U.S. Vogue has reached a milestone in its history by profiling a transgender model within its pages for the first time. Andreja Pejic is the subject of a four-page piece highlighting her journey from being a young refugee of the Bosnian War, growing up in Melbourne trying to hide her feminine mannerisms, and eventually becoming the woman she is today. Like many trans kids, Andreja said that as a young boy, it was very difficult for her to reconcile her body with how she felt on the inside.
“I wanted to stop puberty in its early tracks,” she said. “I was worried about my feet being too big, my hands being too big, my jawline being too strong.” She struggled to pinpoint an identity and didn’t quite feel like a gay male, though she felt pressure to conform to societal expectations of how a boy should behave. “‘I thought about being gay, but it didn’t fit… I thought, Well, maybe this’—the fantasy of living life as a girl—’is just something you like to imagine sometimes. Try to be a boy and try to be normal.'”
As she grew older, Andreja began to take hormones to stop her body from experiencing the effects of puberty as a male. Last year, she finally came out as transgendered and went through gender-confirmation surgery. And it seems all the struggles she faced coming into her womanhood have paid off. Andreja has just landed a major beauty contract with Make Up For Ever, becoming one of the first trans models to front a top beauty campaign.
Though there are hurdles Pejic still faces as a transwoman, she seems positive about the future. “There are just more categories now,” she says. “It’s good. We’re finally figuring out that gender and sexuality are more complicated.”