Elliott Sailors, 31, currently based in New York with Adam Santos-Coy, told Elle.com: ‘Sometimes people just see us as that, which doesn’t bother us, except when people are unkind.’
The six-foot-two-inch beauty added: ‘Even when people do know that I’m a woman, they think that if Adam’s with a woman like me, then he must be gay and hiding it. People have all these wild opinions.’
But instead of trying to assert ‘traditional’ gender roles, the couple chooses to play up the same-sex look. Indeed, at the recent premiere of Michael Polish’s film Big Sur, Sailors appeared in a men’s style black suit and white shirt alongside Santos-Coy, who was also suited. (Picture above right)
Sailors, a former beauty-pageant contestant from Tucson, Arizona, who was raised Mormon, was previously signed to the women’s division of Ford Models. But in October 2012, she decided to cut off her hair, wrap her breasts and try her hand at modeling menswear.
It was a ‘natural transition’ she told the New York Post, because ‘earlier on in my career, I would get frustrated because I thought I looked too masculine. I have a strong jaw, wide forehead, huge eyebrows. I thought I looked like a man wearing make-up.’
As well as taking her career in a new direction, she hoped the transformation would open up a conversation about identity and gender in fashion.
Now after experiencing ‘both aspects’ of the modeling industry, Sailors appears to prefer assignments where she is booked to work as ‘a man’.
She told Elle.com: ‘One of my favorite things, actually, about working in menswear is that people are much more direct about what they want. As a female, people would try to be a little bit more careful with what they said to me. They didn’t want to step on toes. They would just find a nice way of saying, “Oh, maybe you could try to do it this way . . .” As a guy, they’ll just be like, “Dude, stand up straight. C’mon.”‘
She said that her husband of two years has been 100per cent supportive of her makeover. He even filmed her as she had her long locks cut off at a barbers shop. However, her mother, Tamsin, is less approving of her shaved-sides-and-long-on-top hairstyle.
‘My mom has made it clear that she doesn’t agree with it, that it’s not something that she feels she’s in alignment with, in terms of her beliefs,’ Sailors said.
She isn’t the only female model to move away from world of womenswear. Casey Legler, 36, from New York was the first woman to be signed on a modeling contract for only male gigs. Like Sailors, Legler has no intention of taking any permanent steps to physically change genders.
Concluding, Sailors said: ‘As far as my body, I never felt like I was born in the wrong body, that’s just not something that I’ve dealt with.’