Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To Bra or Not to Bra?

"No-cup" Pejic displaying a push-up bra 

Recently an anonymous reader posted a very clever comment on my posting about Andrej Pejic displaying a push-up bra for the Dutch label Hema.

(This is my original post:

"*sigh* I don't know. Looking feminine is one thing, but a bra? - This is not about "new male fashion" anymore, it's about a piece of clothing that is exclusively for girls (unless you have gynecomastia, a case where you probably don't want to emphasize your breasts by adding two cups).

"New male fashion" is about breaking the stereotypes. Skirts or heels do not serve any anatomical purpose. Bras where designed to shape and keep something up that males simply don't have. For me, I am drawing the line here.

Andrej should just get over it and get a sex change. I don't buy anymore that someone who models for lingerie feels like a male, not even a gender-bending one.

To a great extent, I share this unidentified poster’s view. As large boobies are not part of our anatomy, there’s no use for us to wear brassieres, unless we are actually trying to look, “pass” or feel as a woman, for instance when we’re “cross-dressing”. By the way: I don’t have any problem with that either. In fact, I think it’s a very fun activity, but admittedly beyond the scope of this blog (Although from what I’ve seen many cross-dressers follow this blog).

I’d probably draw my own line around the same spot. If you're a male and don’t suffer from “gynecomastia”(or are blessed with it, depending on where you're standing), in all likelihood bras are not for you. 

But- wait a minute! 
Bras aren’t there for purely anatomical reasons. 
Besides, male breasts, albeit less protruding, can be enormously appealing as well.

An embellished "muscle cuirass"
The model: none other than the emperor Julius Caesar
From Roman and Greek cuirasses and breastplates to large neckpieces worn by tribesmen, male pectoral muscles, less bulging but broader than their female counterpart, have always been boosted. Not as a representation of beauty or fertility, It’s true, but rather as a sign of power, dominion and masculinity. In a way that might evoke a gorilla beating his chest with his fists as an expression of virile dominance.

With the changing times, our chests are apt to be adorned in a less aggressive way. Designers have dared to include frills and laces to their trimmings. Pendants hanging over our upper ribcage can have a more delicate finish that the ones worn by our ancestors.

Now: I oftentimes come across beautiful garments, such as strapless tops with open belly-buttons worn tightly around the chest. What are those if not bras? Male-bras which, not having any specific structural function, are there for purely decorative purposes (and female bras serve that very same purpose, and to a greater extent than just holding up their breasts)

 What would you call the garments above?

Below: male bras by Julius:

Those might be for me, if I only had the figure. Not the push-up bandeau worn by Miss Pejic. At least not yet. But I’ll keep posting this extreme envelope-pushes of his, for the sake of my more adventuresome readers…

Andrej displaying other beautiful garments around his torso:

Now, about Andrej getting a sex change... Wouldn't that make him much less interesting? 
He/she would be just another female model in an already model-cluttered industry! 

In the path he's taking, he's leading us to a different way of looking at fashion. 
An inclusive view, one that takes account of our sexual diversity, of minority groups such as transexuals, transvestives, people who fail to (or refuse to) be classified into conventional gender categories, or simply those of us who want to play and experiment with fashion freedom.

A curious ancient male-breastplate...
Perhaps Pejic is not the first femiman after all! 


  1. It's me, the anonymous poster again. I wonder how one could email you, as I would love to exchange more thoughts with you. But your site doesn't state any contact, and I am not sure whether my email address gets published once I do a posting here. So for now, I stay anonymous.

    Trust me, I really can say "been there, done that". Dressed as a girl in my 20s, and did pass very well. So well that I got free drinks and got hit by guys. I enjoyed it very much: the attention that I never got being a thin and not very muscular guy, the variety of clothes that men can only dream of, the freedom to just "be". I got into contact with a local TS / CD group who recommended I should go to a counceler, who quickly diagnosed me as being TS. I wasn't that sure whether I really was TS, but I liked more enjoying the freedom of being a girl than being a guy. Started hormones, got small boobs, till my parents found out. They convinced me to stop all of that and not continue down that path. It was a horrible time that I don't want to relive again. I learned a lot of things during that time, and I've also learned to accept myself as a more feminine guy. Fashion has evolved so much during the last 10 years, it's really incredible, especially when looking at designer fashion that breaks much more rules than the average item you get on the street.

    Nonetheless, there is a difference between breasts and the male pectoral muscle. Once you have breasts, you will notice the difference. The Roman breastplate emphasizes the pectoral muscle. It is firm and often comes together with the typical "six-pack". It doesn't wobble when you go jogging. Emphasizing this part of the body was meant to emphasize the strength of a male, a warrior.

    None of the models depicted wearing a "male bra" do have much of these muscles. These aren't the "warrior" type of males, but rather the fragile ones. Me, 10 years back. Still... I don't get this fashion.
    Especially the bandeau top is so ... how should I call it... "uninspired". It doesn't play with any design elements, it's just too plain & simple for my taste. With the other bras from Julius: I don't know... I just don't consider this to be very appealing, if there are no real breasts there.

    As for Andrej: In my opinion, I don't find him that interesting to be honest, and I can also explain why.
    Who do you think does more for men wanting to broaden their fashion choices: a) the average Joe who starts wearing a skirt instead of trousers to go grocery shopping (and coordinates that in a way that it looks good) or b) Andrej dressing to the nines, not recognizable as a male anymore, e.g. wearing a bridal gown?

    Personally, I think that a) does more for men than b). Let's face it: We still live in a society where even wearing a simple skirt as a guy will give you LOTS of attention (some positive, many negative).
    I experienced it to be easier to dress up fully as a girl and go out than to just put on my favorite skirt and go out, still recognizable as being a guy.

    In my opinion, I think of Andrej already as a girl. For me, he already has reached the "just another female model" status, as in most photos, he isn't recognizable as a guy anyway.

    That doesn't mean that I want to see guys with beer guts wearing skirts and heels (ewww...), but I enjoy someone like Charles Guislain much more than Andrej, e.g. wearing Rick Owens wedges and leggings. Charles redefines the way men dress without stopping being recognizable as a male. I salute to him for being so brave, a boldness I never had when I was his age.

  2. Again, a very interesting comment, my dear friend! I sure would like to exchange thoughts with you. You've lived through hard yet fascinating experiences.My e-mail address appears in several of my postings postings, but, yes, I've had to remove my complete profile from sight. Anyways. My mail is newmalefashion@gmail.com
    I'd love to hear from you.

  3. Yes, Andrej would be much less interesting if he was to get a sex change. The point of this ad is not to promote push up bra wearing among males but to demonstrate to the average female how much this bra could enhance her figure. A larger question might be why do a womans nipples need to be hidden from public view whereas a mans do not?

  4. I luv his look...a little cleavage is nice...