Barnes & Noble and Borders officials are insisting that a special wrapper be placed around a magazine featuring a shirtless male teen on its cover before agreeing to place it in bookstores. The male is androgynous Australian model Andrej Pejic, 19; he's wearing curlers in his hair, but he has no breasts. Both bookstores have been informed that Pejic is, indeed, a male, but they are still insisting Dossier must pay for opaque plastic covers, according to the magazine's editor. The stores were concerned that "confused consumers" might think Pejic is a woman, reports the Herald Sun. "The model is young and it could be deemed as a naked female," bookstore officials informed Dossier.
"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," said Dossier co-founder Skye Parrott, who was "shocked" by the decision. But "guys are shirtless on magazine covers all the time," she added. It poses a "very interesting question of gender. What message are the big book stores sending—that the male torso is only appropriate when the man in question is ripped?"