I’m sure that you’ve heard by now that Playboy welcomed the first transgender Playmate on their centerfold. Many people were shocked to see it. The controversy is brewing, and many people just see her as a “transgender Playmate.” But, you know, she does have a name! Her name is Ines Rau and it’s the first time ever that a transgender person has been a Playmate in the history of Playboy magazine. The honor goes to French high-fashion model Ines Rau. On the cover, the 26-year-old model is wearing a white bra and matching lace panties, as well as white socks and sneakers. She poses in front of a bright, alluring red backdrop.
What does she have to say? Well, she said, “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.” She gave this tidbit in Playboy, but there is a lot more you need to know about her. So here we have fifteen things you need to know about Playboy’s first transgender Playmate of the Month.
15 She Isn’t Playboy’s First Transgender Model
What? You may think that everyone, including Playboy, is saying that she’s the first transgender Playboy model but that simply isn’t the case. She is actually the first Playmate, as she was November 2017’s Playmate of the Month. But she isn’t the first transgender Playboy model in general. The first of those was Caroline “Tula” Cossey, who just so happened to have inspired Ines’ s*x change operation.
She did so when she was sixteen years old, and hardly looked back due to Tula being such an inspiration. But who is Tula? Well, she was born male with mixed up chromosomes that gave her more feminine physical traits. She eventually got the surgery but hid who she was for years. It wasn’t until the tabloids exposed her that she admitted the truth. Nevertheless, ten years later, she appeared in Playboy.
14 She Doesn’t Encourage Gender Reassignment Surgery
Believe it or not, Ines Rau is not one of those transgender models that thinks everyone should change genders, or that everyone should be like her. In fact, she doesn’t think that it has anything to do with that. She just wants everyone to be themselves.
One of her most beautiful quotes is, “BE WHO YOU ARE! I’m an advocate for anyone who is scared to be who they really are because they fear being judged or rejected. They should be empowered by their differences and not be who society tells them to be.”
But an even more direct piece of advice for those contemplating doing what she did is this, “Having a s*x change is not the answer to insecurities or other issues. A lot of transgender people 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.”
13 She Believes In Bearing It All
So many people believe that exposing your body is satanic, sinful, and taboo. But not Ines. She told 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. Nudity is a celebration of the human being without all the excess. It’s not about s*xuality but the beauty of the human body, whether male or female. You can’t lie."
There we have it. She believes that baring it all is the way to go. The only way to go if you want to get to the bottom of things. It’s not a bad philosophy and, in reality, isn’t it those who believe that nudity is wrong that are messed up? Those obsessed with covering up may just be the ones who have inappropriate thinking in the end. One can argue that those who are willing to bare it all and are okay with anyone else doing the same are the ones who are natural.
12 Her Number One Focus Is The Environment
It’s easy to see that Ines believes in being as natural as possible as you can see from her quotes on baring it all. She loves and wants to be loved for who she really is, simple as that. But another thing you should know is that her primary focus is on the environment. Although she does fight for the rights of humans, she believes that there is a deeper problem that needs to be fixed first or else there won’t be any humans to correct before we know it.
“I will always fight for LGBTQ rights and women’s rights,” she says. “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.”
11 She Is Going To Be A Movie Star
She recently told Playboy that she had just finished up filming an upcoming movie. So we’re really excited to see how that will go, as it could start a whole new career for her. She claims that she wants to be an action star one day as it is one of her dreams.
As Playboy says, “it’s easy to picture her as a cold-blooded assassin or Lycra-clad superhero." She certainly has the look for it, but she also has the passion. She says, “It’s telling stories. It goes beyond beauty. You can be ugly in a movie. You just have to give emotion.”
And she told Vogue a while ago that what kind of show she wants to star in: “You know the show The Nanny? I would love to do a show like that! Something lighthearted, where you have a transgender character, but the story is upbeat and funny. Comedy brings people together, and I think that might help to take the drama out of these situations; everyone can laugh and have a good time. Every story matters, but it doesn’t always have to be about sadness. I would love to be the one who presents a story that adds levity, and lets people see that their differences aren’t such a big deal.”
10 Hugh’s Son Chose Her
After Hugh died, his son Cooper Hefner decided that the very next Playmate should be one that represented change and that would honor his father’s legacy. He decided to choose one that no one would forget. This would mark not just the death of “something great” but the “start of something new” and equally great. Or at least, this is how Mr. Hefner’s son saw it.
He took his father’s path and chose someone different. This would be referring to the time in 1965 when Hugh chose Jennifer Jackson as Playmate of the Month, making her the first African-American Playmate. As if to prove that Playmates can have normal lives, she now is a social worker who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. She has three children and three grandchildren. Imagine Ines having a similar life in fifty years. Either that, or she’ll be living a life similar to Jane Fonda.
9 She Knows Martial Arts
And here we have yet another talent! The girl is into every martial arts you can imagine. She says she loves "boxing, kickboxing, Thai boxing, full contact, all of it." She really likes to kick butt and you got to know that her looks will get her a long way in that department. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a Playboy Playmate kick someone’s butt with Thai boxing?
She looks good and we’re sure she’s just as talented. She might get a chance to show off her skills as she does her own stunts in her future film career. Unless she’s doing a Nanny-style comedy, then we might get a boss nanny who also has a black belt. Now there’s a show that I would pay to see! The Ninja Nanny from France; we need to start a petition for this one.
