Gender Bending

Candy Magazine Portrays Transgender Model As Michelle Obama

On the cover of Candy magazine's new issue, a transgender model portrays Michelle Obama being sworn in on a Bible.

This year, we’ve seen Michelle Obama in a recycled dress or two, some glittering Michael Kors – and even the new line from Jason Wu. But here’s one way we’ve never seen her before: as imagined by a transgender model. The fifth issue of the controversial Spanish “transversal” style magazine, Candy, hits newsstands this week -- with a transgender model channeling Michelle Obama on its cover.

The images, which were styled by Brad Goreski, feature the model Connie Fleming in a tweed suit and a string of pearls. She places her left hand on a Bible, and raises her right hand as if she’s taking the Presidential oath. In another, she wears a white dress and a beaded necklace while holding an American flag. She has a perfect red manicure and dark red lips. The cover line for the spread is: “The Candydate.” (Past Candy covers include James Franco in drag as well as Andrej Pejic.)

Although the cover portrays Michelle Obama, it also offers a larger commentary about the still-homogenized nature of the presidency itself. The magazine’s publisher, Luis Venegas, explains his thinking for the cover in an interview with Dazed Digital. “I remember back in early 2007 when the Democratic Party’s nominees were narrowed down between two “controversial” stereotypes never before seen for presidency: a black man, Barack Obama; and a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton.” He continues: “At the time, I thought, when will the time come when these archaic walls break down and the White House will be occupied by, for example, a black transsexual woman?”