Men’s magazine Playboy has taken a bold and remarkable step by featuring a transgender model on its front cover for the first time in the German edition of the magazine.
21-year-old German model Giuliana Farfalla, will be featured topless on the front cover, which is traditional for Germany’s Playboy magazines.
While it is sure to court controversy for those who have yet to accept transgender identities, the magazine’s editor-in-chief Florian Boitin claimed the inclusion of Giuliana was in line with Hugh Hefner’s tradition of being ‘resolutely opposed [to] any form of exclusion and intolerance’. The issue hits German news-stands on Thursday.
The BBC reports Boitin said Giuliana was:
[a] beautiful example of how important the fight for the right to self-determination is.
Giuliana, who was born Pascal Radermacher in the south-western German city of Breisgau, is already well known in her home country. She explains how since childhood she always felt like she was in the wrong body and at the age of 16 she underwent gender reassignment.
She posted a ‘safe for work’ preview of her upcoming cover with a caption saying:
My dears, I’m on the latest Playboy cover and very proud of the result. I hope you like the cover as much as I do.
Giuliana is not the first transgender model to be featured on the hallowed pages of Playboy, for the November issue last year transgender playmate Ines Rau was featured in the magazine.
Speaking on her cover, the French-born Rau who didn’t identify as transgender for a long time for fear of never finding a partner or being perceived as ‘weird’ said:
… I was like, you know, you should just be who you are.
It’s a salvation to speak the truth about yourself, whether it’s your gender, sexuality, whatever. The people who reject you aren’t worth it. It’s not about being loved by others; it’s about loving yourself.
The first transgender model to appear on Playboy’s cover goes to Caroline ‘Tula’ Cossey who posed in 1981, shortly before appearing in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. Ten years later, after it was revealed that Cossey was born a man, she posed for the magazine a second time.
Last year Giuliana Farfalla was a contestant on Germany’s Next Top Model, an adaptation of the popular US show. She said she hoped her appearance would encourage transgender and transsexual people.
While other men’s magazines have burned out in the age of the internet, some print publications like Playboy have stayed afloat along with the likes of GQ and Esquire.
As well as pushing boundaries to subvert the idea of gender-normative labels, Hefner’s publication is also credited to being at the forefront of some brilliant journalism covering civil rights leaders such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and featuring iconic sports legends like Muhammad Ali.
In 2016 Playboy decided to do away with the full frontal nudity approach of the magazine as a way to ‘get with the times’ before bringing them a year later after poor sales.