Barnes & Noble and Borders censor image of androgynous male model Andrej Pejic "in case customers think he is a woman"
Barnes & Noble and Borders censor image of androgynous male model Andrej Pejic “in case customers think he is a woman”
11:51 PM on 16th May 2011
Two major U.S. book retailers have censored an image of andogynous 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.
Censored: Barnes & Noble and Borders have demanded that a magazine bearing a topless image of male model Andre Pejic is covered in opaque plastic
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.”
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 madesomeone pretty uncomfortable.”
Rising star: Mr Pejic is a catwalk favourite and has appeared in shows for Givenchy Haute Couture (left) as well as the label”s menswear collection (right)
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.”
Dossier, which sells 20,000 copies per issue, says that the Barnes & Noble and Borders orders represent just under 10 per cent of its print run.
But the booksellers” ruling about the cover has already sparked some negative response.
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”
Rules: 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
Mr Pejic, who was raised in Australia, and was discovered while working in McDonalds. He has been hailed the next big thing by fashion industry insiders.
He says he is comfortable modelling both men”s and womenswear and aspires one day to model for Playboy.
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. Itdoesn”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, heis 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.”