Andrej Pejić was born in Tuzla, Bosnia and grew up mostly in Melbourne, Australia.
Pejić’s childhood is interesting, though not uncommon for those growing up in the Balkans during the 1990s. His mother is of Serbian descent and his father of Croatian. They were displaced during the Bosnian War and Pejić spent much of his early childhood in refugee camps. When he was eight, his mother grew tired of the violence and immigrated to Australia.
Given his parents’ ethnic background, it’s safe to assume that Pejić has some sort of either Catholic or Eastern Orthodox heritage, but you wouldn’t ever get that from Pejić himself. He’s quite clear about his religious beliefs:
I’m an atheist and a materialist.
So that about sums that up, unless any of you have something to add?
Politically, Pejić is quite intriguing. First, and most outwardly obvious, is the whole androgyny thing. Pejić is a man who makes his living as a female fashion model. Sure, models are society’s scapegoats when it comes to eating disorders and body image, but this is might be a whole new thing. He said:
I’ve left my gender open to artistic interpretation. It’s not like ‘Okay, today I want to look like a man, or today I want to look like a woman.’ I want to look like me.
Pejić’s gender-bending has come with some backlash. He did a topless photo shoot for a magazine–something relatively innocent for a man (ok, it’s society, not me) but U.S. bookstores pulled it from the shelves for being pornographic. But all in all, Pejić is surprised at how accepted his is. He once tweeted:
Sometimes I’m so surprised by how little negativity I get from the world you’d think that by now I would have been burnt at the stake haha
Speaking of Twitter, Pejić’s feed offers some interesting political insights. First, check out the critique of American and Russian capitalism between November 5 and November 11, 2012. At one point, he tweets:
The American Dream the “idea that you can get rich just by working hard enough” never had much to do with reality…
Then, on December 14, 2012, Pejić tweeted a Leon Trotsky quote. I think we might have ourselves a socialist. Purely deductive reasoning, mind you, but I’d say the evidence is strong. What do you all think?