Androgynous model Andrej Pejic is shattering the barriers of the catwalk, all in the name of beauty. If you're not familiar with the name, you might be familiar with his work. He's modeled both men and women's clothing on the catwalks of late, and his waifish appearance has garnered him Out magazine's coveted "Style Maker of the Year" award.
On the cover of Out mag's most recent issue, Pejic channels the mid-1960s with black eyeliner, a wedding veil, and flowers arranged tastefully in his curled hair. If you didn't know he was a genetically male, you'd never guess it by looking at his picture. In his interview with the magazine, he expresses frustration at how the world tries to define just who he is, exactly:
Define, refine, constrict, package, and sell... No thank you. I would like to live in a world where your gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and, above all, financial status didn't affect the opportunities you are given in life, the way you're treated by others, and your overall freedom. In a world like that, I wouldn't be given such a complex definition.
He also talked about how he was once asked to arouse himself for a photo shoot, which he refused to do. He said, "I serve beauty, no porn!" Pejic is still a novelty in the modeling world, but he's gaining acceptance as he should be. He states that although he's gained recognition for his unique look and has become quite sought after, he still faces an uphill battle to be taken seriously as a female model. He accepts it, though, and continues on, proving his mettle with each photo shoot and runway strut.
In a perfect world, humans would accept Pejic for who he is, unfortunately, there exist people who feel threatened by his very existence, who would seek to destroy the very core of his being through therapy, religion, and threats. It should not matter to others how a person identifies himself sexually or in terms of gender (which are two different things). The 20-year-old Serbian-born Australian is simply a very feminine male who enjoys wearing makeup and dresses.
Twenty-five years ago, the prejudices against Andrej Pejic might have been so that he would never have considered the possibility of gaining an audience with Queen Elizabeth II. How times have changed. He recently was chosen to meet with Her Royal Highness at Buckingham palace for an event before she visited Australia. What did Pejic wear for the very special occasion?
Versace, of course.
Image: Out magazine cover
Â©2011 Reno Berkeley for Gather News.