Andreja Pejic, ultimate superbabe and muse of Jean Paul Gaultier, is the first transgender model to be the subject of a lengthy profile piece by Vogue.
The comprehensive article by Alice Gregory, titled ‘Has the Fashion Industry Reached a Transgender Turning Point?‘ looks into Pejic’s journey in the modelling industry, as well as the issues and successes that transgender models have faced in the fashion, modelling and beauty industries.
Hailing originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina before emigrating to Melbourne, Pejic speaks openly and calmly about the issues she faced as a young boy, trying to train herself out of feminine traits that came naturally to her to avoid bullying.
“Society doesn’t tell you that you can be trans… I thought about being gay, but it didn’t fit. . . . I thought, Well, maybe this [being a girl] is just something you like to imagine sometimes. Try to be a boy and try to be normal.”
Pejic went through gender-confirmation surgery last year, and walked her first show as a woman for Giles earlier this year. She is also one of the first transgender models to score a significant beauty campaign – she will appear this year as the face of Make Up For Ever.
She also noted that plenty of people warned her not to transition to a woman. She said that there was many comments warning her that she would ‘lose what was special about her’ and that she ‘wouldn’t be interesting anymore’. One agent told Pejic, “It’s better to be androgynous than a tranny.” Pejic obviously ignored these pieces of advice: “It is about showing that this is not just a gimmick.”
When asked about the topic of transgender people having more visibility, but still facing scrutiny and discrimination, Pejic replied with possibly the most kickass, empowering answer ever to be heard:
“Being known to the whole world with this transition, I thought, Who is ever going to love me? How am I going to have a relationship with a man if all of this is public? Then I got to a place where I was like, ‘I’m successful and happy with what I’ve achieved. There’s nothing I should be ashamed of. You can take it or leave it.’”
Also, watch this excellent video of Andreja on The Project late last month, where she talks about transgender issues, and her upcoming documentary: