Andrej Pejic, the Serbian-born model who took the fashion world by storm back in 2010, has revealed she underwent sex reassignment surgery earlier this year, and is now Andreja. The 22-year-old kept quiet about the surgery for a few months, but is now sharing her story to help and inspire others.
"I think I have a social responsibility," she says.
Even in the very gorgeous and very glamorous world of high fashion, one would be hard pressed to find a more singular beauty than Andreja. Discovered at the age of 17, she instantly became known for her androgynous look, and unique ability to work in the worlds of both men's and women's fashion. She joined the ladies to walk the runway for the likes of Jeremy Scott and Jean Paul Gaultier, while simultaneously showing up as the face of Marc Jacobs' Men's Spring/Summer 2011 campaign. Not to mention covers and spreads in the pages of magazines from Vogue to New Yorker.
Then, a little over a year ago, Andreja began to reevaluate some things in her life.
"I was proud of my gender nonconforming career. But my biggest dream was to be comfortable in my own body," Andreja told People. "I have to be true to myself and the career is just going to have to fit around that."
Andreja recalls first realizing she wanted to be a girl as a small child, eventually taking puberty blockers as a teen when she realized she did not have the money for the lengthy court process required to undergo sex reassignment surgery as a minor in Australia.
Things changed again when Andreja was discovered a few years later, and began working as a model. "It was an opportunity to see the world and gain some financial stability," she explains.
Now, having seen the world and gained that financial stability, Andreja is taking care of herself, after undergoing her sex reassignment surgery earlier this year.
"I was happy the moment had come – as happy as you can be before a surgery." That being said, "It was about three months before I felt like myself again," she says. "Every day is like a new revelation. I'm more comfortable than ever. I feel at a 100 percent."
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