Androgynous models and our definitions of beauty.

Passed along by Lyore (thanks!):

I came across this article and found it really interesting.

It's a year old, but I only discovered it now. It's a short interview with the model Andrej Pejic who was the first transgendered model to be featured on the cover of a major fashion magazine (Elle).

I find it really interesting that Andrej doesn't define himself by the traditional concepts of sexuality and just sees himself as androgynous. In his interview he says that his gender is open to artistic interpretation and that he doesn't see himself as either male or female-gender is irrelevant to him. I also find it really cool that the fashion industry has been so open to transgendered models in the past few years even though it has been a bit controversial. It does make me wonder though if big fashion labels such as Jean Paul Gaultier have taken advantage of models like Andrej Pejic for media coverage and ultimately for their own benefit (other then just showing openness and acceptance in the fashion world to more ambiguous and non-traditional gender roles)

From the New York Daily News:

Androgynous model Andrej Pejic pushes gender boundaries on the cover of Serbian Elle magazine

Inside, the 21-year-old cross-dressing beauty, who defies categorization, wrestles with female and male versions of himself. “I’ve left my gender open to artistic interpretation,” Pejic once said.

By Carol Kuruvilla

The androgynous model French designer Jean Paul Gaultier called his “otherworldly beauty” is now an Elle cover girl.

Twenty-one-year-old Andrej Pejic is featured front and center on Serbian Elle’s January cover, the Telegraph reports. The cross-dressing model is fitted head to toe in Gaultier and trades in his trademark platinum locks for a choppy black wig.

Inside the magazine, he wrestles with male and female versions of himself in a feature named “Victor Victoria.” The female Pejic wears skimpy La Perla lingerie, while a more masculine side of Pejic looks aggressive in suits.

At a twiggy 5 feet, 11 inches tall, the hipless, chestless Pejic is a fashion designer’s dream. The versatile model has hit the runway in both men’s and women’s fashion shows.

Pejic doesn’t plan on having sex reassignment surgery. Whether he identifies as male or female doesn’t seem to be the point: Gender is irrelevant.

“I’ve left my gender open to artistic interpretation,” Pejic told New York Magazine. “It’s not like ‘Okay, today I want to look like a man, or today I want to look like a woman.’ I want to look like me.”

Pejic is the second model to push gender boundaries on Elle, transforming what the fashion world considers feminine. (Brazilian model Lea T wore Givenchy on Brazilian Elle’s cover in 2011.)

In 2011, Barnes and Noble censored an issue of a magazine in which Pejic appeared bare-chested on the cover.

But Pejic is no stranger to controversy. His mother is Serbian, and his father is a Croat, which placed his parents on opposite sides of the Bosnian war in the 1990s. A few months after his birth, fighting caused his family to flee to Melbourne, Australia. He was discovered at 17 while working at McDonald’s, the BBC reports.

See the rest of the photos here.

Lyore also sent along a Buzzfeed link to photos of several androgynous models. Check it out here.