends, learning the ways of American teenagers, and simply living life to the fullest. Happy, social, and sporty, this Scandinavian sensation was discovered by #PdMModels while in transit back to Oslo, Norway. There is a certain positive energy whenever Even stares at the camera, and this radiates nothing but confidence.
Even, with the traditional glow of Scandinavia, shared his enthusiasm for travel, family, and life. When asked about studying in the United States, he responded gleefully. "I wanted to have a new experience and see how life in America is different from how it is in Norway." Even lived in the affluent Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, located approximately 15 miles northwest from downtown Chicago. While Even admits that he did not choose Park Ridge himself, he did meet nice and kind people all around and enjoyed the picturesque Chicago suburb along with big city life
One of the freshest faces in #PdMModels' campaign, Even is a natural at radiating an assertive fierceness that is not always present in new models. During his time in Chicagoland, he spent his time with both sports and academics. Even played football at Maine South High School and received the American high school experience first hand. However, while spending nearly a year in the States, he does admit to missing both his friends and family back home.
In addition to his upcoming success in the modeling world, Even plans to finish his last year of high school in Norway before taking part in his mandated military service. In most countries of Europe, a year of military service is required for young men. When asked about plans to return to the States, Even mentioned he doesn't have any concrete plans anytime soon to return but would make a trip in the near future if the opportunity arose.
Already one of the most popular fresh faces, Even is expected to have an exciting and memorable career in the world of fashion and lifestyle. Fantastisk!
By Sara Walker | Media Insider Guru
Sometimes, we have to take a step back and enjoy a ray of light, a cool summer breeze, and a margarita. The joie de vivre that makes life wonderful is something we, at times, take for granted. Not Chris, one of #PdMModel's international sensations, who makes every moment count.
A native of Spain, Chris Gisbert is both charismatic and talented. He was discovered by the #PdMModels team and is an avid enthusiast of travel, gastronomy, and the good life. Having some modeling experience in the past, Chris plans to balance work life, model life, and his personal life while having fun.
We asked Chris to describe himself, and he immediately felt comfortable using two of his most ambitious words. "I am a fun and daring person...I love the world of modeling, fashion, and photography."
In addition to being a handsome and stylish young man, the 20 year-old stud is also goal-oriented. "I am studying physiotherapy...it is my passion in addition to modeling."
Want to take Chris on a date? You may need to head over to the best pasta spot in the city because that is his favorite dish. How does he stay in shape, you may wonder? Well, Chris is a regular gym-goer, which is obvious by his wonderful physique.
To see more of Chris, visit his official model port. For bookings or inquiries, contact #PdMModels directly.
By Sara Walker | Media Guru | Lifestyle Goddess
A few weeks ago, I got schooled by my client. Like, chomped up, chewed out and spit out.
In all honesty, this client made me slightly nervous from the get-go. For starters, the company is in an industry I’d never worked with before and not necessarily in my “knowledge zone.” (FYI- this is why I took on this client. I believe you should do something that scares you every day. That’s the only way you grow.) I digress.
The amount of time I had to complete this client’s project was slashed in half due to circumstances outside of my control and so every request, every task, every to-do was marked urgent.
All of this is totally okay, for the record. In any client services industry, it’s a service provider’s job to make sure the clients’ needs are being anticipated and met at all times. With a strong background in sales, plus a passion (and a knack) for client pleasing, I thought as long as I met the demands of the client, no matter how big or small, no matter how realistic or unrealistic, I was doing my job.
And THIS is where (and why) I failed.
I am a bonafide Yes Person. I have an innate desire to make people feel happy, comfortable and seen. That’s part of my personal brand, and it’s something I have always considered an esteemed aspect to how I present myself in business, and in the world. In running my previous business for 6+ years, my ability to “make it work,” no matter what the request, was key to my growth. But as I’ve entered into more consultative opportunities, I’ve learned that saying yes to please people can actually get you into trouble.
Here’s what happened:
A request was made by this client on a Monday morning, to be completed by the end of the day. In truth, I needed until Friday to complete it. But instead of pushing back and telling the client this, I said “Yes, cool, no problem!” and did it.
And so instead of doing it slow and right, you can guess what happened.
I did it fast and wrong.
In the split second after the client made the request, I had an opportunity to push back, be honest and let him know I needed more time in order to execute properly. But I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. I didn’t want to make anyone angry. I didn’t want to say “no.”
When the schooling came, it hurt. (Mainly because there was so much truth to it.) But the real lesson was not found in the screwed-up task. It was found because I didn’t speak up and speak my truth.
This is why mistakes rock and failure is awesome.
Buried below every royal fuck-up is a greater lesson. The key is setting down our pride and egos just long enough to find it. Only then can we become better professionals, and ultimately better human beings.
Does your personal brand say YES all the time?
Do you find yourself stifling your true thoughts and feelings in the workplace in order to please? Or perhaps you do this somewhere else in your life?
If so, take a look at where that might come from…
What if you stood your ground, pushed back and said “no” once in a while? What would that say about your personal brand?
Imagine yourself saying “no” in a situation where you’d normally say “yes” and then walk yourself through the “worst case scenario” end result. I guarantee it’s not as bad as you think.
Let me know if you’ve ever struggled with being a pleaser and how you’re growing. I’d love to hear from you
By Sean O'Hara | Guest Contributor
I have issues with relationships these days. People (particularly men) separate the idea of a relationship from the idea of a friendship. With that, I have my own thoughts and opinions on the concept of men and women being able to be ‘just friends’ with each other with no tension or desire for something more. But, that is a different conversation.
Whether or not men and women can be just friends should not separate the two concepts altogether. You don’t need to choose if you are going to be friends or lovers, you can (and should be), both.
Women usually have a far easier time deciding who they want to be just friends with and who they would pursue a romantic relationship with, but men tend to group all women together on the ‘potentially romantic’ side, and then just decide their order of desirability. For this reason, I also believe men try to actually avoid building a friendship with a woman because he doesn’t want to find himself plunging into the dreaded friend zone, and suddenly be seen more as a brother than a potential boyfriend.
Friends see (and accept) all sides of each other.
When dating, we typically only want to show someone our best self. We are always well put together, well behaved, and well mannered. Of course, we should consistently try to be these things as often as humanly possible, but the fact of the matter is that we are all going to have bad days. We get stressed, we get sick, we face challenges. Life throws us curveballs – and expecting a shining exterior every second of every day is not only unrealistic, but it is also dishonest.
It doesn’t matter when you roll over in bed with no makeup on, a fever, and swollen eyes – a true friend will love and take care of you just the same. Someone who is just in it for the sex or as a fling, will not.
Friends have fun together no matter what.
You’re getting together with your best friend this weekend – oh no! What are you going to do? Where are you going to go to dinner? What movie are you going to see? How are you going to survive your 4-hour drive in the car together? These questions are never concerns when it comes to spending time with a friend, because it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are together when you do it.
Friends are comfortable around each other.
Comfort is a tricky concept, because we cannot allow ourselves to get too comfortable in any relationship, no matter how long we are together. If this happens, eventually we transition over into complacency, and that is territory which is void of energy, romance, or excitement. We cannot fall into this trap, but there is also a good kind of comfort. The kind that comes with friendship.
The good kind of comfort is essential to being honest and open with each other. We need this to reveal secrets. Dreams. Desires. Fears and insecurities. We need this type of comfort to just be able to sit with each other in silence and not feel a nagging urge to say or do something to break the silence. This type of comfort only exists when a friendship is built, not when we spend our time trying to impress each other and not showing him or her who we really are.
Friendship can last a lifetime.
Have you ever had a friend who you can go weeks, months, or even years without seeing – but when you do finally get together again it’s like nothing has changed? Imagine that kind of closeness, that kind of understanding, that kind of comfort, with someone who you are also in love with.
It goes without saying that you obviously won’t be going weeks, months, or years without seeing your significant other – but the understood, mutually felt longevity of your relationship provides you both with a secure, solid feeling that provides the comfort of knowing he or she is in it for the long haul.
A friend will stand by you no matter what.
When you are friends with someone, you are not only friends with them when things are great. You stand by them when they need you for support as they do for you in return. This is the type of unwavering love a relationship needs in order to thrive in the long term as well. Laying the bricks of friendship as a foundation is a great way to ensure this person will be there for you when the waters get rough.
You can have a friendship without a relationship, but you can’t have a relationship without a friendship. Think about it.
By Kyle Grinderstein | Special Contributor
Note: the names in this piece have been changed to respect the privacy and authenticity of the writer. All opinions/perspectives/experiences in this piece are solely of the writer's and not reflective of Prestige du Monde's ideologies.
I'm not attracted to black guys, or fat guys. I'm not into rice, nor am I into guys old enough to be my dad. I prefer to date someone around my age, with a good job, and interested in skiing and rowing. Let's be honest, in the world of gay dating, specifically online dating, rejection and racism often travel hand in hand. There’s just about every version of “no [insert insanely large portion of the population]” on a wide-range of dating sites. No blacks, no Asians, no fems, no fats, no old guys. Is this racism? No, it's just a preference.
