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For plenty of people, taking their clothes off can be a frightening task. The thought becomes even more daunting when you know your naked body will be seen by millions of people. Posing nude is not for the faint of heart.

But actress and activist 30-year-old Laverne Cox took the plunge for Allure magazine. But just because she looks beautiful in the shoot, doesn’t mean that it was an easy decision to make.

“Going through life, you try to cover and hide, but it doesn’t really work. I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again. 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 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.” 

In addition to making a statement, Cox also wanted the pictures for herself.

“I honestly just want to make myself happy most, and if other people like it, then that’s great. If they don’t, then I’m still happy.” 

Amen, Laverne!

Cox was also joined by fellow actress Nicole Beharie. Interestingly enough, the two appeared on the cover of Essence magazine last year.

You can watch her share her experience on set in the video below.

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