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Laverne Cox poses nude to inspire transgender women - Maria Puente April 16, 2015

Laverne Cox is a standout in Allure's annual nude-photography feature, which she agreed to do to help show other black transgender women that they, too, meet all the standards for beauty.

She's the first transgender woman to pose for the magazine since the nudes feature was launched in 2000.

Initially Cox refused to do it — twice. But she changed her mind because she thought she could inspire "the communities that I represent.

"Black women are not often told that we're beautiful unless we align with certain standards," she says in the magazine's May issue, on newsstands April 28.

"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 it's true."

Cox is fast becoming a trans heroine; she's also listed as as a "transgender icon" pioneer as one of TIME's 100 most influential people


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