8 She Posed In The Buff For OOB
OOB is a French magazine that features many high-fashion models. This was one of her very first gigs, which occurred in 2013, when she appeared in the buff on the spread along with model Tyson Beckford. To get an idea of why she was chosen, here is what the creator of the magazine has to say: “For almost 20 years now, I've had the chance to work as a makeup artists and art directors. All of these continents have conquered me by their diversity and by their unique way of searching for 'The Beauty.' All of these hardworking, passionate artists are the true reason behind my unconditional love for my career. I realized they were all searching for one thing: finding a way to express themselves, to let their creativity run wild.” That’s when he decided to create the magazine with the slogan, "Too much is not enough."
7 She Became Friends With David Guetta
Before she became famous, Ines was both an exotic dancer and a various jack-of-all-trades. She met many people during her travels, but one in particular changed her life. That would be when she met David Guetta while dancing in Ibiza. The DJ hired her to dance for him and the rest was history.
To this day, the two are close and he’s a big advocate for the LBGTQ rights because of it. So you can say he knows her pretty well, like the fact that she loves to party. She once said, “I’m a party girl and always will be. For me, it’s not just about being drunk. It’s a celebration of life — a social thing. You want to interact, you want to meet new people.”
6 A French Documentary Made Her Famous
A documentary that aired weekly in France called Sept à Huit really showcased Ines’ life. The show, which translates to "Seven to Eight," shows a variety of reports on up and coming trending news stories. It airs every Sunday and gathers over 4 million views.
Ines had the honor of being featured on the show not too long ago, which made her go viral! She was beautiful, graceful, and stood for something that few dare to stand for.
The show won what we call the Golden 7 in 2003, which is kind of like the Golden Globes in the US. Sometimes the show features high profile actors, but other times, they take little known heroes and make them well-known. She also appeared in the sister show, Sept De Huit Life, which focuses more on social issues and challenges everyday people face. This is where her story spread like wildfire.
5 She Hid Her Identity For Eight Years
We can all understand that it’s hard to find acceptance. It’s hard to accept yourself and it’s hard to get others to accept you as well. Just imagine what it’s like for someone even more different than you. It can be pretty darn difficult. That’s why Ines, who got her s*x change when she was sixteen, hid her childhood from the world for eight whole years. She was afraid, and she admits it. Unlike Tula, she decided when she wanted to share her story with the world herself.
She told us, “I dated a lot and almost forgot. I was scared of never finding a boyfriend and being seen as weird," she confesses. "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, s*xuality, whatever. The people who reject you aren't worth it. It's not about being loved by others; it's about loving yourself."
4 Her Name Was "Loan" Before
This is pretty straightforward, but Ines was born Loan Rau in Paris, France. She is widely recognized as Ines Rau today, but in reality, her parents named her Loan. Most trans people change their name when they change genders: Bruce to Caitlyn, Chastity Sun Bono to Chaz Bono, and the list goes on.
For this reason, if you hear someone say Bruce Jenner, you know they are talking about Caitlyn. Now, when you hear someone say Loan Rau, they really mean Ines Rau. Family members especially may have a hard time calling someone something different after decades together. Imagine your mother changing her name; it might not make a difference. But, for example, it would be difficult if your sister changed her name. It would be hard to start calling her Karen after you’ve been calling her Rachel for twenty years.
3 Then She Appeared In Vogue
Yep, the girl’s been around! Not too long ago she appeared in Vogue Italia for Balmain, a French fashion house. The house was founded in 1946 and is still a great success today. She had an exclusive interview with Vogue in 2016 as well. In this interview, she claims that France is a lot more judgmental regarding s*xuality than the US.
When asked what needs to happen next in the world, she said, “The one thing that is still a challenge is getting work for very big commercial clients. You’ll often see a trans model featured for a provocative luxury brand or a really daring photographer, but you won’t see them in ads for H&M or Zara.”
She says that they will be quick to include different races, but featuring different s*xualities or gender identities is still on the way.
2 She Posed For Playboy In 2014
That’s right, this isn’t her first rodeo. No one pays attention to those stories inside when you have those Playmates to look at. But in 2014, she posed as an “Evolution” feature, promoting non-binary s*xuality. But she wasn’t a featured Playmate until 2017. In short, the world let her slip between their fingers for three years. She was in Playboy three years ago!
But she was noticed. In an A-Z issue, she represented Evolution. She stuck out and soon after was chosen for interviews in major magazines and sites like Vogue. No wonder she has so many followers on Instagram! She was secretly one of Hugh’s favorites, as he knew that the world needed to broaden their horizons.
1 She Has A Message For Everyone
While some may have thoughts on the controversy she brings to the media, others are worshipping one of her best quotes regarding judgmental people. In per Playboy interview, she says, “People have said that being transgender goes against the laws of nature, but they’re the same people who aren’t doing anything to help nature. If I want to get a s*x change, it’s between myself and my body. I could hide it, but I don’t, because I respect people.”
She then adds that being a woman isn’t about being feminine all the time. “Being a woman is being a woman.” Well said. In this world, you really should be able to be who you want to be right? It shouldn’t be up to someone else to decide whether you have red hair or wear denim. It should be up to you and you alone.