Casey Legler: Blazing A Trail

By definition, fashion challenges boundaries of perception.

Whether some of those boundaries need to be challenged is another matter. The fashion industry is frequently blamed for providing us with unrealistic imagery that lead to problems such as eating disorders, negative self-image and obsessions with personal appearance that border on the narcissistic, as well as dispassionately using controversy to promote a message or product.

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The recruitment of Casey Legler by Ford Models’ male division could be construed as a publicity stunt. Casey is female, 6ft 2ins and was apparently signed up after a Ford agent spotted a photos from a shoot Casey participated in as a favour.

So far, great copy for a press release.

But even if this is a cynical move to jump aboard the wave of hype Andrej Pejic is currently riding, it’s hard to find a negative in the challenge to the gender binarism boundaries that confine so many. Casey Legler is aware that her appearance provokes confusion and defensiveness in some, but faces it with humility, openness and humour. I cannot begin to imagine how much of an influence she could be to a young person suffering from the kind of bullying that is still worryingly acceptable in a world that claims to be so understanding.

Even if you couldn’t give a damn about fashion, models or gender, watch her on the above video. It’ll make you feel good, and god knows, I don’t say that lightly.

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