Shirtless Model Banned

Did we mention he's a man?

Dossier – a glossy journal that comes out of Brooklyn, N.Y. – used a photo of a shirtless male model on its most recent cover. And now two of the major bookstore chains in the U.S. are refusing to display it.

Sound strange?

It may have to do with the fact that the image is that of an androgynous male model named Andrej Pejic who, made up with makeup and hair curlers, has people thinking he’s a woman. And it’s likely why both Barnes & Noble and Borders have decided to keep the trendy style magazine under wraps.

Elle reports that both of the major book chains have asked that Dossier‘s latest issue be enclosed in a plastic bag that hides the stark black-and-white cover image. And according to the folks at the magazine – which enjoys an international circulation – American shops seem to be the only ones pitching a fit.

“It’s a naked man on the cover of a magazine, which is done all the time without being covered up,” the magazine’s Founder and Creative Director Skye Parrott told The Huffington Post, “so I definitely don’t think it merits this.”

He blames peoples’ fear of gender identity for the controversy. “It seems that it probably made people uncomfortable,” he says. “But that’s part of what’s interesting about the cover, I think, is that it’s playing with those ideas of gender roles. He’s topless, you can see that he’s a man, but if you look at his face, he looks like a woman and he’s so beautiful; he’s both in that picture, in a way.”

Dossier is now being charged for the cost of bagging these print publications in the States. And while it’s definitely a ridiculous move considering how much skin is shown on fashion magazines with women on the covers, there may be one upside for the publication: Dossier is definitely on our radar.

To that, a comedy network – 24/7 Comedy – here in Philly offered an interesting takedown of the story. Click here to read it.