Ines Rau first appeared in the pages of Playboy back in 2014. She made history then, by becoming the first openly transgender model to appear in the magazine. Now, she’s breaking down even more barriers by becoming the first transgender Playmate.
Some could say Playboy is what put Rau on the map; it’s where she first celebrated her coming out and what helped her get signed to a modeling agency. Today, at 26, she’s working on a book, just shot a film, and splits her time between New York and Paris. “I lived a long time without saying I was transgender,” she told Playboy. “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.”
And Rau is all about self-love. She’s a self-declared hippie and tomboy but loves to feel sexy, and will appear naked inside the November/December issue. (“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 says.)
This is a very progressive move by Playboy, and we commend the publication for helping to improve on cultural attitudes. We’d like to shout-out Rau first and foremost, though, for being her authentic self. She reflects on being chosen, stating, “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.”