Photo by Tania Castellví
The face of German men is a Berliner. On November 24, Jörn Kamphuis, aka “Mr. Berlin”, succeeded “Mr. Hannover” as Mister Germany.
Strutting his stuff before a nine-member jury in Linstow, Rostock, the 25-year-old Prenzlauer Berg resident bested “Mr. Brandenburg” and “Mr. Baden-Württemberg” in a suited round and a shirtless walk-off. After earning a degree in sports economics, Kamphuis is now focusing on his new dating website www.neulich.de, which connects Berliners with the strangers they’re too shy to approach – something that the German man may very well need.
How does a man tell his friends he’s entering a beauty contest?
For “Mr. Alexanderplatz” I didn’t tell anybody. Only my closest friends knew. After I won, I put some pics on Facebook and people kept asking me why I did it. In a way, I was expecting it. It was a little bit strange for me too. For “Mr. Germany” I had lots of friends with me that day, and they were such a big support. They know who I am, even if I’m on stage without a shirt. It helped me have fun; I was happy inside. It must have been one of the reasons why I won... [Laughs]
How did you come up with the idea?
A photographer I came across on the street three years ago told me I could be a model. I had never thought of entering a beauty contest or being a model before that. I was not so self-assured. I’m actually not a fashion model because of my face – I don’t have the right bone structure – so I do more commercial modelling. I do ‘happy’ better than I do the duck face.
You do look happy. Where did you learn how to laugh like that?
I learned how to laugh by getting the feeling of joy from my stomach. And I did exercises to improve my diction because I wanted to be a news presenter...
What else did you do to prepare for the contest?
I changed my nutrition to get the six-pack, then I realised that eating properly makes me happier and gives me more energy. I also went to the gym six times a weeks for three months.
And that improved your inner beauty?
I trained not only for my body, but also for my mind, because I knew I did everything I could and that made me feel good. It is not about the perfect body, it is about being satisfied with yourself. There were some better-looking guys, so it must’ve been something more to do with my personality.
Do you think you look like a typical German?
Yes, definitely. Don’t you think so? My ears are most definitely Dutch, though: every time I look at them I just see Dutch. But everything else is German.
What do you think is stereotypically German?
They’re very honest and like organisation. And not as open-minded as they should be.
Do you sit down when you pee?
My mother taught me to do it. Isn’t that common everywhere else? Now it’s more about the hygiene aspect of it. But it’s also nice to have a ‘pissoir’ (urinal). I’ll have one when I build my own home.
Do you like football?
I’m a fan of Borussia Dortmund!
What else do you do to relax?
I go to the sauna, and I work out. And I read books to help me discover who I am, where I’m going to. Psychological books. Probably this is the most interesting thing I’m doing right now, finding out who I am.
Do you have role models?
I like Marcus Lanz, the TV presenter. I admire Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, because they were strong enough to go against the grain. That inspires me.
What are your hopes and ambitions?
I’d love to be a presenter on the [kids’ programme] Tigerentenclub. I like the show a lot, and I like kids. With the juggling I’ve been doing for 12 years now, I’m used to them!
Okay, you love children. What about women?
Ah, it always comes down to that! I don’t have a girlfriend right now. I prefer foreign women – I love women who speak English...
Why do you prefer foreign women?
It’s more to do with the personality of German women. They’re constantly trying to show how strong they are. I feel these women are not themselves and it makes me sad. Dealing with them takes too much energy.
Are looks important to you?
Yes, because they say a lot about someone’s personality. If someone’s a couch potato, I can immediately tell that we’ll never get along. I like girls to take care of their body.
How do you approach women?
I don’t approach women. Why should I? In Germany the women always behave so strong and independent; you get fed up with it. When I go out, it’s usually with my friends to dance, not to meet a new woman.
That’s very German-man-like…
I guess we German men are bad at making the first step. I don’t know where these insecurities come from. If you don’t move in the first three seconds, you just won’t do it. But Germans have this fear of being embarrassed.
How are Germans in bed?
Well they have the reputation of being boring... but a good thing is that they’re not these alpha macho men having wild animal sex. They are more sensitive, they have a sense for what the women like.
Is that what women like about you?
Well, I don’t know... one woman told me recently that she likes how I always know what to say and when.
Ah, so you do know how to pay compliments!
Well, I never approach the woman so I never have a plan. But I generally go with the flow. I’ll pay her a compliment on her eyes, hair, shoes or something. It depends on the woman.
Can you pay me a compliment right now?
I like your eyes...