Every year, Allure asks female celebrities to take it all off. The photos, always beautiful, also consistently feature fit women who spend a lot of money on their personal appearances. Of course, all of them are willing to be photographed. Their skin is taught, their breasts are perky, and bodies maintained by professional trainers and nutritionists. Kristen Bell, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Kaley Cuoco, and 20 others have posed in the buck for the beauty magazine, but now, the 2015 cast is breaking from the mold with its inclusion of Laverne Cox, the first transgender woman to go naked for the magazine.
“Going through life you try to cover and hide but it doesn’t really work,” the trans actress told the magazine. “I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again.” Cox, who has a recurring role on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black and is set to star in CBS’s Doubt, eventually decided to do it. And not only is she seemingly happy about the choice, but she’s well aware of the larger impact it’ll have.
“But I’m a black transgender woman. I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent. Black women are not often told that we’re beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we’re beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about her body might be inspiring for some folks. There’s a beauty in the things we think are imperfect. It sounds very cliché, but its true.“