• iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGLES) -- Playboy is making history again by naming a transgender model a "Playboy Playmate" for the first time in the magazine's 64-year history. French model Ines Rau will get the honor of being the November/December centerfold.It's a notable accomplishment for the 26-year-old model, who used to hide her identity."I lived a long time without saying I was transgender," Rau told Playboy. "I dated a lot and almost forgot. I was scared of never finding a boyfriend and being seen as weird.""Then 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," she continued. "The people who reject you aren’t worth it. It’s not about being loved by others; it’s about loving yourself." Along with this distinction, Rau has been featured in Vogue, Italian Vogue and a Balmain fashion campaign.The decision to make Rau a playmate was decided by Cooper Hefner, Hugh Hefner's son and chief creative officer at Playboy. The elder Hefner died last month at the age of 91. The latest issue will honor his legacy."It very much speaks to the brand’s philosophy," Hefner, 26, told The New York Times of his decision. "It’s the right thing to do. We’re at a moment where gender roles are evolving." "This is really a moment for us to take a step back and say that so much of what the brand stood for in the early years is very much still alive in culture," he added.Playboy was quick to note that it has published photos of transgender women before.In fact, the first transgender woman to "pose for Playboy was Tula in September 1991," according to the magazine's Twitter account, referring to British model Caroline Cossey. Moreover, Rau has been featured in the magazine in 2014.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Blinq(NEW YORK) -- Let's face it: for as cool as fitness trackers and other wearable tech items are, they're not great to look at. And this was the prime mover behind Blinq, beautiful rings made of gold and other luxury materials that subtly hide some serious tech. Not only will the rings count your steps -- sending them and other fitness data to your phone -- but they can be set to inform you of incoming alerts for various apps like Uber, Instagram, and more.The rings vibrate, and their gemstones actually glow subtly to inform you, instead of having you whip out your phone to check, which, let's face it, we all do way too much.
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  • Apple(CHICAGO) -- Apple's innovative redesign of its first-ever flagship store in Chicago may give a glimpse into the future of retail.In the company's most ambitious store design yet, the all-glass storefront called Apple Michigan Avenue on the Chicago River will for one month offer visitors free sessions to experience augmented reality, design artwork, learn coding and tinker with robots.The store will host the series of events as part of a citywide collaboration with community organizations called "The Chicago Series," that focuses on the intersection of technology and liberal arts."I think it's our job to carry Apple's legacy forward, always keep it relevant now for today," Angela Ahredts, senior vice president of retail, told ABC News. "This is where the best of Apple come together."
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Good Housekeeping's list of the hottest toys for the holiday season is out after the magazine's extensive expert and kid testing process.Good Housekeeping Institute's experts vetted over 500 toys for safety, quality and skill-building. They then asked nearly 100 children, ages 1 through 13, to weigh in on their favorites.Rachel Rothman, the chief technologist from Good Housekeeping Institute, the consumer products lab, appeared live on Good Morning America to share some of the magazine's top picks for kids at different price points: under $25, under $50, under $75, and $100.Under $25Moose Toys Oonies Starter KitFor ages 5+Price: $19.99This toy lets children blow up dozens of "oonies," or a cross between bubbles and balloons. Children can stick the "oonies" together and create original designs. The good news for parents is the toy requires no glue, no water, and is said to be mess-free.Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light BrushFor ages 3+Price: $19.99Children can dip this brush into a pot of paint and it will then light up into that shade on special paper. The color will not transfer onto skin, carpet or furniture, allowing for mess-free digital painting.Under $50Moose Toys 'Despicable Me' Mineez Dru's Super Liar PlaysetFor ages 5+Price: $35This toy is a detailed miniature version of the beloved "Despicable Me" villain's lair. The set includes two minions and Dru, the villain himself, but you can also purchase more characters to add to your collection.Leap Frog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream CarFor ages 2+Price: $39.99; $25.49 at TargetThis toy lets children make creative toy ice cream concoctions by mixing different flavors, toppings and syrups. The cart also plays songs, and features activity cards and phrases that teach colors, numbers, flavors and more.Under $75
