If you’ve never heard of the transgender model Andreja Pejic, you truly are missing out. This woman is nothing short of haunting beautiful, and she seems to be one of those women who would look stunning even in rags.
But naturally, her story doesn’t begin there. It begins when she was 17, when she was a boy working in a McDonald’s in Melbourne. It’s there that she was scouted and brought to Europe, where her androgynous style was the crux of her appeal.
Until 2014, Andreja was “living between two genders”, until she came out as a transgender woman.
Andreja said of her transition: “It’s been quite a ride since then. When you’ve been through so much in such a short time, it takes your body and your mind quite a while to catch up, to settle down.”
Andreja is, in comparison the loud voices belonging to people such as Caitlyn Jenner, a refreshingly measured voice in the transgender space, which she has shown recently at a keynote address for the Human Rights Campaign.
“I’m a bit of a nerd,” Andreja said, “an introvert by nature, so I’m still working on being comfortable with public speaking. I just feel as though it’s the right thing to do. In generations past the ideal if you were trans was to disappear, to move to another place and start afresh. That was the best they could hope for. But I got famous first. I didn’t have the option of anonymity. And, of course, we’ve moved past that kind of thinking. Now – at least I hope – the ideal is to incorporate your past, to inhabit it while you’re becoming yourself. I think it’s my responsibility to be truthful in as many ways as I can.”
Then, she touched on the generally touchy topic of people asking questions regarding her anatomy or correct gender pronoun.
“I choose not to wallow in my pain. There are a lot of things that are unfortunate in the world and you have to be resilient. Identity politics are really divisive. They separate people instead of unifying them as human. They cause you to believe that your own group is the most downtrodden. To me, the important thing is to constantly look outside yourself, to see what you can do in the greater universe.”
“Look, I’m a model. It’s a catty business. I have the usual insecurities, compounded by my unique ones from being trans. But you have to remind yourself that beauty is a fleeting thing and in the end, no matter who you are, you need to develop your substance.”
Read the full interview here.