Andrej Pejic is one of fashions freshest faces strutting the runways. Pejic is tall, thin, blond-haired and blue eyed. The Serbian beauty wears impossibly high heels and gowns that many women can only ever dream of.
What more could a 19 year old boy want?
Yes, Pejic is indeed biologically male. He is the newest shock factor model being ogled over by the public. Many say he has the bone structure of Cindy Crawford and the body of Kate Moss. Others are championing runway designers like Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier for putting Pejic in their shows and saying that this is a step forward for the LGBTQ community.
“Pejic’s surge in popularity sends a hopeful message that beauty is moving beyond gender classifications, ” said Elias Bailey, who runs a blog called Fuck
Yeah Men With Long Hair.
While I cannot deny that Pejic’s “look” is gaze catching or say that his recent rise to popularity is not extremely interesting to me. Without these factors I would not be writing a blog post about him. However, the very tropes that make him a wanted fashion figure are the very same elements that critics have chastised the modeling and fashion industries about for many years. Pejic is a prime example of hegemony being strong enough to bend. The requirement to enter fashion’s “It girl” club are the same even if you are a man.
Tall, Thin, Blonde and White….
These narrow categories that reflect the reality of a small population marginalize others like black, asian and short that don’t see runway exposure nearly as much as those that line up with this “type” of beauty that has/is still masquerading a the one and only standard.
Before congratulations are in order for challenging the hegemonic standard of beauty I would like to see a significant challenge to the “standard of beauty” that is Tall, Thin Blonde and White. While Pejic is a small effort or perhaps a nudge forward he is in no way shattering this age-old myth of beauty.