Ines Rau, a French fashion model, has been named as Playboy Magazine’s first transgender playmate.
According to the Independent, in its 64 years, Playboy has never had another transgender playmate. “Ines Rau poses fully nude in the November/December 2017 issue, which is also the first to hit newsstands following the death of the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner,” the site notes.
Rau is 26-years-old.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Playboy Quotes Rau as Saying, ‘Nudity Shouldn’t Be Taboo’
“Meet your November 2017 Playmate, @supa_ines,” Playboy announced on Instagram, along with the above photo of Rau.
The photo contained the following quote from Rau: “Nudity shouldn’t be taboo. Nudity means a lot to me, since I went through a transition to get where I want to be. 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.”
The issue is also noteworthy, reports People Magazine, because it is the first ever to feature only a man on the cover without a woman: Recently deceased Founder Hugh Hefner.
2. Rau Is a Fashion Model Who Has Appeared in Vogue Magazine
Even before the Playboy appearance, Rau was a successful fashion model, according to The Independent. She told Models.com that she was born in Paris, and her background is French-North African.
“Rau hails from Paris and is a successful fashion model, fronting campaigns for Balmain, appearing in Vogue Italia and commanding the catwalk at fashion weeks across the globe,” the site reports.
3. Rau Called the Playboy Spread a ‘Beautiful Compliment’ & Described Transitioning Into a Woman as a ‘Fabulous Level of Happiness’
In the text accompanying the photos, Rau says, according to People Magazine, “When I was doing this shoot, I was thinking of all those hard days in my 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.”
In the interview with Models.com, she said of being transgender, “Having a sex change is not the answer to insecurities or other issues, a lot of transgender do not understand that it has to be done with reflection: because of a real deep desire to be a woman from a younger age. It’s fabulous the level of happiness- it’s just absolutely impossible to describe. I’m the happiest girl in the world, just being what I wanted to be.”
4. Rau Is a ‘Self Described Hippie, Tomboy & Party Girl’ & Says It Took a Long Time to Call Herself Transgender
According to People Magazine, Rau has described herself as a hippie, tomboy, and party girl.
“I lived a long time without saying I was transgender,” the magazine quoted Rau as saying.
“I dated a lot and almost forgot. I was scared of never finding a boyfriend and being seen as weird. Then I was like, You know, you should just be who you are. It’s a salvation to speak the truth about yourself, whether it’s your gender, sexuality, whatever. The people who reject you aren’t worth it. It’s not about being loved by others; it’s about loving yourself.”
5. Rau Made Previous Headlines With an Explicit Photo Shoot With Model Tyson Beckford
It’s not the first time that nude photos of Ines Rau have made headlines.
According to Jezebel, in a photo shoot, model Tyson Beckford appeared “completely naked in a new spread in OOB, a French luxury magazine. Posing with him is Ines Rau, a Parisian model who recently came out as transgender and who seems to be on the verge of a major career breakthrough.”
Jezebel added of the photos, “Rau’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were both temporarily shut down after she tried to post photos from the spread.” That was in 2013.
Ray also appeared in Playboy before, just not as a playmate. She appeared in “the Art Issue of American Playboy, ‘representing the letter E as Evolution,’” Jezebel noted.