Tyra Banks Makes Triumphant Return To Modeling

Andie Manahan

May 10, 2019

Nothing can stop BanX from slaying.


Tyra Banks first made headlines as the first black woman to appear solo on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. More than 20 years later, she’s breaking new ground in the modelling industry – and still wowing with her bikini bod.


The stunning 45-year-old model is out of modelling retirement and is slaying on one of three covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit­ (Soccer star Alex Morgan and model search winner Camille Kostek are featured on the other two covers).


She’s also making some changes in the new phase of her career – as in she’s changing her model name. “But just my model name,” she told ET.


Meet Banx.


“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,” she explains. “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.”


More than 10 years ago, Tyra made the decision of retiring from the modeling biz. And, in a recent interview, she revealed why she left even though she was still at the top of her game.


“When I was 32 years old, I retired from the business. I didn’t want to age out,” she revealed to the New York Times. “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 was hardly idle after leaving the modelling, going on to make her mark in other industries. Now, she’s back in the game, embracing her age AND her curves, and absolutely killing it.


“I never thought it would be possible to be 45 years old and on the cover of this magazine again,” she shared in a video of her SI Swimsuit shoot.


In a series of social media posts, she also got candid about her insecurities about her body.


“I’ve always felt that I had flat feet that didn’t point severely enough when posing. And calves that were too small in proportion to my thighs…#ItsOkTho,” she wrote in one post.


“When posing like this, my tummy ain’t as flat as it was 22 years ago and the cellulite that’s hidden and sunken in the sand is a bit more plenty today…#ItsOkTho,” she captioned a photo focused on her stomach.


She also gave the lowdown on how she struck a particular pose – and the struggle is real, people!


“I look so calm and serene and relaxed. Truth: the sun is blaring in my eyes so I need to close them. My back is cramping from arching within an inch of my life. And I’ve been hanging my head back like this for 120 seconds and now it feels like my cranium weighs 100lbs. Lordy,” she wrote, adding, “And they call me a Supermodel.”


She also got real about not being 100% happy about her body – but she’s okay with it.


“I’m human,” she admitted to ET. “I still don’t love the cellulite on my butt. I still know how to twist and turn even during this photo shoot to make sure you don’t see the dimples on my booty, so I still have that. I just don’t linger there, and I celebrate the things that I’m proud of.”


“You know, there’s just things that I don’t like but I just don’t dwell there,” she added, explaining, But I’m also very honest and saying I don’t like it, but it’s not the end of the world.”


Preach, Tyra!