The only androgenous Kazakhstani model: "There is a direct line between how people perceive me and the level of their education"

10 минут Кристина Никулина
Альтернативный текст

I realized I look different when I was 12. Some people said I look like an unemotional girl, some didn't even mind expressing all sorts of aggression and hatred towards me. At this point, I'm used to being called gay and transgender on the streets by complete strangers in a very offensive, aggressive way. I have been bullied since I was 12 to 16, this led to numerous fights. I struggled.

Androgyny is the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics. This concept took its first place in the religious mythology. In Ancient Greece, India, and Egypt androgynes were considered to be one of the first people, semi-gods, that were the beginning of all humanity. In the Renaissance era, androgyny became an art trend, and the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci and Karavajo are the proof to that. It is believed that the beginning of androgyny in fashion was laid by Yves Saint Laurent, who dressed his female models in tuxedos in 1966. And then in 2010, the androgyny made its come back to the industry with the Australian of Serbian-Croat origin transgender model Andrew Pezhich.   

Androgynous girls have distinct facial features and flat chest. Androgynous boys, on the other hand, have subtle facial features, narrow shoulders, and delicate physique. This is a theory, but the reality is all androgynes are different and hence have different reasons behind it. Some are going through puberty, some are close to transitioning their gender, some are following fashion trends, and others suffer from mental disorders. Kirill, in his turn, has decided to take advantage of his androgyny in Kazakhstan's modeling business.

At this point, I'm the only androgynous model in Kazakhstan. There were two other guys, but they couldn't handle the pressure of being an androgyne in our country. One of them went to work in Moscow, it is easier there. The second one has decided to leave the modeling career because it is easier to hide it if you aren't in sight. For me, this situation has two sides. One is that I'm exclusive and I can make some good money for shoots and catwalks. Another one is the fact that the competition comes with development, but there is no competition here and I have to develop myself looking at the examples of androgynous models in Russia and western countries.

Kirill had never wanted to become a model, he actually sold the heating equipment for houses in an industrial company, until in 2015 a fashion photographer Alexander Sahar made a life-changing offer to him. It was all pretty easy, one day he went to a closed casting, and after 30 minutes came back home with a contract. He says, that the hardest part was to find huge size heels. Afterward, he used the same shoes for the catwalk on the podiums of Kazakhstan Fashion Week in the appearance of a female to demonstrate Erlan Zholdasbekov's collection. Since that day Kirill is the gem of this fashion week. He always presents himself as a female on the shows of this fashion week, however, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week he works as a male model.


"People often ask me about how I feel wearing women clothes. I don't feel anything, I just wear clothes. I don't dress like this on the streets, or go to events and clubs looking like a woman."

When I step down from the podium, I take my makeup off, take my dress off and realize that this is just fabric, that doesn't have any gender characteristics whatsoever. In daily life, I wear my favorite black color and unisex clothes in the grunge style. I'm not interested in eccentric behavior.

Kirill is the only child of his parents, his mother is Russian, Belorussian and Czech, and his father is a Frenchman and a Dutchman. Their son's career they began to perceive normally, as soon as they understood that it has nothing to do with him further transitioning into a woman. His main job is working as a manager in a bank, where he organizes training courses for the bank's staff. Kirill didn't disclose where exactly he works for the sake of his own safety.

I get a lot of offensive comments on my social media accounts. I get around 15-20 messages with slurs every day. Sometimes I answer them, but most of the time I simply delete this trash.

There is a direct line between how people perceive me and the level of their education. If I go out of town to a countryside I tend to get more aggression from people. When I traveled to Spain I finally felt normal, because I didn't seem strange there.

Now my hair is very long, but it wasn't always like that. After the 9th grade, I was aiming to change my life around, so I cut my hair short and then applied to study as a сook Then I woke up in the cold sweat, asking myself, what sort of cook am I? After that, I haven't cut my hair. I'm ready to go against the flow if my goals aren't the same with it, but I'm not doing this for the sake of rebellion. My goal is in self-expression and the support of creative thinking without having to look at the society's standards. If I like some jeans or a t-shirt, I don't really care if it is from a man's or woman's section, because both look good on my androgynous figure.


His clear skin, perfectly structured lips, neat nails, and gorgeous curls make me want to ask him about his beauty tips. When he answers he smirks, saying that he has none. He just washes his hair, threads his brows regularly, because the agency asks him to, grows his nails, but does manicure and paints his nails only for hands shots. For one show Kirill had to wear a short dress and see-through trousers, so he had to shave his legs. He cringes when he remembers this experience.

The first stereotype about androgynes is that all of them are a part of LGBT community. I'm a heterosexual. But I need to say that all my ex-girlfriends had a shorter hair than me.

Right now I'm single and it has nothing to do with my career, I just haven't met a girl of my heart. I myself am being called a girl in the supermarkets, and when I answer them in baritone, their faces turn to complete and utter shock. I'm fed up with this, but I don't want to move from Almaty, it is my hometown. I don't hide, I constantly demonstrate our society, that modeling and such people like me have a right to be.


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