Not only has Tyra Banks come out of modelling retirement to once again grace the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit issue. The media mogul has also announced a name makeover.
The media personality reveals in SI that she is changing her moniker to “BanX,” to signify her return to modeling after quitting the biz in 2005.
“Mononyms are exciting in the industry,” she said. “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 older, wiser now and thicker.”
“BanX is me, but she’s also every woman. BanX represents rebirth and that beauty boundaries only exist to be broken.”
She added, “I am telling people that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and ages,” said BanX, who had her first solo SI Swimsuit cover in 1997. “I have to put my money where my mouth is. I have to make sure my message is pure.”
MJ Day, SI’s editor, explained the decision to put Tyra back on the cover, saying “Since Tyra’s first cover in 1996, she’s transformed herself into nothing less than a mogul, a cultural force and a supernova of inspiration and empowerment. She’s kind of the Swimsuit Issue ethos come to life, everything we know this franchise can be.”
BanX, meanwhile, noted in an Instagram video posted by the magazine that she “never thought it would be possible to be 45 years old and on the cover of this magazine again.”
In a tweet sharing the news, the “America’s Next Top Model” host said: “This is for everybody that has been told that they are not good enough because of their body, their age, their everything.”
Sports Illustrated’s 2019 swimsuit issue is on sale now.