12 Transgender Models Who Redefined Beauty

Some people enjoy an androgynous look for a fashion model, and many trans people have found success this way, but what about those who have made it as an all-out transgender person?

There are quite a few gorgeous transgender models that have broken out and become supermodels in their own right.

12 Famous Trans Models

Here are some of our favorite transgender models. Each bio links to their Instagram account, where you can see their sexy modeling photos, and learn what they’re currently up to.

1. Ines Rau

Ines Rau is a French model who is Maghreb, or North African. She was discovered in Paris by a scout after undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

Ines has an incredibly sexy and feminine look, which has gotten her photo shoots in Lurve and Playboy. In fact, Ines Rau was the first openly transgender playmate!

After the playboy shoot, she shared her thoughts on being naked as a transgender woman. “Nudity means a lot to me, since I went through a transition to get where I want to be. Nudity is a celebration of the human being without all the excess. It’s not about sexuality but the beauty of the human body, whether male or female.”

Read: Famous Trans Pornstars & Genderqueer Performers

2. Lauren Foster

Lauren Foster is a trans model who is considered to have broken ground for other trans women since she started modeling in the 1980s.

Lauren has Klinefelter’s Syndrome, which means that instead of the typical XY chromosome denoting male gender, she has XXY, making her gender-ambiguous, and a choice up to her.

She chose to be a woman, and we are glad she did. She is the only trans woman to be featured on the Real Housewives franchise and has been featured in high fashion photo spreads in Vogue Magazine.

3. Amelia Maltepe

Amelia Maltepe is an Indian-Canadian trans model. After moving to Canada to study in 2009, she discovered there was a word for the gender dysphoria she felt and started to transition to become a woman.

This gorgeous and exotic trans woman once let it be known she wanted to compete for the title of Miss World, hoping to break down barriers for transwomen in the world of high-stakes pageants.

Beauty queen tiara and red roses

4. Valentina Sampaio

Valentina Sampaio, a stunning transgender model from Brazil, has appeared on the cover of the French Vogue, and it was the first time a trans woman was ever featured on the French fashion cover.

Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt stated, “In a postgendered world, which more and more designers are highlighting on their runways, Trans people—the ultimate symbols of a rejection of conformity—are icons that Vogue supports and chooses to celebrate.”

5. Lea T

Elle Brazil already featured the stunning Valentina, above, but it wasn’t the first time the magazine had a transexual woman on its cover. In December 2011 Givenchy model Lea T, also Brazilian, wowed on the fashionable front.

Lea continues to have a successful career as a model and is also an activist for human rights. In 2020, the BBC included her in a list of 100 women who are changing the world.

Read: Famous Trans Celebrities, Activists, and Artists

6. Hari Nef

Hari Nef, an American trans model, made waves on the front of Barcelona’s Metal, an A-list magazine of international couture, design, and travel. But she was already a pro, having done Elle UK‘s cover.

Then she was on the front of Elle Brazil, which has made a name for itself by regularly featuring hot transgender models.

Famous Transgender model

7. Caitlyn Jenner 

Perhaps Vanity Fair‘s 2015 cover featuring Ms. Jenner is the one that will stand out most. Because Jenner was famous for the Olympics as Bruce, the accompanying feature that told her story was read by millions around the world. Caitlyn Jenner was photographed by Annie Leibovitz, one of the world’s greatest photographers.

Much controversy ensued, not only over Caitlyn’s transition but also for her blunt sense of humor, ideas and politics. Ultimately, Jenner as cover model was instrumental in creating public dialogue—open discussion of transgender issues began accelerating in the public sphere.

Caitlyn also broke other barriers to beauty, modeling in the now-famous white onesie and showing herself sexy as a trans woman and also as a senior citizen.

8. Vittoria Schisano

Vittoria Schisano is an Italian actress who has also graced the cover of Playboy Italia. The gorgeous transwoman appeared naked under a fur wrap.

“If you can dream it, you can do it,” she wrote on her Instagram.

Kudos to the Playboy brand for its forward-thinking, boundary-breaking work over the years. Playboy featured another transgender model on its cover and in a feature layout—not just now that it’s trendy, but way back in 1991.

9. Caroline Cossey

Caroline Cossey, also known as Tula, made waves as a Bond girl who was outed by a tabloid as having been born Barry.

Instead of falling apart, Caroline took it all off for Playboy, effectively saying, eat your heart out haters!

Read: Our Favorite Transgender Movies and TV Shows

Trans Woman in Stockings in Movie Theatre

10. Paris Lees

Paris Lees is a writer, editor, model, human and transgender rights activist, feminist, and pioneer.

After appearing in Vogue Magazine, Paris told the BBC,” Look how far we’ve come… It’s insane that I could be in Vogue. A trans kid from a council estate. People at school told me I’d never be a girl, would never be pretty enough, would never be accepted—well, here I am being celebrated as a woman.”

Lees worked as assistant editor at Gay Times, and wrote for Diva Magazine, as well as being the publication’s first transgender woman cover model. Lees has also written for mainstream and general interest publications such as The GuardianThe IndependentThe Daily Telegraph, and Vice.

11. Monroe Berdorf

Transgender model Munroe Bergdorf is often in the headlines, raising temperatures and raising awareness.

Bergdorf recently teamed up with Bluebella Lingerie for her first lingerie modeling campaign. “This is a lingerie campaign championing female empowerment, no matter what your size, shape, sexuality, race or gender identity.”

But she has also been involved in a number of scandals.

Previously, Munroe lost a modeling contract with L’Oreal after accusing the company of being racist, along with public statements that all white people are racist. She was sacked from the cosmetics contract as an inappropriate representative of the values of inclusivity and diversity.

But that didn’t stop her and Munroe Bergdorf went on to become the first trans woman on the cover of UK Cosmopolitan in 2022.

12. Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera, who gained mainstream prominence as a contestant in the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, went on to gender reassignment surgery, completing her transition quite publicly after the show’s conclusion.

After that, a famous change.org petition went viral, asking Victoria’s Secret to hire the transgender beauty queen and entertainer as their first transgender model. Although it collected nearly 40,000 signatures, the lingerie giant declined. But that hasn’t stopped Carmen and continues on as a famous transgender model and entertainer.

Read: Transgender Musicians, Singers and Music Artists

Who is your favorite trans model?

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