Censorship of Broadmeadows Male Model

June 14, 2011 by  

Printing companies have to determine what is artistic and tasteful when it comes to their cover photos. In the case of the Dossier journal, some argue their latest cover photo of androgynous male model Andrej Pejic is blurring the line between art and pornography.

Pejic, who was born in Bosnia and raised in Broadmeadows, Australia, has facial features that are very feminine. In the black and white Dossier cover photo, he appears with a feminine hair style and makeup as well, but the thing that's caused all the controversy is that he also appears shirtless. While many magazines feature shirtless male models on the cover, the fact that Pejic's appearance is so feminine led a major bookstore chain to formally request that the Dossier journal be covered in a translucent plastic that's typically used for pornography publications.

The fact that the nude upper body of this popular, androgynous model could cause such a reaction from major book retailers has led some printing companies to question how they portray male cover models. Skye Parrot, the creative director and co-founder of Dossier said that the directive to cover the magazine was surprising for the publisher.

While they intended the image to be intriguing and controversial, they never expected censorship because Pejic is clearly a male model, even though his features are very feminine. Since other magazines feature shirtless guys on their covers all the time, they figured it was no big deal. Yet some major book retailers are concerned that some of their customers may somehow mistake Pejic for a naked woman. The publisher was provided the “option” to either cancel the order or accept the semitransparent wrapping.