Has Ines Rau had surgery? Her gender identity journey

Ines Rau

Ines Rau is the history-making model who became the first transgender Playmate. Playboy announced Rau’s appearance on social media, writing:

“Nudity shouldn’t be taboo. 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.”

Rau roared into the headlines in May 2022 after photos of herself and French superstar footballer Kylian Mbappe getting cozy on a beach and yacht in Cannes surfaced. Ines and Kylian are reportedly dating. 

Rau was 16 when she underwent gender reassignment surgery

Rau underwent gender reassignment surgery at age 16 after drawing inspiration from actress Caroline ‘Tula’ Cossey. Tula was outed as transgender after appearing as a Bond Girl in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. In 1991, Tula became the first transgender woman to pose for Playboy

Tula wrote two books, including I Am a Woman, which Rau read and reread before undergoing surgery. She told models.com:

“Until now I wasn’t really out about it. I just woke up one day realizing that it’s enough, I need to embrace who I am and be loved for what I am and what I have been through- without the fear of being rejected.”

Ines’ family and friends supported her, but she wasn’t ready to come out to the world. Rau told Playboy she thought people would reject her if they knew she was transgender. Eight years after her surgery, she chose to embrace her identity:

“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.”

Rau celebrated her coming out by appearing on Playboy in May 2014 as part of a spread celebrating diversity. “I took that chance, and then I signed with an agency,” Rau said

Ines’ historic appearance as November 2017’s Playmate of the Month attracted backlash. Playboy had learned from history to expect resistance: in 1965, Playboy received criticism for featuring a black woman – Jennifer Jackson – as the first African-American Playmate; Tula’s appearance in the magazine also fueled backlash. 

“We should collectively be fighting for a more open world, not one that promotes hatred and a lack of acceptance,” Cooper Hefner, Hugh Hefner’s son, tweeted

Rau advises people not to fear embracing themselves

Rau’s life changed when she proudly and unashamedly embraced her transgender activity. She told Playboy:

“When I was doing this shoot, I was thinking of all those hard days in my childhood. And now everything happening gives me so much joy and happiness. I thought, ‘Am I really going to be a Playmate — me?’ It’s the most beautiful compliment I’ve ever received. It’s like getting a giant bouquet of roses.”

Ines’ advice for people is to embrace their true identities. Rau told models.com that gender reassignment surgery is a huge step that requires deep reflection and consultations with experts. She said:

“It’s fabulous the level of happiness- it’s just absolutely impossible to describe. I’m the happiest girl in the world, just being what I wanted to be. You have to love yourself enough to go for it without the fear of being judged or rejected. That’s my advice for them.”