Laverne Cox admits that she first turned down the opportunity to pose naked for Allure magazine's nude issue.
"Going through life, you try to cover and hide, but it doesn't really work," the 30-year-old Orange Is the New Black star explains. "I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again."
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Cox says she later felt it was something she had to do. "But I'm a black transgender woman," she says. "I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent."
And represent she did! Check out her gorgeous nude photo.
"Black women are not often told that we're beautiful unless we align with certain standards," Cox says. "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."
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Further inspiring, the actress adds, "There's beauty in the things we think are imperfect. That sounds very cliche, but it's true."
Cox didn't just pose nude to inspire others, she too admits that she needed this. "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."
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Other stars to pose for Allure's nude issue includeFurious 7 star Jordana Brewster, Vikings actress Katheryn Winnick, Sleepy Hollow's Nicole Beharie and Terminator Genisys' Sandrine Holt. "I'm having more fun posing nude or being in a bikini or doing love scenes than I ever did before," Brewster says. "Because it hit me: This is fleeting, and in a couple of years I won't be able to do this, so just enjoy it."
Cox spoke with ET in May 2014 about the tipping point in her career and her role as an activist in the LGBT community. Check her out, below.