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Should newsstands censor topless men?
Dossier Journal's latest cover features an androgynous man without a shirt — and retailers are racing to cover him up
 
Androgynous male model Andrej Pejic may be a hot item in the fashion world, but book retailers want his bare-chested magazine cover to be covered up.
Androgynous male model Andrej Pejic may be a hot item in the fashion world, but book retailers want his bare-chested magazine cover to be covered up.
Graham Denholm/Getty Images

The image: While some magazines may be comfortable blurring the lines between male and female identities, it became clear this week that some retailers who sell those magazines are not. The fashion magazine Dossier Journal's latest cover features a photo of androgynous male model Andrej Pejic, his blond hair in curlers, taking off a white shirt to reveal his bare chest. (See the cover below.) The problem, say Barnes & Noble and Borders, is that Pejic looks too much like a topless woman. They have reportedly asked Dossier's publishers to cover the magazine in the opaque plastic usually reserved for pornographic content, so as not to make customers uncomfortable.
The reaction: We're glad the cover made people uncomfortable, says Dossier co-founder Skye Parrott, as quoted by Jezebel. That's kind of why we chose it. But censoring it is ridiculous. "Guys are shirtless on magazine covers all the time." Well, apparently shirtless men are only acceptable when they're buff, says Danica Lo at Racked. How many times have you felt "besieged by the countless covers featuring oiled-up topless beefcakes flexing their pecs?" Clearly, this is "about keeping a clear divide between male and female," says Elizabeth Flock at The Washington Post. When it comes to accepting any blurring of that line, "retailers like Barnes & Noble still have a long way to go." Judge for yourself:

 

 

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