❚ THE US EDITION OF FHM magazine has posted an apology on its website for publishing offensive remarks about the 19-year-old Australian male model Andrej Pejic. Readers had voted him number 98 on its list, “100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011”, ahead of Lady Gaga. Following publication three weeks ago, yesterday the mag finally removed his online profile after complaints about its anti-gender-bender stance on the Haus of Andrej Pejic blog.
The original FHM text published May 5 [see below] written by the mag’s evidently chauvinist editors was indeed downright insulting, considering that Pejic’s androgynous appearance (stats: 6ft 2in tall, 36-in waist, UK shoe size 10) had after all caught the fancy of FHM’s metrosexual readers in the first place.
Headed “Why we love Andrej Pejic”, the online text read: “Although his sexual identity is ambiguous, designers are hailing him as the next big thing. We think ‘thing’ is quite accurate. Tall, skinny and flat-chested . . . the blonde gender-bender has jumped the gun in hoping he might one day be signed as a Victoria’s Secret Model (Pass the sick bucket).” [Victoria’s Secret is a US retailer of chic and sexy women’s clothing.]
FHM’s apology blamed slackness in its own ranks: “Regrettably the copy accompanying Andrej’s online entry wasn’t subbed [ie, checked] prior to going live. FHM has taken steps to ensure this can never happen again.”
FHM’s editorial debacle follows a separate anti-Pejic episode mid-month when Dossier Journal’s cover pictured the model wearing his blond hair rolled in curlers while removing his shirt. Elle.com reported: “News-stands are covering the image for being too risqué. Little do they know they’re censoring the image of a shirtless man. Katherine Krause, Dossier’s Editor-In-Chief, says that bookstores have been made aware of Pejic’s gender but will move forward with the censoring. What’s more, it’s Dossier’s financial responsibility to pay for the black poly bags with which their distribution people must cover the magazines.”
Bosnian-born Pejic told New York magazine’s Party Lines: “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.”