Beauty mogul Bretman Rock is breaking the internet this week following the announcement that he is one of the faces of Nike’s annual Be True collection, in solidarity with Pride month.
The Hawaiian-raised Filipino star posted images of himself wearing footwear and apparel from the collection, including a tight sports bra showing off his tight abs, as he proudly waves a rainbow flag.
“Strength has no gender!” he posted on Instagram. “It’s measure from within. I’m so excited to announce that I’m one of @nike faces for their #betrue campaign this year. Truly such an honor to be seen and heard from Nike, it’s so surreal.”
The 2021 Be True is inspired by “the idea that sport can be the setting for radical inclusivity,” Nike states on its website, adding, “At the same time, sport is richer when it includes the diverse stories, backgrounds and orientations of every individual person. A wide spectrum of nine LGBTQIA+ flags, highlighting the personal stories deep inside each stripe color, is broadly explored in this year’s footwear.”
Rock, 22, first burst on the scene as a YouTuber. Known for his wit and how-to beauty videos, he earned a large following online. In recent months, he’s been able to continue that momentum on other platforms like TikTok.
His success earned him nearly 40 million followers across social media as well as a reality show, MTV's Following: Bretman Rock, which shows the young icon living life to the fullest — from experimenting with makeup and kite flying to pole dancing and ab workouts.
The “digital celebrity,” as he notably calls himself, is certainly living his best life, having recently bought a three-story house in Hawaii that he calls his dream home.
“I wanted the house to feel as if a cool, gay island kid got really rich," Rock recently told Architectural Digest. "It needed to scream ‘gay Asian immigrant success.’ I wanted to live that fantasy.”
Growing up in Hawaii, the global superstar has opened up in prior interviews about life on the islands. In a 2018 interview with The Advocate, he recalled going to school “in a bikini and no one would give a sh*t. Third grade, I plucked my eyebrows. I was wearing blush when I was in third grade, so honestly, I just grew up with people who accepted me.”
“They used to [revere] gay people,” he added, touching on the term māhū (“in the middle”), a Native Hawaiian term used to define a third gender. “It only became a taboo when the Christians came. ... The word māhū quickly became a derogatory term when it never, ever had been.”
“As long as you are doing things with a smile on your face, and you are having fun, then you are being unfiltered,” he concluded. “I’m just going to keep representing myself because I don’t give a f*ck. Because I have a voice. And you do too.”
Nike is set to announce more ambassadors in the coming days.
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