Grindr, an app specific geared towards the gays, is more and more of a platform intentionally used to hook-up versus establish long-lasting relationships: hooray us. I admit, I am a big user of the mobile app and confess I have no problem putting my preferences out into the digital world. If I'm on looking for a good time, I don't want to waste my time talking to people I won't want to meet: this makes sense. I'm more of a vanilla and spice than chocolate and rice kinda guy.
I'm not racist: I have black, Mexican, Asian, and old friends. My best friend is the cutest girl from Colombia, my favorite teacher in high school is an adorable over-weight African American, and my favorite restaurant is Chinese. My preference for who I want to sleep with is based on my tastes and not on whether I dislike someone based on something they cannot change. Sure, I work with plenty of women, but I don't ever want to date them. This doesn't make me a racist: it makes me a realist. When did choosing what flavor ice cream you enjoy become a crime?
I debated explaining my preferences to the world, but in order to save the Kyley-Go-Lightly time and the rest of the guys with preferences, I need to come clean about what I like. I grew up in Edison Park, a predominantly middle class Irish neighborhood with plenty of ties to the Chicago PD. I went to Catholic school all of my life, didn't come out until I was 22, and the first guy I started dating, Brian, is mixed. The most beautiful guy in the world, his background is not something that interested me: I was attracted to how good looking and smart he was. I am an accountant and work in the southwest suburbs. I am currently dating a guy that fits my profile, and I'm OK with that.
At the wise age of 29, I have gone through my share of heart-break, flings, and plenty of flirting with the right (and plenty of wrong) people. Sure, the gays love their online profiles. Let's be honest: this is one of the most archaic ways we could find a mate back in the day. Now, Grindr simply makes meeting other guys so much easier. With such ease also comes territory for everyone to message you, cute and not. Many of my gay friends believe gay online dating is more harmful than good for the gay community, what with it's standards and dash-and-go options to either respond to a stud or block (big red X) a goblin. However, I don't think it's all bad: what else would we do at 3am on an average night? I mean, we're all looking for friends at that hour.
I admit, there are times when I simply want to write "no black, no Asian, no fat" on my profile, but I prefer to not sound like a douche and write that directly in the response. I've had plenty of conversations with friends of all backgrounds, and some think that I am a racist while others believe it really is just a preference. Does it really matter? Why do you care if I'm dating a black guy, a transgender, or my grandpa? It really is my business, but it seems that my preference is everyone's business.
One specific experience that embodies my all of this took place three weeks ago in Boystown. I was dining out with my current arm candy and noticed a group of a certain race coming into the restaurant. Everyone noticed how loud, obnoxious, and seemingly-unfit they were for the establishment, not to mention if they were going to actually pay for their meals or not. I look over and smiled, but my friendly gesture wasn't taken too well. One of the younger guys in the group looked at me and accused me of "staring him down." I respectfully asked the twenty-something to stay away before I called the manager, and he immediately called me a racist (explicit). Now, if I wanted to be a douchie racist, this would be the perfect moment to do so. However, I am above that and know that this black man was not angry at me but was angry at the fact the establishment blatantly did not want them in the restaurant. My dear, that's life: get over it.
Trust me, if I wanted to be a butt-head Chicago makes it incredibly easy to do so. I'm a nice guy and I don't blame any race for any of society's crimes. What I do blame society for is stigmatizing me for my preferences, for having a say in who I want to sleep with. If an Asian messaged my on Grindr as soon as I am finished writing this piece, I would respectfully decline without a need to explain myself (unless they became annoying like these boys usually do).
I unapologetically embrace my preferences and have no problem using the beautiful red X on my favorite battery-waster. Next time someone accuses me of being a racist on Grindr, I'm just going to smile, drink a glass of merlot, and hold my partner's hand knowing I have exactly what I want and lack everything I don't.
By Sandy Chang | Society Reporter
It can be frustrating when you try and try to secure a date and you still can’t get that certain someone to go out with you. You might be at a dinner party, you might be on Tinder (or Grindr), or you might be at a bar and the ladies just won’t bat their eyelashes at you and provide a phone number. Don’t worry, we know what’s wrong – here are the five reasons that you’re not getting a date.
YOU COME ON TOO STRONG TOO FAST
Don’t get me wrong, men and women like being desired – it’s the greatest compliment after all, but just because a lady/gent enjoy your attention and maybe even thinks that you’re cute, it doesn’t mean that you can just get their phone number. It takes several minutes of small talk and a spark to make a person inclined to provide you with a phone number. Ask for too early and you’ll be swiftly rebuffed.
