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In a photo that could fool even the trained eye, Pejic appears on the cover of style magazine Dossier with his shirt pulled down to his waist and his hair, well, in rollers.
It was enough for several retail outlets to order the magazine sheathed in an opaque wrap before they would display it. Barnes & Noble may or may not be one of them, but apparently Borders is.
Pejic is fair skinned and razor thin with light blonde hair and has modeled women’s fashions. In short, he could be a woman, except he’s a man.
Dossier Co-Founder and Creative Director Skye Parrott told reporters that bookstores had asked for the opaque poly bags because Andrej “looked too much like a woman, basically.”
What’s more, Parrott has an email from his distributor to prove it.
That prompted Elle.com to run a story claiming Borders and Barnes & Noble were among the chains censoring the cover.
A spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble, however, told the HuffPost that the chain never asked for the issues to be poly-bagged.
“It’s a naked man on the cover of a magazine, which is done all of the time without being covered up, so I definitely don’t think it merits this,” Parrott said, noting that only U.S. chain stores made the request.
For his part Pejic thinks the whole thing is silly.
“I think the question really isn’t the gender of the person on the cover, it’s whether it’s porn or it’s art. And clearly, it’s art, so art really should not be censored in a democratic society,” he told New York magazine.
“But, you know, I have just been named the 98th sexiest woman in the world, so it makes the situation a little bit confusing for them.” he added.
Parrott said the whole idea is to play with gender roles.
“You can see that he’s a man, but if you look in the face, he looks like a woman… I think that’s what’s interesting about it.”