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Comments: Week of August 29, 2011

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1. Alex Morris’s profile of gender-­bending model Andrej Pejic, who has made a name for himself by walking in both men’s and women’s shows (The Prettiest Boy in the World,” August 22), took many readers by surprise, and not for the obvious reasons. “We knew he was beautiful, but we didn’t know [he] was so freakin’ funny,” wrote the blog Fabsugar. At the Gloss, Ashley Cardiff was also impressed with Pejic, writing that he “continues to establish himself as one of the more thoughtful, well-spoken, and good-­humored models working today.” ­“Reading it made us fall even more in love with the most gorgeous boy on Earth,” gushed Alyssa Vingan at Stylecaster, who called Pejic “the world’s most mystifying male model.” “Our favorite part, however, was when he addresses his gender-bending identity as ‘The Situation.’ Yes, just like on the Jersey Shore.” At the Frisky, Julie Gerstein also focused on the gender politics of the profile: “I find it fascinating that Pejic says that he needs to look the way that he does—it highlights that, for transgender people, the desire to dress or perform as one gender identity or another isn’t simply a matter of dress up, but one of necessity.” At the New Gay, Topher Burns thought the profile didn’t go deep enough: “Alex Morris sat down with a man who gets selected over most women as the embodiment of feminine beauty, and instead of coming away with a story about gender identity in America, [Morris] came away with a story about just another model. This could mean that either ­Morris is a dangerously fatuous fashion zombie, or an insidious revolutionary hellbent on total societal equality.” At nymag.com, some commenters were still less kind. “No wonder women feel awful about their bodies, when it is decreed that the most beautiful woman isn’t a woman at all,” wrote one. “He’s beautiful,” ­acknowledged another, “but I prefer my men to look like actual men.”


2. More fashion-hero worship: “Jenna Lyons’s profile in the Fall Fashion issue (The J in J.Crew,” August 22) may just be the most fawning feature we’ve ever read written of a human being, which would be annoying, if it wasn’t about Jenna Lyons, which is to say: It’s totally accurate,” wrote Verena von Pfetten at Styleite. Steff Yotka, at ­Fashionista, also loved the story. “When I started reading it I thought I couldn’t admire Lyons any more than I already do—she worked her way up in a national company and revitalized J.Crew from a fuddy-duddy lady brand into the coolest thing for ladies of all ages.” At the Grindstone, Meredith Lepore admired in particular Lyons’s modesty and taste: “The author presents compliment after compliment on the far-reaching impact of Jenna’s taste on American women. However, the humble Jenna doesn’t look at it that way,” noting Lyons’s comment that “Hubris is not so cute.” “This is an extremely modest attitude considering that she has come up with such great designs that I literally have to run past the store’s windows sometimes with hands covering my eyes because the clothing is so enticing. Have you seen the new fall line? The woman is trying to kill me.” At xojane.com, Emily McCombs declared, “I am now officially into the J.Crew ­creative director whose chic, effortless-looking style has rejuvenated the brand/inspired all that girl love. Reasons include: She is six-foot-five in heels; she pissed off the gender-Nazis by including a photo of herself painting her son’s toenails pink in a catalogue, then refusing to comment on it; and she wore a V-neck sweater to this year’s Costume Institute Ball.” Commenters at nymag.com found the profile a bit obsequious, however. “The fangirl nature of the story was too much for me,” wrote one. “I have always liked J.Crew, but I don’t need to worship the woman who runs the company.” ­Another was even harsher: “I hope ­Jenna is not as boring as she seems.”

3. Readers found Jason Zengerle’s meditation on the unflappability of Barack Obama (No-­Drama Drama,” August 22) a bit too sympathetic to the president. “When and if Obama loses in 2012, it will be because he imitated Neville Chamberlain in default negotiations in 2011,” wrote one commenter at nymag.com. “Jersey Shore is a better experiment in ‘reality-based’ activity than the Obama ­administration,” wrote another. “A realistic approach to governing would have replicated the pro-growth policies of the ­Reagan-Clinton era, and not the debt-­fueled government expansion of the Bush 43 era.” Another agreed: “The man is ­profoundly out of touch and has been all along, a modern-day Manchurian ­candidate of emptiness and nothingness. ‘President Romney’ … better get used to it.”

Send correspondence to: nymletters@nymag.com


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