Saturday, 25 June 2011

Andrej Pejic

Long flowing blonde hair, voluptuous lips and a lean frame- just a typical supermodel template. But this latest rising star is not your standard model. Andrej Pejic is the world's first transgender supermodel.
Andrej on the cover of L'Officiel Ukraine June 2011
Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, his family emigrated to Australia when the Bosnian war broke out in the Nineties. Now on the covers of some of the most acclaimed magazines in the world, Pejic was apparently scouted working in his local McDonald's only two years ago, aged 17. His modelling career took off when the audiences of the Paris menswear shows in June 2010 began questioning who the blonde girl was. "They asked Raf Simmons if he was doing womenswear now" said Pejic. Recently, he modelled both the womenswear and menswear collections for Lino Villaventura at Sao Paolo Fashion Week. The only difference was that this time, everyone knew his name.
Carbon Copy June 2011
Carbon Copy June 2011
Pejic is fast-becoming a favourite amongst the most established designers- he famously walked for Jean Paul Gaultier this January wearing an iconic ruffled wedding dress (which Rihanna later wore at The Grammy's) and stars in the provocative Gaultier S/S 11 advertisements with Karolina Kurkova and the summery-looking Marc Jacobs S/S 11 campaigns. He has also worked several times for Vogue from the Paris edition to the Turkish edition, and has worked with prestigious photographers including Stephen Meisel. And he is still only 19 years old.

Jean Paul Gaultier S/S 2011 Ad Campaign

Marc Jacobs S/S 2011 Ad Campaign
However, despite all his success on the catwalks and the campaigns, Pejic has suffered some backlash from the ignorant 'alpha-male' society. When Pejic was voted the 98th Sexiest Woman in the world by FHM magazine this year, the magazine ran a subline with insulting remarks including "pass the sick bucket" when explaining Pejic's desire to be a Victoria's Secret model. "He might have a hard time keeping it a secret" they wrote. They also said "designers are hailing him as the next big thing. We think "thing" is quite accurate".  FHM has since issued an official apology to Pejic, claiming that the article wasn't subbed before going online. The significant thing about it all is that FHM is one of the most popular men's magazines in the world and therefore has the ability to mould millions of men's minds, influence their opinions and ultimately, create what is the acceptable 'standard' of beauty. To oppress Pejic in this way is transphobic and direspectful. It makes it seem okay within our culture to vilify someone for their aspirations and their career just because they were born with or without boobs.
In fact, writing this post just after the post on John Galliano on trial for racist remarks has made me feel quite disenchanted with the fashion world and the land of magazines just now. As wonderful and exotic as it may seem, your career should never excuse you from ignorance. To be held in high regard by the public should be a deterrent for people who want to spout toxic nonsense about issues like these.

"How Many Lies" in BMM Magazine S/S 11

"How Many Lies" in BMM Magazine S/S 11 
Beauty should never be based wholly on anything like gender, race, religion or background. These are things that we are not responsible for and can't choose for ourselves. Of course, while what you think beautiful may not be the same as what the next person does, it isn't fair to neglect someone on the basis of any of the above grounds. Just because the men who voted for Pejic in the World's Sexiest poll actually found another man attractive, doesn't mean they're gay. Just like looking at the picture of him naked bar a pair of gloves in the "How Many Lies" shoot for BMM magazine doesn't make you gay either. Although it may confuse people at first glance, the fact is that he is beautiful whether you like him or not.

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Jan 11
Aside from that matter, what makes Pejic so outstanding and different is his unique look, which so wildly contrasts with the typical male model look. Usually the mens shows are full of rugged, masculine men with biceps and stubbly beards. Pejic instead, is delicate and slight. He has spawned the term "femiman" and has since become poster-boy for the androgynous trend. He has blurred the thick black lines of gender identity by being male yet female too. He has never spoken of his sexuality, preferring not to label it, nor himself. He can wear heels better than some of the female models, is unafraid of wearing several tonnes of makeup and has won a lot of respect for his versatility in his field- all in all, Pejic works hard for a teenager, especially one who has divided the world's opinions on beauty. In the words of Andrej himself, fashion knows no gender boundaries- and in such a special environment, thats the way it should be.


Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012

2 comments:

  1. Pejic is beautiful, enchanting, and one of a kind- the idea of such traits being found in a single person and overlooked by some due to questions of his gender or sexuality is utterly preposterous!

    Another enthralling post, your blog is an online gem.

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  2. What an awesome post! That was really cool and I adored all the pics! I now have a new model to love! And Blogger ;) Love Lux* www.luxlikesit.com

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