Andreja Pejic – Transgender Fashion Model
In fashion one of the hottest phrases running around is ‘gender fluidity’ and one model knows more about it than anyone else. Andreja Pejic is a transgender woman who began her transition at the age of just fourteen. Pejic—an Australian citizen—was born Andrej Pejic in Bosnia-Herzegovina mere months before the Bosnian War started. Fleeing with her newly divorced mother, her grandmother and brother, to a refugee camp near Belgrade they sought safety from the fighting. In 1999 the family emigrated to Australia where, sadly, Pejic was horribly bullied at school for being too feminine. He tried to train himself to not be so girly, change his walk, his speech and everything about himself that was essentially Andrej. (continued below)
She has claimed on many occasions that she wanted to halt the puberty process before it even started, fearing that she would become even more lanky and clumsy. Her feet felt too large and her jawline seemed to masculine for her liking but those fears were unfounded when she landed a modeling contract. Only recently has Pejic undergone the surgery to ‘confirm’ her gender. This phrase is now replacing the old ‘gender reassignment’ in favor of ‘gender confirmation’, which most transgender people believe more accurately describes the process. However, Pejic has remained tight lipped as to the details of her surgery, stating that whatever is between a person’s legs doesn’t sum up that person.
Gender Neutral and Gender Specific
Pejic’s debut in the modeling world began as a gender neutral foray, where she preferred to stay on that ‘gender fluidity’ road. Many stylists and fashion designers lapped it up because gender neutrality in fashion is another niche they can plug into and for many Pejic was the ideal model. The story of her model career is just as fascinating as her autobiography. Pejic was spotted in a McDonald’s Restaurant in Melbourne by a scout who had no idea whether she was a girl or a boy. All the scout knew was that Pejic had some serious modeling potential and they intended to tap into it. Within weeks she was walking the catwalks of Paris wearing Jean Paul Gaultier clothes for both men and women.
Pejic stands by her ethic of negating mainstream gender identity because there are so many different categories that people can now fall into and choose. She believes, as do many, that gender and sexuality are far more complex than the initial simplicity that people assume. Many people said that by making the full transition Pejic would lost that which made her unique, but for her it wasn’t a matter for a career choices, but more of a life choice, with career coming second to happiness and being comfortable in her own body. No other model has ever towed the fine line between female and male with much success until now and Pejic is certainly making her mark as both a gender neutral model and a fully-fledged female.
The Next Chapter
With the likes of Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox all gracing the covers of some of the world’s top magazines, Pejic now joins the crowd of beautifully transgendered people by appearing on the front cover of Vogue in its May 2015 edition, also being the first ever transgender model to appear in the magazine. She has also come out in support of Caitlyn Jenner as she makes her transitional debut into the world. Pejic is a great example of a human being who sees far beyond the borders and judgments of the compartmentalized world we live in. She doesn’t judge others by their sex or their appearance, but by the way they treat themselves and one another. This, we think, is a great example to set others.
See Andreja Pejic’s Office Website for more information.