Tyra Banks has been a beacon of light for young women, and men, across the world beyond posing in front of the camera. With a hit talk show and one of the biggest modeling scouting television series in history, Banks reserve the rights to a lot of us chasing our dreams. Yet today marks another moment of propel from Tyra as she comes out of retirement to grace the cover of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover, making it over two decades since she broke he barrier as the first solo African-American woman to grace the cover of the publication in 1997.
As if the yellow string biking and same sun kissed even caramel skin-tone wasn’t enough to start a mini-heart attack, and looking as delicious as ever at 45 years young, she shed light on a strong message in body positivity and what it means to create and force your lane of acceptance in a world that constantly says no. “#BanX is here to tell you that you ARE friggin’ fierce no matter what anybody says!” Banks captioned on Instagram, sharing details on her persona “BanX,” which begins a new era of consciousness of self-beauty and acceptance. “BanX is me, but she’s also every woman,” she says. “BanX represents rebirth and that beauty boundaries only exist to be broken.” Outline the fine lines, Banks started the new term in her further efforts of “X-ing out cookie-cutter beauty,” and continuing her fight in smudging what “norm” is. “Mononyms are exciting in the industry,” she detailed in her S.I. cover story. “But usually models use their first names, like Iman. I want to flip the script and go by my last name. I’m taking something familiar and making it new. I’m wiser now and thicker.”
In this new phase, Banks continues to recognize the beauty that’s always been around and usher it in without hesitation and disregard to what “should be.” Sport Illustrated is making a case of real-life realizations with ’80s supermodel Paulina Porizkova, whom first appearance in SI was in the 1983 swimsuit issue, is making her tenth appearance in the annual issue at age 54. Followed by another issue-breaking moment with the 21-year-old Somali-American runway supermodel Halima Aden as the first model to wear a hijab and burkini in the magazine’s pages. Bringing down barriers is the headline of the new generation with Tyra Banks as one of the front and center in the battle line.