Two major U.S. book retailers have issued directives to their stores to wrap the covers of this month's Dossier magazine in opaque plastic. The retailers fear that the cover photo of 19-year-old, half naked male model Andre Pejic, with his bird chest and 2-pack abs, will offend housewives who might think he's a 12-year-old girl.
Although there are other magazines on the shelves featuring shirtless men in all manner of undress, Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores believe that this particular magazine cover will offend because "the model is young and [he] could be deemed as a naked female."
Dossier co-founder and creative director Skye Parrott was shocked at the retailers' directive to forfeit the magazine orders or agree to be censored.
She told Jezebel.com: "We knew that this cover presented a very strong, androgynous image, and that could make some people uncomfortable. That's partly why we chose it. I guess it has made someone pretty uncomfortable."
She added: "What message are the big bookstore chains sending — that the male torso is only appropriate all-ages viewing when the man in question is ripped?"
Male model Pejic, who was discovered in his native Australia flipping burgers at Burger King, says his androgynous looks makes him feel more female than male sometimes.
"I'm sure most people think of me as a woman. It doesn't bother me anymore and I feel fine about it... I don't consider my looks unusual."