In an unprecedented transformation, supermodel Andrej Pejic underwent a full gender reassignment surgery early this year and is still considered by fashionistas to be a supermodel, only now as Andreja Pejic.
It helps that androgyny has kind of been Pejic’s thing since hitting the model scene in 2011, immediately making waves on runways for the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs. In a recent People magazine interview, the Serbian native talked about always feeling like a girl trapped in a boy’s body.
“I always dreamt of being a girl,” Pejic, 22, said. “One of my earliest memories is spinning around in my mom’s skirt trying to look like a ballerina.”
Now, he will have the opportunity to do that pretending with all the right plumbing and attributes. She is now Andreja, complete with a gold charm on her necklace designating her as such. She felt obliged to go public immediately:
“I want to share my story with the world because I think I have a social responsibility,” Pejic said. “I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue.”
After her family moved to Australia when she was 9, Pejic said social pressures caused her to hide her true self in favor of a more acceptable personage. She tried immersing herself in sports and surrounding herself with boys like her peers, but nothing worked to change her true identity.
“I wanted to be a good kid and I wanted to please my parents,” she says. “I kept my dreams and my imagination to myself and became pretty good at acting as a boy. But I was hiding who I was.”
At 13, after Pejic began to research how to go about becoming a woman, her attitude changed.
“I went into the library and typed ‘sex change’ into Google and my life changed,” she said. “The Internet gave me the sense that there were words to describe my feelings and medical terms.”
Though she planned to finish high school as a boy, then pursue a sex change, her discovery as a male model at 17 put those plans temporarily on hold. That’s not to say she couldn’t be herself, though; since her beauty shone through as both a man and woman, she was hired to model both male and female clothes.
“Being a bride for Gaultier was a very special moment for me,” Pejic said. According to Vogue, she’d even been cast to star in Sofia Coppola’s still-in-the-works version of The Little Mermaid.
But less than two years ago, she still felt uncomfortable as an actual man. The whole world seems to stretch out before her now, Pejic says: “Every day is like a new revelation. I’m more comfortable than ever. I feel 100 percent.”
Whether she’ll still continue to model clothes for both genders seems beside the point now.
[Image courtesy of Toy Magazine]