Author Archives: youmi park

The New Boy In Town

Marc by Marc Jacobs

We all know that life is oh so unfair, especially when it comes to our appearance and physiques. There are humans that eat more in one sitting than a pre-hibernation mother bear and still fit snugly into their skinny jeans. There are people like me, who look at food and gain weight. And, we all try our best despite the multiple unexplainable failures. This morning, I tried on at least 15 different outfits and still looked considerably less attractive than the disheveled faux-hippie looking sleepy eyed on the subway.

That’s unfair. But 19-year-old Andrej Pejic is a whole other story. Tall, svelte, perfect bone structure: what makes this model different from other ladies on the runway? Well, she is, in fact, a he: the half Serbian- half Croatian recently donned a wedding dress for Jean Paul Gautier and strutted the Vivienne Westwood catwalk. He’s been sought for editorials in Vogue and is now the new face of Marc by Marc Jacobs —all in womenswear. This boy is now the prettiest girl in town. And I’m laughing myself to tears as I throw my hands in the air, kick back into my chair, and reach for an ice cream tub of self-pity.

What does Andrej teach us? Nothing we haven’t already known (see first sentence) and the additional knowledge that life’s mischief la-dee-da’s over gender barriers. But we’ve known this too. I’ve long tried to ignore the fact that my brother has nicer legs than I do, but I surrender —he’ll be receiving every single pair of my toe-wrenching, high-heeled efforts for longer legs.

We can hate Andrej, or we can love to hate Andrej. The importance in this story is that a boy who used to work at McDonald’s (really, that’s where he was discovered) is becoming an international super star and gender bending while he’s at it. It means that there are different possibilities opening up for different people. And while I do retreat to a certain level of defeatism, there’s a part of me that likes being disproportionate, short, and imperfect. I like complaining and being awkward, it makes me feel human. After all, what would Andrej’s sensationalism and beautiful people in general mean without the beauty of normal people?

Besides, not even the incredible “femiman” icon can’t have it all. He recently said that if offered a contract with lingerie line, Victoria Secret, he would consider a sex change with a nice, perky set of breast implants. “You’d have to, wouldn’t you?” mused Pelic. “I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.”

Well, you give and you take.

-youmi park

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The Better Roommate

A Very Messy Room

I once visited a friend at his very first apartment. “The pad of all bachelor pads,” the one bedroom + living room + bathroom + microwave was his sanctum, a spatial rendition of his independence, which he loved to scatter with crusty plates, liquor bottles, graying miscellaneous articles of clothing, and tissues I didn’t want to know anything about. His messiness was like his symbol of Don’t-Give-A-Fuck manhood. As he watched me maneuver around the expanse of clutter and furniture, he proudly chirped, “Sorry ‘bout the mess! It’s just not a girl’s room.”

Well, gentlemen who believe that ladies keep their rooms perpetually dusted and vanilla-scented: I encourage you to keep dreaming. From my roommate experience with both sexes, I will take a boy over a girl any day. At least men don’t smear mascara on your towels, pile up exorbitant amounts of shoes and clothing everywhere (i.e. on your bed, in the tub, in the kitchen cabinets), or shed like a Wookiee. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.

For the guys attending Rutgers University next fall, you can investigate this for yourselves: come next fall, the school’s new pilot program that will allow students to live in the same dormitory room with the opposite sex. They will be joining one of the many schools today that offer gender-neutral housing plans —University of Maryland, Columbia University, and Ohio University, to name a few.

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