Are you an adrogynous looking individual offending the public’s sensibilities? Trying to understand what actually constitutes masculine or feminine?
dailymailco.uk: Two major U.S. book retailers have censored an image of androgynous male model Andre Pejic ‘in case customers confuse him for a woman’.
The Serbian-born catwalk star, 19, who has appeared in shows for Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier, appears topless on the cover of glossy magazine Dossier.
But both Barnes & Noble and Borders have demanded that issues of the magazine come wrapped in opaque plastic.
Come wrapped in opaque plastic in the event you suddenly think Andre is small breasted young woman? Wrapped because you suddenly think that Andre is a flat chested young boy? Wrapped because you might think that Andre is too sexual for your own good?
Barnes & Noble is said to have told Dossier’s distributor that it would have to forfeit the order or agree to a covering concealing the image.
It said that though it understood that Mr Pejic was male and not female, ‘the model is young and it could be deemed as a naked female’.
Does that imply that Dossier journal have done one heck of a photoshoot? Does that mean Andre is too out there for his own good? Or does it mean that corporate America has taken the depiction of a mainstay fashion figure into the illicit?
Dossier co-founder and creative director Skye Parrott told Jezebel.com that the directive came as a shock.
She said: ‘We knew that this cover presented a very strong, androgynous image, and that could make some people uncomfortable. That’s partly why we chose it. I guess it has made someone pretty uncomfortable.’
Could it be that the public isn’t ready to be shocked? Or rather could it mean, the public isn’t ready to be appropriately shocked until a couple of corporate behemoth’s sanction said images?
She added that colleagues in the industry were equally stunned.
‘I’ve been talking to all my friends who work in magazines, and nobody I know has ever heard of anything like this happening,’ she said. ‘Especially with a guy. Guys are shirtless on magazine covers all the time.
‘[It poses] a very interesting question of gender.’
Does that imply a man is a man only when he has big bulgy muscles and an obvious traditional male haircut? And on the same token, does it imply that a woman is only a woman as long as she behaves as one and looks like what she’s supposed to look like- which in other words the symbol of Andre Pejic has suddenly bastardized for those of us who don’t get to hang out at front row fashion fixtures.
An article on Jezebel read: ‘Pejic is a man. And pictures of shirtless men, in Western culture, are not considered “obscene”. So why is Pejic’s cover getting the same treatment as a porno mag?
‘What message are the big bookstore chains sending — that the male torso is only appropriate all-ages viewing when the man in question is ripped?’
Styleite added: ‘Need we remind you that a crazily buff (and pretty much shirtless) Aaron Schock graces the cover of June’s Men Health? If Andrej were muscled instead of waif-like, would this be an issue?
‘More importantly, if Andrej had a more masculine face, would this be an issue?’
And then there is this:
In an interview earlier this year, he said: ‘Sometimes I feel like more of a woman, other times I feel male.
‘I’m sure most people think of me as a woman. It doesn’t bother me anymore and I feel fine about it… I don’t consider my looks unusual.’
Ms Parrott added: ‘The thing about Andrej is, if you see him, he is very, deeply androgynous. But he is also very comfortable with that. It’s a shame that everyone can’t be as relaxed about it as he is.’
Isn’t it a shame that some of us cling onto stereo types of what constitutes a man or a woman? But perhaps that explains the disarray certain quarters within the publishing and book merchandising industry have been experiencing. Or does it?