Monday, September 19, 2011

Gender neutral looks?

Recently I read a New York Magazine feature about Andrej Pejic, Australian model who possesses such so-called "androgynous" face that he models both male and female clothing.
Before reading the article, I thought to myself "what is an 'androgynous' face? How is it different from male faces people deem too feminine or female face people say too masculine? Is there such a thing as a perfect balance?"
Looking at Pejic, I can see how he pulls off modeling different gender clothing. And while the fashion industry and feminism often contradict each other in terms of portraying the image of what constitutes a beautiful woman (Pejic himself is thin, tall, and blonde), I wonder if Pejic's seemingly gender neutral looks could be as widely accepted or celebrated outside of the fashion industry? In the fashion industry and because of fashion, Pejic is allowed to be himself: a man who likes to wear makeup and dress beautifully (he emphasizes he doesn't choose to dress like a man or a woman, just however he wishes).
However at the same time, I recognize that perhaps it is because he his thin and blonde that his androgynous face is labeled a thing of beauty. If he was not as tall, skinny, or blonde as he is, he would probably be labelled as a guy who looks too feminine. If a woman with "androgynous" looks was not tall or skinny, she would probably be called manly and not interesting.
To read the full feature article about Andrej Pejic "The Prettiest Boy in the World":

By: Catherine Yeh

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