Ms. Ines Rau, a transgender model, has become the first transgender playmate to be featured in Playboy’s centerfold.

Why Is This Different?

Ms. Rau has stated that she used to be scared of how other people viewed her and that it took her a while to “find her confidence.” The fact that Rau has found her confidence in being who she wants to could start a new trend for the fashion world.

The world of modeling hasn’t always been very diverse. Cisgender models who are skinny, tall, have straight hair and larger chests have been considered the standard of feminine beauty for quite some time. This standard has become something which many people have so willingly tried to copy. Women have often tried to change themselves to fit this image– not because they wanted to, but because they thought that this image would get them more attention.

This standard of beauty has been a huge trend on television for quite some time and has been getting the opposite sex’s attention as well. Thus, being different has not exactly been an easy feat for most because it has required many women to create their own path, rather than sailing smoothly down one which is safer. Ines has now created a new path; a path which allows more people to accept their differences and create their own kind of beauty.

The Symbolism Of Celebration

Rau has said that her nude photos are “about the celebration and beauty of the human body.” She is proud of her body and loves her body, and isn’t that what every woman should think about herself? The fact that someone is black, white, trans, or cis should not ever make that said person feel as though that person’s body is not beautiful.

One of the things which Playboy is most famous for is its full fold-out center in the magazine’s monthly issues. To be spotlighted in one of these center-folds, one must be aware of one’s bodily potential and have confidence in that.

For many models, being featured in Playboy’s centerfold is an honor and a compliment for their physique. However, for Ines Rau, being featured in Playboy was so much more. For Rau, to being featured in the centerfold was symbolic of the fact that being different does necessarily not make someone an outcast. Instead, being different can give someone the confidence to do nearly anything. It is not a matter of who someone is, it is about giving oneself the capability to be phenomenal.

What Does This Mean For The Diversity Of Women?

Playboy’s decision to feature a transgender model in their centerfold shows, perhaps, a willingness to promote a more modern representation of women. Women may no longer have to be just one type of body shape or have a certain hair texture. Women do not have to feel inadequate about being a minority within their gender. Ines Rau has broken the ice, she has made it that much easier for other people who are transgender to believe that it is a possibility for them to succeed within the modeling industry. Being featured in many different types of magazines may not seem so far out of reach for trans girls anymore.

The human species is made up of all types of individuals. As such, normal should never really be used as a descriptive word because no one is truly normal. That being said, however, being a minority with regards to sexuality, gender, race, etc. makes most people feel insecure. Seeing others who are like you being celebrated can instill a new, intrinsic passion for life. Rau has given the transgender community a new confidence both within the modeling world and beyond.