What to do with Andrej Pejic?

Like so many others, I’m a bit baffled by Andrej Pejic. The twenty-year old male model was ranked 98th in FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011”. This week he has made headlines as the chest for a push-up bra advertising campaign in the Netherlands.

See, I obviously detest the fashion industry shaping norms of female beauty that are unattainable for the vast majority of women and so have created an epidemic of self-loathing. I’m definitely furious with H&M for their computer generated models. Or model, rather, since they seem to have just replicated the same body with several different ethnicities. Do the Pejic ads have a similar effect? I mean, I definitely have a girl crush on those arms. However, given the little issues of female bone construction and muscle to fat ratio those arms are definitely unattainable. And I probably shouldn’t feel that I want a dude’s arms in the first place…right?

Or should I? Obviously the other end of this lollipop is that there’s very little I love more than transgression of gender boundaries. When it’s going in the other direction, as with Gaga/Jo Calderone I admire androgyny as a social
statement. I love the androgyny of the female tuxedo, particularly as pioneered by Yves Saint Lauren and Helmut Newton.

Should the rules change when we’re talking about the arguably greater restrictions that gender places upon men’s appearances? Is this a valuable exploration of norms by the fashion industry? Is it art? Is it just a publicity statement? Or is it just, as H&M would say, about showing off the clothes as effectively as possible? And is that okay?

As I say, I’m baffled.

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3 thoughts on “What to do with Andrej Pejic?

  1. Wow I’m not really sure what to say except he is a good looking bloke. I think its probably good, I don’t think this one picture will make or break the fashion industry or concepts of beauty that you so dislike (if it does either it must weaken it) and it makes a strong statement on gender.

    Having seen this part of me is empowered to go and wear a skirt like we once discussed and part of me is terrified of the idea, as I wont look half that good, which is what they want you to think when you look at a picture of one of the worlds 100 sexiest women before trying on a skirt.

  2. While the Pejic Photos you posted look amazing, given that he is a man who is advertising push-up bras – I do wonder how much photo shopping went in to creating the curvaceous right hip of his in the black dress photo

    And although there is no doubt he looks gorgeous, isn’t the need for photo shopping something like that’s almost as bad as the photo shopping to increase abs, muscle tone and shadows to give the appearance of slimmer models, in men who are men and women who are women.

    And a certain amount of distortion is acceptable, probably needed, in the androgynous identity – but on top of the very blatent use of photo shop and other retouching software in the fashion industry how ‘real’ are these photos?

    And does this campaign not just further the idea that you may not need a real woman to be a woman and advertise women’s clothing, or likewise for men?

    On a different note there is a very interesting fashion collection called “Androgyny meets Glamour” in BT at the moment..

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