German Playboy to feature first transgender cover star

German edition of Playboy has featured Giuliana Farfalla a transgender model on its cover

The magazine, founded by Hugh Hefner, had a huge impact on the fashion and pop culture landscape.

Farfalla, who made a name for herself as a model after participating in Heidi Klum's "Germany's Next Topmodel", on Tuesday posted the cover image of German Playboy's January issue to her Instagram account. "When I was growing up, you rarely saw trans people in public life and only then as objects of ridicule, pity or disgust".

The German edition of Playboy magazine says it will feature a transgender model on its cover for the first time.

Farfalla was born in 1996 in the Breisgau region of south-western Germany on the border with France as Pascal Radermacher.

Her cover has already proven very popular on Instagram, gaining nearly 10,000 likes.

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This isn't the first time Playboy has championed the inclusion of transgender models. It will be on sale on newsstands on Thursday.

While Playboy has been embroiled in its fair share of controversy, the publication has also been hailed for advocating diversity.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who passed away in September a year ago, described himself as a "human rights activist" in a 1994 interview with The Advocate. A French fashion model Ines Rau says that Hefner had personally chosen her to be the magazine's first transgender playmate before he died at the age of 91 in September. Playboy magazine featured model Darine Stern on its cover of the October issue nude, in 1971. This was the time when African-American women were fighting to be visible in society.

Just last week, journalist and activist Paris Lees became the first openly transgender woman to be featured in British Vogue.

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