Posts Tagged ‘androgyny’

Review: In One Person by John Irving


Brave and beautiful at times, In One Person is a tragicomic story of desire, longing and sexual identity. It both delights in and agonises over sexual differences and gender-bending, with a diverse cast of characters and a conflicted narrator who comes to understand that “we are formed by what we desire.”

This is John Irving’s 13th novel, and in many ways recalls some of his most-loved books such as The Cider House Rules and The World According to Garp. There are familiar themes and motifs: prep school, writing, wrestling, New England, Vienna, missing parents. Both tormented and funny, this is a memorable coming of age story that charts the shifting politics of gender and sexuality over more than half a century as the narrator, William, comes to terms with his own identity. (more…)

David Bowie + Andreja Pejic = everything?


The Stars (Are Out Tonight), the second single from David Bowie’s upcoming record The Next Day, was released earlier this week, and it’s kind of everything. The song is beautiful, grungy and melodic, with a sweeping energy that is unmistakably Bowie. But what’s more exciting is the way it is brought to life in a strange, gorgeous and beguiling video, starring Tilda Swinton, Andreja Pejic, Saskia de Brauw, and Iselin Steiro.

It’s like a creepy little arthouse film – disturbing, sexy and utterly bizarre. Bowie and Swinton (who many have long suspected may actually be the same person) play a straight-laced, middle-aged couple living quietly in the suburbs. “We have a nice life,” Swinton says, kissing Bowie on the cheek as they do their supermarket shopping. He is starting distractedly at a magazine cover featuring an incredibly young, glamorous and decadent celebrity couple plastered on the cover. Then he tosses it aside. “We have a nice life,” he agrees firmly. (more…)

In which I talk about Andrej Pejic some more

Andrej Pejic Hema lingerie ad

(Edit July 2014: This was written when Andreja was going by Andrej and using male pronouns. At the time, it was to the best of my knowledge that she identified as male. Any essay I would write about her today would look very different, though still celebrating how amazing she is.)

Andrej Pejic modelling bras for Hema, and why I think he is just the coolest

Okay, so anyone who has spent any time with me in the past six months or so will know that I’m completely enthralled by Andrej Pejic. I think he’s an absolute genius, and he inspires me in a lot of ways. Firstly, in the obvious sense – he inspires me because of his utterly captivating, otherworldly beauty, the way he challenges boundary after boundary, the way he continues to take everyone’s breath away with every new outfit, every new runway show, every fashion editorial.

But maybe more than that, he inspires me because he just seems so completely serene while he does it all. Obviously I have no idea how he really feels inside – but you get the sense that he’s genuinely just really comfortable with who he is, that he actually doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He just does his own thing, and he does it without being all defensive and “hey fuck you man!” about it. He’s only just turned 20, but there’s something really mature about they way he seems to really know himself.

Anyway. So this week he’s making headlines for one of his latest gigs – modelling push-up bras for Hema lingerie. Which is pure genius,  and with Andrej’s sassy, sardonic sense of humour you can just tell he loves the whole idea of it. A lot of the things he says or does, it’s like he’s secretly laughing, and you can just tell he kind of thinks this is a scream. It’s kind of on the same wavelength as the incredibly clever Dermablend concealer ad Rico Genest (better known as Zombie Boy) starred in, and I think it’s very cool. (more…)

Review: The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt

In the first of my ‘3008 Bookshelf’ columns for 3008 Docklands magazine, I reviewed The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt by Jon-Jon Goulian.

Jon-Jon Goulian is one of the strangest people I’ve ever met. He’s also one of the sweetest, and his utterly lovable memoir is both heartbreaking and heart-warming, leaving you with an intense desire to give him a big hug – and maybe go out shopping with him.

For anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water, Goulian’s story strikes a familiar chord. On the surface, there was no real reason why he should have felt out of place. Growing up in the sunny beachside town of La Jolla, San Diego, surrounded by a family of doctors and lawyers and political philosophers, and blessed with a sharp intelligence and talent for soccer, he was all set on a very conventional path towards success. (more…)

Boys in skirts

(Edit July 2014: This was written when Andreja was going by Andrej and using male pronouns. At the time, it was to the best of my knowledge that she identified as male. Any essay I would write about her today would look very different, though still celebrating how amazing she is.)

Excitement! My article on Andrej Pejic, androgyny and androcentrism appears in Issue Seven of the always-wonderful Kill Your Darlings journal.

Read the full text of my piece here!