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A Virginia man is dazzling his community with a 16,000-light Halloween show set to music.Brandon Bullis, of Leesburg, Virginia, turns on the lights outside his family’s home every night through Halloween Eve for a Halloween light spectacular.Bullis, an engineer who has been decorating his home with lights since 2011, set this year’s display to “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man at the suggestion of his wife.“About three weeks ago she said, ‘I heard a song today and you have to hear it,’” Bullis told ABC News. “I have to listen to it approximately 100 to 200 times when I program it, so I like to make sure that I like it.”He explained, “It has to be something that I instinctually tap my foot to when I hear it.”Bullis said he spent about 40 hours building the light display and 10 to 12 hours programming each minute of each song.The rest of the 30-minute light display that runs four times every night of the week is comprised of Halloween-themed music Bullis has used in past years, like “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.Bullis’s neighbors don’t have to worry about the sound of the music because it plays on a local radio station for visitors to listen to in their cars.“It’s fun to see the community reaction,” Bullis said of the hundreds of visitors who come each year. “People really come out and a lot of families have made it a tradition for themselves.”Bullis said he spends more on Halloween candy each year than he does on his power bill in the month of October.“Our power bill increase is so minimal,” he said. “I think it’s about $20 or $25.”Bullis and his family, which includes three children, do not charge for the light show but do accept donations. The family has raised more than $25,000 for Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, since 2013, according to Bullis.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In her heyday, Jennifer Bobbi was Long Island’s Tupperware queen, selling hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of kitchenware and earning herself a six-figure salary.  For about a decade in New York, she hosted parties and ran her business as Aunt Barbara, a drag queen whose brash attitude and sassy comebacks were part of her act.Bobbi was living as a man at the time, and portraying Aunt Barbara allowed her to dress up in 1960s-era dresses and a black bob wig to host her Tupperware parties, to the delight of her clients, she said.“I believe that most people thought it was a great, fun thing to do in their house,” Bobbi told ABC News. “It was a comedy show, but it was a comedy show in their minds because it was a man dressed as a woman playing a character.”But she didn’t want to just act like her female character; she said that from a very young age, she knew she was a woman.  “I held it inside through my teenage years into my 20s, and finally, at one point when I think my parents could not figure me out, my mother sat down with me, and she said, ‘We know that you’re gay. We know that you’re homosexual,’” Bobbi said. “What I wanted to say was, ‘Well, it’s half the story. It’s half the story because I’m attracted to men and I’m biologically and physically a male, but intuitively, mentally, organically, I’m a female. And I have been my whole life.’”When Bobbi came out as a trans woman on April 1, 2015, she said, she was surprised by how some of her clients suddenly treated her.“I considered Aunt Barbara just a character of who I am. It’s a part of who I am. And I guess I thought that, well, they accept Aunt Barbara. Why wouldn’t they accept me? I’m just the person who’s behind Aunt Barbara,” said Bobbi, 48.But after her transition, people began canceling their Tupperware parties, she said, and her business suffered.“I do think that my transition was a major contributing factor to the decline in my business,” Bobbi said. “I noticed that some people don’t understand the difference between what they perceived as a drag queen or as being transgender or a cross-dresser.”  Bobbi is far from alone. Advocacy groups have released studies showing that the unemployment rate is far higher than average for transgender individuals, though no government agency has released similar data.Even though societal awareness about the issues trans people face has grown in recent years and a number of high-profile celebrities have opened up about their transitions, advocates say there is long way to go in the fight for true equality in the workplace. On Oct. 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his decision to strip trans individuals of protections against discrimination in the workplace under the Civil Rights Act. And in July, President Trump said in a tweet that trans people will not be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the U.S. military; the matter is currently under Defense Department review.For Bobbi, like many other trans people, living as her true self came with a steep financial cost.At her sales peak in 2013, Bobbi said, she was so busy, she “couldn’t handle the bookings. I could have done two or three parties a day.”“I earned a Ford Mustang or a cash bonus. I took the cash bonus and bought a Cadillac. I earned a trip to Hawaii, trips to Florida, trips to New Orleans,” she said.She sold hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Tupperware, and while she wouldn’t specify the number, Bobbi told ABC News that her take-home pay at the time was six figures.  Fast-forward four years, and Bobbi was facing bankruptcy. She said that after she came out and began taking hormones as part of her transition, her business dried up.“It’s
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