He gives a tiny nod and half-smile to the camera and stands up straighter, gathering his hair into his hands, and putting it into a bun at the top of his head with the help of a hair elastic he has waiting on his left wrist. Ever."Now his Facebook page has almost 350,000 fans, and he started a Snapchat account a couple months ago and launched a You Tube channel last week, but he's still surprised at how popular the video is.
But he is also someone who has been the subject of countless email threads, texts, instant messages, Facebook comments, tweets, and even real-life conversations by actual grown-ups, men and women, who would not normally follow a Brock-like human on Instagram or any other social network, who have progressive ideas about objectification and the male gaze and the female gaze and being body positive, who believe that beauty comes from inside and that external beauty exists in many, many different forms, and yet who secretly can't believe that such a human actually exists, and is posting selfies, every single day, for our viewing pleasure.
There is a degree of self-imposed irony to this pleasure, an acknowledgment that we are willing, if winking, participants in this spectacle. Brock is, in fact, really hot, and it is, in fact, nice to look at him.
His parents divorced when he was around 9 years old, and he was raised mostly by his mom, Paige Hurn (Brock added the O' because he says his family's original name in Ireland was O'Hearn and he wanted to get back to its roots), who owns a cleaning company. "That's one thing I learned being really big and really tall — I'm really intimidating. So for me I have to go above and beyond to either make myself look really funny, to make people feel comfortable..to be overly nice, which I'm not trying to say I'm not really nice...
The way he tells it, adolescence was rocky — he went to nine different high schools in Orange County, Palm Springs, and San Bernardino — until he started lifting weights his sophomore year in high school."I got tired of being called so skinny because I was 6'3", I weighed 135 pounds," he says. I hope — I don't know if you got a bad vibe from me or not." I reassure him that I did not, in fact, get a bad vibe."It went from being just that guy to like an overly nice guy because I just want to make people feel comfortable, feel happy, you know. I was like, I don't like the way that feels, you know? "Even in this gym, I'll meet someone like the week before, and we'll have a great conversation, but then the next time I see them, they're like, 'Uh. I don't know what to say.' So I continually have to keep doing that where I go out of my way to say hi to them and see how you're doing, how's your day going, how's your week, you know."Eventually, Brock started training clients online, charging $100 to $150 for a month's worth of programs, which is what he was living on when he finally moved to L. a few months ago with little more than a vague dream to act, even though he had never acted before.
He posts a lot of pictures with quotes that are blandly uplifting, like "I'm going to tell you you're beautiful inside and out until you can say it yourself without insecurity or doubt." There are no pictures of Brock getting wasted, or even holding a beer, much less smoking pot.
He's someone a mom would feel comfortable letting her 9-year-old be into.
The video has gotten nearly 5 million views, with comments like: "I shared it to my page and just scrolled down so I could watch again. ;)"; "I am not watching it again...tomorrow...smh"; "I was so grumpy yesterday and I decided to wake up happy today. A., and where he has agreed to give me a personal training session.
First thing I saw on FB, this morning, was this video and I was instantly happy. The first thing I notice about Brock IRL isn't his hair, which is down; or his eyes, which really are that blue; or his muscles, which are hiding behind a loose-fitting long-sleeve T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants. When he gives me a hug in greeting, I feel like I'm being enveloped in an enormous mass of manliness. I go to the locker room to change and he tells me to meet him by the recumbent bicycles.
(I had hurt my foot a week before and wasn't able to do anything high-impact.) I meet him there, and he's sitting on a bicycle, languidly cycling.
After we warm up, we head over to the lat pull-down machine, and he puts the weight on the lightest setting for me.
It's a slightly chilly Saturday afternoon in early May, and Brock O'Hurn is worried. A 9-year-old girl named Maddy and her mom, who came from nearby Huntington Beach, pose for a picture with him.