Wednesday, 22 December 2010

blurring the lines

There’s something about this blonde haired beauty with the fantastic bone structure.
Andrej Pejic is one of the biggest names in modelling right now, working for jpg and landing a prestigious booking for the new marc by marc jacobs campaign. This model may not be landing the available commercial jobs but his (yes that’s right i said HIS) back catalogue is impressive and speaks volumes for his talent. However, as you might have rightfully guessed, it’s not his work that gets the chins wagging but rather his delicate features, flowing blonde hair, waif like figure, dainty stance, feminine dress sense and overt androgyny that often gets him confused with his female counterparts.
To push the “gender bending” phenomenon further, there’s Lea T, (who i have written about) the much talked about, transsexual model who is muse of ricardo tisci for givenchy.
Nevertheless, no matter how shocking this all seems in our little backwards society, we ought to remember that this is no new “fad”. the use of androgynous, cross dressing and even transsexual models has always been prominent in fashion. 
In the 1980s, openly gay new york drag artist, Joey Arias modelled for thierry mugler and remains part of his work; appearing in a show directed by monsieur mugler himself. There are many other transgender names in business such as Billy Beyond, Teri Toye and Candy girl, some even stemming back to the 1960s. Andy Warhol didn’t shy away from the allure of the gender bending it girl/boy by naming Candy Darling as one of his various muses throughout the years.
So, if it goes back so far, why are we calling the use of andrej pejic and lea t “gound-breaking”? That one i can’t answer but, i can say that the “revival” of this movement is not only poignant but unbelievably advantageous and beneficial for popular culture and the transgender society. Lea T verifies this in the new york times ““When you are a transsexual, you look for your future, and you can’t see it. I thought this would be a nice message for another tranny: ‘Look, we can be the same as other girls and boys.’ It’s small, but it makes you feel like you have a little chance. Maybe a transsexual will open a magazine and think: ‘That’s cool. We can be whatever we want.’ That’s why I did the Givenchy campaign.”
We ought to embrace this without effort because it is not some sort of trend; for transsexual and transgendered people, it is their life. Bringing it into the fashion world shouldn’t be breaking a “taboo”, it shouldn’t be shocking; it needs to be accepted and we need to get on with it. People are people regardless of any individual attributes, we all have feelings, emotions, needs, personalities and a story. We are equal, whether we are born in the right bodies or not and, as for, transsexuality in fashion, why should it matter as long as the model looks good in the clothes?

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