Laverne Cox Has Best Week Ever: Eats Mac and Cheese, Poses Nude, Takes a Bow

The ‘Orange Is the New Black’ star was just honored in three very big ways.
Apr 16, 2015·
Jennifer Swann is TakePart’s culture and lifestyle reporter.

Some of the women chosen for Allure magazine’s annual nude issue prepared by doing Pilates or acrobatics. Not Laverne Cox, who prepped for her naked photo shoot by eating mac and cheese the night before.

“I had a moment this morning that was like, ‘This is a nice little pooch,’ ” the transgender actor and activist said in Allure’s behind-the-scenes video, clutching her midsection. She shrugged off her friends’ suggestions to juice or fast before being photographed, preferring instead to present her body as it really looks.

Cox, who stars as transgender inmate Sophia Burset in the Netflix comedy Orange Is the New Black, initially turned down the magazine shoot—celebs such as Kristen Bell, Chelsea Handler, and Taraji P. Henson have posed in past years—but had a change of heart after realizing that her image had the potential to empower the various communities she represents.

“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,” Cox told Allure. “Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks.”

The 30-year-old was also honored in two other annual magazine features this week: Time’s "100 Most Influential People" issue, in which she was profiled by the 14-year-old transgender activist Jazz Jennings, and Out magazine’s "Power List," where she was ranked the ninth-most-influential LGBT person in America.

If her latest role is any indication, Cox is about to break even more ground in mainstream media: She’s been cast in the upcoming CBS legal drama Doubt, positioning her to become the first transgender actor to play a transgender series regular on broadcast TV.