Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Will Not Quote Aerosmith, Sorry

This cover of Dossier, featuring famously androgynous male model Andrej Pejic has been censored by both Barnes & Noble and Borders because (you guessed it) the chains feared that their patrons would look at Pejic, mistake him for a lady, and be scandalized by his bare chest.  The stores are now stocking the new issue in opaque modesty banners, which raises some really interesting, gender bending questions, I think.  What is it about Pejic's cultivated look: a pasty, feminine, stick thin, zero point, that makes people so uncomfortable in this particular image?  Men are shirtless on magazines all the time, they're just typically a tad more ripped or well known; there to sell you fitness or rock and roll.  I'm intrigued by the arguments that crop up around what I think is a perfectly tasteful, unsurprising cover shot.  We don't see male body image brought up very often in fashion's bad press, and I know many a dude who, from the neck down, share the at-risk-for-lung-collapse frame.  Is this a new double standard?  An appropriation of an old one?  What do you think?

Pejic is an interesting case, and I've been following him since last season's runway shows.  He's a 19-year old Serbian/Australian kid with white blonde hair who is, basically, positively gorgeous in terms of runway modeling.  He walked the men's wear and women's wear runways for Gaultier this year, and we've got to wonder: is this a breakthrough?  Or, is it a dude sneaking in on another lady's job?

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