Laverne Cox and Nicole Beharie showed off their bodies of work for Allure, making a statement on beauty with the images. The stars of Orange Is the New Black and Sleepy Hollow, respectively, shed their clothes for photographer Norman Jean Roy for the artful pictures.
Emmy-nominated actress Cox, a transgender activist who was profiled on the cover of Time last year, speaks about the decision to pose nude. "I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again," she explains. "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."
She continues, "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."
It's hard not to see the beauty in the black-and-white photos of Cox, who plays inmate Sophia Burset on the hit Netflix series, which returns for a third season in June.
Roy's photographs of Beharie are equally stunning. The actress says she agreed to pose nude because she wanted to "celebrate and accept my body in an artistic way." Which part of her anatomy does Nicole particularly celebrate? "I have a good bum," she says.
Check out the May issue of Allure, on stands now, for the full pictorial and interviews.
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(Photos from left: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images, Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)