Gender bending Serbian-Australian model Andrej Pejic does it again — this time with smoky eyes, rosy pout and a chiselled topless body. Pejic, a 19-year-old male model, has spurred frenzy in the fashion world by posing topless for the cover of New York magazine’s Fall 2011 fashion issue. The magazine carries an article on him with an more interesting headline: ‘The Prettiest Boy In the world’.
The doe-eyed androgynous model, with his enviable blonde locks and a sensuous pout, is also earning adulation of netizens for his comments about his gender choice. “I’ve left my gender open to artistic interpretation,” he said in an interview to the New York magazine.David Ahen-bec Fuentes posts on facebook, "I like when things get challenged in fashion in a fab way." While Rakhsha on autostraddle.com posted, "I wish the popularity of models like Pejic meant there was a growing acceptance of the diversity of gender expressions." On the same website, Madeline posts, "It’s good to see someone in the mainstream bending the binary gender rules that society works so hard to enforce."
Closer home, fashion designers are voting in his favour. “Pejic is being true to his own creativity. He is doing it so beautifully that he has made the world sit up and take notice. It takes a lot of courage to do something like that,” says fashion designer Neeta Lulla, who says she is open to work with an androgynous model. Designer Ritu Beri says, “It would be interesting to work with someone like that. It hardly matters if it’s a guy dressed as a woman, if he beautifully takes the message of my show across.”
Lawyer Shashi Bhushan of Naaz, a LGBT organisation, believes that Pejic’s growing popularity could pave way for effeminate gay men and transgenders in modelling. “We have such pretty gay men and transgenders with great bodies. They can be absorbed in a big way by the Indian fashion industry.”
Pejic in the news
He had earlier stripped for the May 2011 cover of Dossier Journal, a New York-based magazine. The shoot evoked mixed responses from people — some voting for his gender-bending act, while some calling it ‘offending and unacceptable’. The androgynous model defended his picture as ‘art and not porn’ opposing a ban on the cover by a few US book chains. This January, Pejic created a buzz across the fashion world by hitting the runway dressed as a bride for Jean-Paul Gaultier at his Spring/Summer 2011 haute couture show in Paris. He recently shocked FHM magazine when he was named the 98th sexiest woman by its readers.