A blurb online that accompanied Pejic’s picture read: “Designers are hailing him as the next big thing. We think ‘thing’ is quite accurate... The gender bender has jumped the gun in hoping he might one day be signed as a Victoria's Secret Model (pass the sick bucket).”
After readers were outraged by the transphobic comments, FHM quickly removed the entry from its Web site and issued an apology. The June print edition of the magazine had already been published, but with less offensive text.
FHM’s blunder was only the latest in a string of controversies surrounding Andrej Pejic, the “fashion model the media can’t handle,” according to Salon. With his willowy frame, long blond locks, and willingness to model both men’s and women’s clothing, Pejic has also faced the discomfort of Barnes & Noble, which last month wrapped a magazine in opaque plastic because it featured Pejic’s nude torso.
In Salon, Mary Elizabeth Williams writes of the FHM debacle: “There are always those who'd prefer gender to run in neat lines, as clearly delineated as the icons on a public bathroom door.”
Pejic isn’t one of them.
In an interview earlier this year, he said, “I'm sure most people think of me as a woman. It doesn't bother me anymore and I feel fine about it.... I don’t consider my looks unusual.”
Below, read FHM’s online blurb, the blurb that went in print, and FHM’s apology.
The online blurb that was taken down (in full)
The blurb that went in print
“I would love to do a shoot for Playboy,” announced the 19-year-old Serbian-born model, who turned heads during London Fashion Week. Next up? Well, next up he …that’s right, Andrej is a man. Nice ‘internet campaign’ lads.”
Andrej Pejic appears at number 98 in FHM Magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011.
Regrettably the copy accompanying Andrej’s online entry wasn't subbed prior to going live. Once we realized, we removed it immediately and apologized for any offense caused.
FHM has spoken to the individual concerned and taken steps to ensure this can never happen again.