There is nothing particularly unusual about the long blonde hair, chiseled facial features and sultry eyes of HEMA’s latest underwear model. However, the advert for their new push-up bra has undoubtedly sparked significant controversy.
The Dutch department store has sent shockwaves into the world of fashion by opting to use the androgynous male model Andrej Pejic to front their campaign for the ‘Mega Push-Up Bra’ – a bra that promises to add a two extra cup sizes to a woman’s cleavage.
As strange as it may seem, the stores decision to have Pejic model for them appears to have been successful – his natural cleavage-free physique is noticeably enhanced by the use of the bra. The images feature the model wearing the bra under two figure hugging dresses and jumpers, both of which flaunt his ‘curves’.
The controversial ad campaign, released on December 13, has quickly become a trending topic on Twitter. With tweets including “Andrej Pejic is the prettiest man woman known to man” and “If a man looks good in that bra, it must be good stuff”, it seems not everyone sees it as a bad idea.
However, should HEMA really be promoting the message that a woman can only be seen as aesthetically beautiful if she has the slender, toned and masculine figure of an androgynous male? Are they demonstrating that femininity can be manipulated out of nothing, rather than being innate to a woman?
From the debate sparked out of this advertising campaign, it would seem that HEMA should be commended for their brave decision. Pejic undoubtedly pulls off the look well. His agent Joseph Tenni has said: “It's revolutionary. I've never known a man to do a women’s lingerie campaign before”.
Who is the man behind the model?
Born in Bosnia and raised in Australia, Pejicis renowned for his questionable androgynous modeling – he closed Jean Paul Gaultier’s womenswear haute couture show in Paris wearing a see-through bridal gown, appeared as Marylin Monroe in the film Love Cat Magazine and is slowly becoming one of 2011’s most popular with his androgynous trademark.
He ranked number 98 in FHM Magazines poll ‘100 Sexiest Women in the World’ but his award was accompanied by the derogatory subtext of ‘pass the sick bucket’ in response to his images.
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