Instagram Model, proud Father, seeker of adventure and full life this is Confessions Time: Meet Tom Ernsting – Exclusive for Fashionably Male.
From former Hotel Sales Executive based in New York City to be a full time model “of certain age” in South Florida, let’s meet Tom.
We’re about to dive into motivational figures from the internet, that’s why we choose Tom or he chose us… we’re gonna read personal questions, provocative thoughts, and you’ll enjoy the stunning pictures of Tom during his modeling career.
Tom behind those hazel eyes and salt and pepper hair, he’s 6’2 in great shape for considering a “certain age” model.
Fashionably Male: Hi Tom. Tell us about a little about your career. Your beginnings and why you consider to move from NYC to south Florida
Tom Ernsting: I was planing for an early retirement. Both my parents died young and I inherited my parents retirement home in Naples…after leaving my job three years ago as a global sales director in the corporate office at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in NYC … I was able to grow a beard. (It was against company policy.) The new “look” received a lot of attention and ultimately pushed me towards my first modeling agency: MP MEGA Miami…and have expanded from there.
FM: Who have been some of the biggest influences on your modeling career?
TE: Mr. Eric Rutherford for sure. He does everything which such class and grace and always looks great and happy doing it. Also, two key photographers: Ron Reagan and Scott Teitler (took some game-changing pictures of me.) I have since had the opportunity to work with a lot of great photographers and stylists and make-up people who have encouraged and helped me a long.
FM: What have been a few of your favorite moments in your modeling career?
TE: For sure signing with my first agency…it was so hard to believe that I actually had a shot at this. Then, when I signed my second agency…that showed it was more than just a fluke. Another favorite moment as being asked BACK to continue modeling for Ashely Furniture (my first, second and third national commercials). And being picked for Orange Theory–the “silver” guy amongst all the young beautiful women at the shoot.
FM: Having 125K followers (and counting) on Instagram means something, what do you consider that people likes and adore you so much?
TE: I think I connect with so many different demographics. Inspirational and motivational. Fitness is key to the attention as well and I promote #keepworkingout to all age and genders. I also get a sense that my IG feed provides and honest look at my life….the ugly and pretty. The good times and bad. And that over 50 can be the PRIME of your life.
I also have gained a lot of followers through “cat fishing”. My identity has been used by 100s and 100s of catfishers on every social media site imaginable around the world. (match.com; millionairematch.com;
Grinder; Tinder; Twitter, IG, Facebook, and many any others. I get 5-6 messages a day from people who are being scammed by my identity. Through reverse identity search these men and women (mostly women) find the REAL Tom Ernsting and end up being very supportive followers.
FM: You’re opening a gay man, you have your partner, inclusive you have kid(s) when did you come out? And when did you decide to have children? Or wasn’t a plan?
TE: I was married for two years and was blessed with a son…who is the best thing about me. I came out to him when he was 13 years old…I had never been so scared in my life. He was the most important thing in my life and losing his love would have been devastating. But he was very mature about it and we are very close and it has NEVER been an issue or embarrassment for him. (Tho some of my pictures on IG may be LOL.)
FM: Still today, A lot of people considers a taboo being gay and having kids–ignorance is not a bless– and many comments can be stupid and people can be crazy and annoying, do you suffer of some bully on your life or social media?
TE: I have been fortunate to not have suffered as others have with bullying or social media harassment. It’s mostly been very supportive.
FM: How you keep a firm body, tells us something to keep motivate to go to gym and be more active this days.
TE: I work out every day. What most people do not know is that I had a series of shoulder operations that set me back emotionally and physically for 5 years. My body atrophied and I lost a lot of weight.Only in the past 4 years has my body been strong enough to be at a place where I feel confident and good about my body. Though I do PT exersises EVERY DAY still.
FM: You have a Only Fans profile, what part or parts of your body do you receive the most compliments on?
TE: HA HA HA. Believe it or not…be it with fully clothed our not…my smile gets the most feedback.
FM: All your shoots in underwear and in bed are praised and adored by so many people, I’m curious if you have a favorite brand and style of underwear?
TE: I really do not……I have been lucky enough to have my supporters send me underwear and swim suits and it’s been a great way to provide content on my IG feed and share strong brands
FM: We’re not political at all. But right now America is living a very delicate situation, what do you think of your country, and how do you keep yourself sane with so much bullish*t out there? Are you doing some meditation, yoga or sports …?
TE: Ignorance is bliss…I end up traveling SO MUCH that I do not have time too read or listen to the latest outlandishness….but when I come across something it blows my mind that we are in the horrible position on a world stage. I am counting the days to the next election.
FM: Do you think exists ageism into the male models career? Tell us your experience…
TE: I went into modeling at age 56…knowing what I was and where I fit in and what market I fill.
I think if I grew up in the business it would have a different point of view…but to me my “late 50s silver” style seems to be strong.
FM: What would you say to a 23 year old Tom Ernsting?
TE: I would tell 23 year old Tom to feel confident in your decisions…but kind to people…listen, and that you have a great life ahead.
FM: Do you have a favorite food or guilty pleasure when it comes to eating?
TE: I do….I love pizza….lasagna…..chocolate croissants…….but I do pay attention…anything in excess is not good.
FM: When you’re at the gym do you have a favorite and least favorite body part to work out?
TE: I work on my lower body a lot…but I basically do one body part a day to try to keep some balance. I am very proud of the way my body has reacted to fitness dedication and if gives me a confidence that I had never had before. And it has helped my modeling a great deal.
FM: We just started a New Year and a lot of people –myself included– are struggling with resolutions. How do you keep yourself motivated and any words for people that can easily can quit the gym.
TE: #keepworkingout. If you keep at it you WILL see results. Feeling good about how you look is so important in someone’s overall happiness and well being.
FM: You’re a freelance event manager in Florida, what can of events you considering to do a job on your own?
TE: The freelance event management takes me all over the world to support the management of their events–from sales meetings to incentives to product launches.
FM: How can we reach you Tom, are you only on Instagram?
TE: @tomdeanernsting is best.
FM: Thanks so much Tom its been a pleasure, any last words for all the people who admires you and loves you?
TE: THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT.
I had SUCH an awful time turning 50…feeling like “my life was over”…but It truly has never been better and I would encourage EVERYONE to look forward to getting older…exploring new things, bringing all the wisdom to your life to make decisions that will lead to a better life for you and others.
You can follow Tom Ernsting at @tomdeanernsting.