She’s your archetypal gorgeous model, tall and slender with piercing eyes. She struts and swings her hips suggestively, wearing nothing but a pair of tiny red panties and a black jacket. The camera alternates focus from her swaying bottom to her pouty lips as she removes the jacket and approaches a shiny and new hatchback Toyota.
Once the sultry brunette reaches the car, she turns her nearly-bare body around to reveal her… package.
The Toyota Auris model, Stav Strashko, is all male.
“I realized that I was androgynous when I began to model… and then it struck me that I can really look like a woman,” the 20 year-old Ukranian-born model told gender-bending magazine Candy, later clarifying that he does not identify as a woman or trans*, “I feel very comfortable in my own body just the way it is.”
Strashko, who now lives in Tel Aviv, is not the first androgynous male model to make waves in recent years. Fellow 20 year-old Andrej Pejic catapulted to fame in January 2011 when he walked in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s men’s and women’s shows. The Bosnian-Austrailian blonde beauty became one of the most sought after models in the industry, ranking in at number 18 on Models.com’s Top 50 Male Models. Pejic was also listed as one of FHM‘s 100 Sexiest Women in the World, though was later taken off of the list after many complained the entry was meant to be both homophobic and transphobic.
“I don’t really have that sort of strong gender identity – I identify as what I am. The fact that people are using it for creative or marketing purposes, it’s just kind of like having a skill and using it to earn money,” Pejic said in an interview last year, “I guess professionally I’ve left my gender open to artistic interpretation.”
Andrej Pejic’s nonchalant attitude in regards to confusion over his gender is echoed by Strashko. The up-and-coming model “[believes] that the mind sees what it wants.”
And what we Ghurl, TALK!ers are hoping to see is this andro-boy model “trend” become less “craze,” and more “staple.” While bodies and clothes do cycle in and out of vogue, fashion as an artistic medium always plays to the idea of expressing the individual in a peripatetic way. Style, then, communicates honesty and truth, emotions, desires, and ideas. The gender non-conforming male who, for that very reason, has historically found both solace and self acceptance through fashion has a rightful place in any and all facets within the industry.