What Does Andreja Pejic's Profile in Vogue Mean for Trans Inclusion?
It’s been a transformative year for the fashion world, and we’re not even half way through it. The industry has been radically developing, becoming more inclusive and affirming of the nontraditional narrative of beauty. That narrative comes to its climax today in Vogue’s trailblazing interview with Andreja Pejić, the Bosnian born, trans model that’s been defying gender binaries for awhile now. During the interview, Pejić confirmed that she would be the spokesperson for Make Up For Ever’s new campaign, making her the second ever trans model to land a major beauty campaign like this. Lea T, Brazilian model and Givenchy it-girl, became the face of Redken last November.
Starting as an androgynous male model, Pejić has been very open about her feelings on gender and sexuality from the beginning of her career, stunning audiences when she walked on both men’s and women’s runways for Jean Paul Gaultier in 2011. She’s also been very deliberate about making her transition public, coming out as trans to Style last July and Kickstarting a documentary about the process. In her coming out interview with Style, she explained “My goal is to give a human face to this struggle, and I feel like I have a responsibility.” And what a beautiful face she’s become.
The trans community is statistically one of the most marginalized groups of people. According to The National Center for Transgender Equality, 50% can’t even find a place willing to hire them. With over 60% enduring physical and sexual assault in their lives, coming out as trans means opening up your life to a huge amount of hostility and exclusion.
However, fashion and culture, have slowly been becoming more and more supportive and inclusive to the trans community. Laverne Cox has become a huge inspiration to the trans community, breaking into acting in Orange is the New Black, and showing up on Time’s cover last year, making her the first trans person to hold the honor. Other stories of trans people influencing culture have been popping up everywhere, with trans man Aydian Dowling on his way to becoming the Men’s Health’s ‘Ultimate Guy’, and the story of Chase Culpepper, who just won a settlement over whether trans women can wear makeup in their ID photos in South Carolina.
Pejić says in her Vogue interview, “It’s good. We’re finally figuring out that gender and sexuality are more complicated.” And we have to agree. Fashion has shown the beginnings of a disregard for gender binaries, and an inclusiveness like never before. We’re excited to be alive and a part of this revolution in the industry. Though, there is still a long way to go, with a reported 41% of trans identified people attempting suicide in their lifetimes, this is not the end of the battle. As it branches out into more and more diverse areas, we can see standards of beauty changing, and opening up to include anyone and everyone that has the confidence to show up and put their fiercest face on.
For any trans folk feeling victimized or suicidal, you can call the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860 in the US or (877) 330-6366 in Canada to find support