64 years after Hugh Hefner founded Playboy, the magazine is featuring its first transgender Playmate, model Ines Rau. Playboy dubs a new Playmate every month, and each Playmate traditionally poses nude or partially nude for the magazine's centerfold.
Playboy announced the news on its website this week, along with a profile of Rau, 26, who is originally from Paris, France.
The model appeared in Playboy once before, in 2014, and she has also posed with Tyson Beckford and in Vogue Italia. Here she is posing for the 2014 issue, which she says was how she celebrated her coming out.
In an interview with the magazine, Rau expressed how grateful she is to be the November 2017 Playmate. “When I was doing this shoot, I was thinking of all those hard days in my childhood,” she said, referring to her impoverished childhood. “And now everything happening gives me so much joy and happiness. I thought, Am I really going to be a Playmate—me? It’s the most beautiful compliment I’ve ever received. It’s like getting a giant bouquet of roses.”
Rau commented on why she chose to go nude in Playboy. "Nudity shouldn’t be taboo. Nudity means a lot to me, since I went through a transition to get where I want to be," she said. "Nudity is a celebration of the human being without all the excess. It’s not about sexuality but the beauty of the human body, whether male or female. You can’t lie."
The model also took a moment to discuss the causes closest to her heart. “I will always fight for LGBTQ rights and women’s rights,” she told Playboy, “but above everything else, my cause is the environment. Nothing touches me more than fighting against global warming. I was made to fight for the planet—the forest, the animals, the air. If I get famous, that’s my first battle.” Looks like Rau is about to ignite her first battle, as this centerfold will surely contribute to her clout.
Playboy's Twitter account reminded readers that while Ines Rau is the first transgender Playmate, she is not the first transgender woman to appear in the magazine. Caroline "Tula" Cossey made history when she posed for Playboy back in 1991.
Header photo taken by Derek Kettela, courtesy of Playboy.