Shirtless male model is too androgynous for Barnes & Noble

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Barnes & Noble just made the magazine Dossier Journal cover up their latest cover, which features a shirtless picture of model Andrej Pejic, a dude. As Jezebel points out in a long and thoughtful piece, Barnes & Noble usually doesn't get bent out of shape about shirtless men. The problem here was that a shirtless Andrej Pejic looks very unlike, say, a shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal. Pejic looks androgynous, and Barnes & Noble was apparently worried that shoppers would think he was actually a shirtless woman. God forbid.

Just to clarify, this wasn't one of these non-stories in which a hapless store clerk hides a provocative cover and then the whole franchise scrambles to apologize. No, B&N corporate headquarters told Dossier that they wouldn't stock the magazine if the publishers didn't add an opaque plastic cover to the 2000 issues they sent to B&N stores, on the grounds that "the model is young and it could be deemed as a naked female."

You can check out the whole image here. It's a striking picture, whatever you think of Barnes & Noble's squeamishness about sexual ambiguity. Jezebel rightly takes them to task, but maybe their conservatism isn't too much of a surprise.