Fashion Forward Androgyny

by Jiz Lee on / Art, Gender, Sex

A friend on Fetlife tipped me to androgynous fashion model Andrej Pejic. Here’s an arresting image of him, photographed by Armin Morbach.

Flamed by gender-bending controversy, the supermodel has walked the runway in men and womens’ designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier. At 19 years old, he has a great attitude about his opportunities and it’s refreshing to see such a strong connection and support between him and his family.

Most recently, the model’s image has faced censorship in American magazine outlets, as reported by Sociological Images and other publications.

ANDREJ PEJIC DOSSIERAndrej is male-bodied and identified, yet unlike standard, cisgender beauty ideals, his look is extremely feminine. His genderqueer appearance on the cover of Dossier Journal caused the magazine to be protected in opaque covers in stores such as Barnes & Noble. Mainstream American retailers often cater to what they predict will appeal to “Middle America”. And conceal that which might be deamed as obscene.

While we are well aware of censorship by corporations based on these assumptions, what’s particularly alluring in this case is how gender comes into play. In Andrej’s situation, the overt sexualization of female figures creates a rift in gender presentation and expectations. His body is read as female, causing censorship and uncertainty. And also raising questions about gender and nudity.

I am fascinated by the conversation around his gender-bending, as someone who finds beauty and comfort, and revelation, within androgyny. I look forward to more media coverage and dialog concerning nudity and censorship, particularly in the ways that nudity is gendered and sexualized. It was once believed that the bikini would never catch on in America. Here’s hoping that androgyny too, is fashion forward.

Jiz Lee

2 Replies to “Fashion Forward Androgyny”

Will Vail

It is funny how we can be lulled into gender neutrality by virtue of the circle you run in that the rest of the word having a dust-up about a gender issue can feel so blind-siding. Having gender-queer and trans friends, androgyny is de riguer. I saw Andrej’s cover photo at a pals house yesterday and was confused about the ruckus. I mean, androgyny has been used by the arts since the 20’s and even during it’s resurgence during the 80’s it seemed almost immediately passe. There is something about the tea-party-frantic, rebirth of religion, ultra conservative lilt of the media as of late that makes freaking out about this possible.
It is dangerous that conservative opinion has become so much stronger in this economic down-turn. Rich, white Christians wield all of the expendable income and therefore all of the power?

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Blaise

Hi Jiz, (btw Im a big fan of yours) I recommend you to check a model called Charles Guislain… He lives in France… he is extremely androgyny and he is very promising fashionista… there is a lot of photos of him around the internet, but most of them (the old ones) were taken when he was underaged, Im afraind that not so many are the actual ones… anyway I really like his look and style, I hope this will help in some way 🙂 Cheers

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