Tyra Banks is laughing in the face of aging. The 45-year-old model has come out of retirement to grace the cover of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Tyra appears on the 2019 cover in a tiny yellow bikini, making no apologies for who she is and what her body looks like.
The superstar left modeling over a decade ago. As she explains: “When I was 32 years old, I retired from the business. I didn’t want to age out. I walked out with a three-year contract on the table, but I wanted to say goodbye before the industry said goodbye to me. Leave before they leave you. My mother used to tell me that.”
Tyra first graced the cover of the SI Swimsuit issue in 1997.
She was the first black woman to get a solo cover. Now Tyra’s hoping to shake things up yet again. “I decided to come out of retirement because I always say there’s no such thing of a cookie cutter of beauty to me. I wanna bust those beauty walls down,” Tyra said.
To mark this new moment in her life, Tyra is also changing her modeling name to “Banx.” She explains: “Yeah, Banx with an X. Because I want me coming out of retirement to be bigger than me, and for me to represent women to say, enough of this cookie-cutter thing.”
Tyra knows that this is an opportunity, and she’s excited to be taking it on: “As much as we’ve progressed with beauty, there’s still a long way to go of opening up the door and redefining what it means, and so that X stands for ‘X what you heard about what beauty means.’ We are making a new rule that so many more people can fit into this beauty box. Let’s bust the box open.”
Watch Tyra Banks talk about the new cover in the video!
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