American book stores Barnes and Nobles and Borders recently refused to display this issue of Dossier magazine on shelves, requesting that the publisher foot the bill for opaque plastic sleeves (that usually cover porn magazines) because they felt the image of topless model Andrej Pejic was inappropriate. Interestingly, Pejic is a man, posing in the same amount of clothing as many Men’s Health and other male cover models that have been displayed on the same shelves.
Pejic’s androgynous look, which has catapulted him to fame through modeling women’s wear for Gaultier and Marc Jacobs amongst others, was no doubt the source of the discomfort and has raised important questions about the body politics around beauty. Whilst his appearance speaks for a relaxation of strict gender binaries and a more fluid interaction between sexual categories, it’s also true that his straight up-and-down boyish figure promotes fashion’s waif-like ideal for women. It is rather alarming to consider that body standards have become so unattainable for female models, that designers have sourced men to wear their clothing.
What is undeniable is that Pejic is gorgeous and the Dossier images do make you look twice, as well as reconsider how you’ve come to understand the marked differences between men and women. Which is exactly the point of art isn’t it? To raise questions. Questions to which censorship is most definitely not the answer. See the rest of the images from the editorial here.