Tyson Beckford's career takes new turns, including transgender model shoot

Tyson Beckford — of ’90s supermodel fame — is back in the news for reasons that you might not expect.

The hunky black male model who came on the scene during the era of Naomi Campbell has been making press rounds to promote a line of headphones. Have his years in the public eye prepped him for doling out headline-grabbing sound bytes? It would seem so.

While promoting the Monster headphone collection in Australia, the 42-year-old revealed his thoughts on models that live on very little.

“Not every woman is going to be a size zero,” he told Perth Now. “The average woman is not a size zero. A zero woman, it’s rare – the majority of the world (is) normal size. We’re not all built the same, and you don’t need to go starve yourself to look a certain way. I’ve worked with plus size models, Lane Bryant is a brand I’ve done a lot with for many years, their women are great. If you’re happy with the way you look and it’s healthy for you, don’t worry about anything else.”

Perhaps to further express his opinion on expanding conceptions of beauty, Beckford has also recently posed with an openly transgender female model.

Colorlines has reported that, “Tyson Beckford posed for a series of gorgeous (and pretty raunchy) photos with transgender model Ines Rau. The shoot was for OOB Magazine’s ‘Tropical Surrealism’ spread and was photographed by Rodolpho Martinez.”

The erotic photographs depict the couple kissing, touching, and generally looking better than us mere mortals could ever hope to look. But far from just seeking to show off an enviable body, Rau revealed in a recent interview that there is a meaning to her decision to show the world her true self — nudity and all.

“I am twenty-four years old and have done the change very young, at 16,” she said in an interview for 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.”

These two developments are certainly a departure for the Polo Ralph Lauren model, who also appears in the ad campaign for Monster headphones — which he art directed himself.

The Bronx native of Jamaican decent has had a diverse fashion career. In addition to modeling, and now art directing, he was the host of the Bravo show Make Me a Supermodel for its two season run.

One thing is for sure. Beckfords has certainly become philisophical about notions of beauty in his more mature years, as he expands his craft in that realm.

“We spend so much time saying what beauty is, but no one really knows,” he told Perth Now. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — always has been and always should be.”

Follow Alexis Garrett Stoghill on Twitter @lexisb.