YOU’RE NOT LEADING AND ENDING THE CONVERSATION
When you’re chatting up your prospective dating candidate you should dictate the conversation and leave the person wanting more. Get chatting, make small talk on a subject that you’re comfortable with, make a joke – if this person laughs and touches your arm; bang! That’s your cue to go but before you excuse yourself to get back to your friends, ever so casually ask him/her for their phone number (or Facebook, Twitter handle, etc., whatever you two feel more comfortable).
YOU’RE BEING A BORE
Either you’re being boorish or boring and it’s resulting in you being rebuffed left, right and center. You probably don’t realize that you’re being course or not coming across as interesting but being a bore is a major turnoff in dating. Try and ask friends where you’re going wrong with your conversation starters and alter your persona around those you don’t know well.
YOU BELIEVE IN LUCK
Guys, dating has nothing to do with luck. Many women are surprisingly responsive to men that have the courage to strike up conversation with them and ask them out – so be polite but be persistent. However, if by the third attempt the lucky gal (or guy) is not interested you may want to give it a rest.
YOU’RE NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH
Some men expect beautiful women just to fall into their lap – quite literally! Obviously this is a flawed attitude to have and you should be prepared to put in effort (a lot of effort). Dating is an intuitive game and your catch can usually tell if you're not entirely interested in engaging with them. Basically, be a gentleman about your approach but make it well-known that you are here to stay (at least for the time being).
By Sandy Chang | Society Writer
Internet dating, social dating, Facebook dating, or the old-fashioned way of meeting offline at work or with a little help from your friends or grandmother. There are so many more options available to singles dating in the digital age, yet so many can't seem to connect. What's a single dater to do?
I'm no dating-guru, bu I'm frequently asked by many my co-workers, friends, family members, and ex-boyfriends, which method is better? Is online dating versus meeting someone offline best to find the perfect date or someone to spend the rest of your life with?
While experts might not agree on this topic, even offline matchmakers are incorporating online dating and social media into their business models. I believe the answer is clear. There is no one-size fits all formula. As each person's relationship goals may differ from their best friends or neighbors, know that from hook-ups to marriage proposals, there's a site and way for everyone.
Whether creating an Internet dating profile leads you to marriage or not, finding love online needs to be part of your dating regime, just like finding a job online from a message board or Linkedin can help you find your dream job. Being able to grow and maintain your relationship offline is critical as you go through the different phases of a relationship.
As one who believes in casting a wide net, I tell singles that you really need to do both. It's not one-way or the other. Here are some pros and cons on finding love both online and offline.
Pro: Over 40 million singles in the U.S have tried online dating.
Con: It's a crowded digital marketplace and can be an exhausting experience.
Pro: One out of five relationships start online. Whether it's on Social media, Facebook, Twitter, a mobile app, or traditional online dating site, there are a lot of success stories.
Con: People lie about their age, weight, height, income, and marital status. Singles get frustrated after a few bad dates.
Pro: You can meet people outside of your geographic area and social circle with similar interests. You'll meet more people, so you can learn what you're truly looking for in a date, mate, or relationship.
Con: It can become addicting to some, who never meet offline or are looking for the next pretty face. Beware of the Digital Pen-Pal Syndrome.
Pro: It's efficient and available 24-hours a day.
Con: It's feels like a full-time job for many and you must be organized.
Pro: Many sites provide matching tools and send you emails of suggested matches to make it easier for you to view potential dates.
Con: Many singles limit their search criteria to height, zip code, or income and can miss the opportunity to meet a compatible match.
Pro: You may have friends in common which will make you more comfortable.
Con: You're not really sure of their relationship status.
Pro: You can determine if there's chemistry in person sooner.
Con: You're limited to your existing social circles or regular activities and will meet less people.
Pro: It's pre-dating, without the pressure of wondering if you're date's profile is accurate.
Con: Singles may feel shy and not ask someone out for an official date.
Pro: You can easily date in groups, while developing new friendships with people with similar interests.
Con: You're limiting yourself to a certain geographic area.
Pro: Dating sites have entered the events business giving you more choices to meet in person, without the pressure.
Con: You're not really sure if someone is interested in you romantically at a group event.
At the end of the digital day, if you're serious about meeting someone special, you must include a combination of both online and offline dating in your routine. Remember the goal of online dating is to take your relationship offline. Riding into the digital sunset together is now a way of everyday life.
From your neck of the woods to the world.