Laverne Cox goes nude: "I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent"

The "OITNB" star challenges damaging ideas about beauty and trans women of color in a spread for Allure

By Jenny Kutner
Published April 16, 2015 5:19PM (EDT)
Laverne Cox          (AP/Frank Micelotta)
Laverne Cox (AP/Frank Micelotta)

For Laverne Cox, stripping down is a political act. The "Orange Is The New Black" star joins several other models in baring all for this year's annual Allure "Nudes" issue -- and for Cox, it's because she feels she's also bearing a major responsibility.

The outspoken LGBT advocate initially turned down the opportunity to pose nude for the magazine, but Cox told Allure she changed her mind because of the message her photos could send to other black women and trans women of color:

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 herself might be inspiring to some other folks. There's beauty in the things we think are imperfect. That sounds very cliché, but it's true.

Cox also said the photos are for herself, too. "I honestly just want to make myself happy most, and if other people like it, then that's great," the star said. "If they don't, then I'm still happy."

Watch Cox appear in a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot below:

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