He’s strong, he’s sensitive he’s Brawny Man!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Joshua Thompson

"My Brawny Man protects the city of Rochester (Minnesota) by night and his family by day. He took an oath to keep neighborhoods safe, putting in 50-plus hours a week arresting and testifying."

Michele Thompson, ’99, sent in the photo and nomination essay that resulted in husband Joshua Thompson, ’98, winning the national “Make Over My Brawny Man” contest.

According to the press release announcing the winner of the nationwide “Make Over My Brawny Man” contest: “He’s strong and gentle, he’s a beloved family man,
he fearlessly fights crime, and he’s a drop-dead gorgeous hunk.”

“He” is Joshua Thompson, a 1997 criminal justice graduate whose wife of five years, Michele (Raitz), who graduated with a recreation major in 1999, created the winning photo and essay that 5,000 online voters thought embodied the characteristics the Brawny paper towel company wanted in its Brawny Man representative: strong, with a sensitive side.

“My wife did a great job with the entry,” said Josh, who met Michele when she was a freshman and he a junior. “I give her all the credit.” But while he knew she’d compiled a great nomination package, he was still surprised that “a guy from small-town Minnesota could win.”

But win he did, and the couple were flown to New York to be wined and dined for three days. Josh was treated to a makeover orchestrated by television style maven Melissa Rivers. Advertising feature spreads in September issues of Cosmopolitan, Redbook, O, and Good Housekeeping magazines showed off Josh’s new look.

Josh said some of his new outfits and styled hair seem a little out of character for a police officer from Rochester, but he admits the new Kenneth Cole designer clothes make him feel more confident.

The change attracted an almost embarrassing amount of attention at first, said the father of two sons under age 2. “Yeah, all the guys at work gave me a pretty hard time,” said Josh.

Michele, an audiology assistant at Mayo Clinic, was more than pleased with the results of her efforts to honor her brawny man and polish his appearance. “He’s hot,” was her first comment when Josh emerged from his makeover.

“My Brawny Man protects the city of Rochester ( Minnesota) by night and his family by day. He took an oath to keep neighborhoods safe, putting in 50-plus hours a week arresting and testifying. His ‘clients’ see his tough side as he enforces the law, while we see a fun-loving father and husband. With a newborn and a 11/2-year-old, his days off are busy, too: changing diapers, reading books and playing. Josh is a wonderful police officer, but the side nobody else sees is that same strong man singing ‘Hush Little Baby’ in a rocker with two little boys.”

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