August 16, 2011

Andrej Pejic, because male androgyny is beautiful too

Hey there gender blenders,

Yesterday, Autostraddle posted an article about the androgynous model, Andrej Pejic, asking "where is the love for men who fuck with gender on their own terms?" I felt like it was necessary for me to address this question directly because, while this blog focuses on female androgyny, I wholeheartedly believe that male androgyny is just as beautiful and just as important in challenging gender binaries.

 
There have been some negative reactions to Pejic in article comment threads, and the magazine FHM even referred to him as a "thing." These reactions are a result of a sort of gender panic. The term, "thing," that FHM attached to Pejic acts to alienate him from definitions of "humanness." This alienation is not at all the alien-like androgyny performed by Lady Gaga and Tilda Swinton, as being called a "thing" is not the same as performing something existential on one's own terms.

While Pejic has, in his own words, "left [his] gender open to artistic interpretation," he is not a thing, nor should his image, self, or body be experienced as an object of feared desire without challenging the root of that fear that ultimately has nothing to do with Pejic. It is the fear of the gray areas of gender and sexuality as they exist within the self. As an androgynous person, Pejic's beauty and desirability challenge clear designations of  sexuality. For this challenge, I find him all the more beautiful.

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