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The living legend that is Tyra Banks has broken the internet with her official return to modeling!! The mega boss babe hung up her sky-high heels 13 years ago but has now come out of retirement and absolutely SLAYED her third Sports Illustrated cover shoot!

Tyra was the first African-American model to land the coveted cover of the magazine’s swimsuit issue. Now she has graduated and is among the oldest.

Banks first appeared on the cover of SI Swimsuit in 1996 alongside Valeria Mazza. She moved forward to make history in 1997, becoming the first black woman to receive her own cover.

MJ Day, the magazine’s editor, praised the 45-year-old, 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.”

In a New York Times interview, Banks discussed her iconic cover, calling it “huge. It was explosive. It changed my life overnight. You have to think back to remember what that did for an appreciation of black beauty to have a black girl, a girl next door type, on the cover of one of the most mass mainstream magazines of our lives. It was a societal statement, a political statement and an economic one.”

The icon also talked about her decision to retire from modeling 13 years ago. “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.”

Tyra Banks has become a staple in more ways than one. After modeling, she dove head first into her entrepreneurship, creating a number of revenues for herself including the infamous America’s Next Top Model! She used her platform to break barriers and knock down typical stereotypes lurking within the modeling industry.

“…when I created “A.N.T.M.” it grew out of the pain of being told you’re too black, too curvy, not cookie cutter enough. It made me angry. I always knew I wanted a lot of atypical beauties for the show. Ultimately we ended up with a show that was in 186 countries and in 40 different international versions, and we used that to broaden the idea of diversity in so many ways: age, height, weight, it goes on and on,” Tyra stated.

She recently wrapped season 23 of the notorious modeling competition.

Currently the mogul is working on another major project, developing a new theme park, entitled Modelland.

“The message of Modelland is basically the same as “A.N.T.M.” The definition of beauty can be expanded. The world is moving so fast and the industry needs to play catch up. Things we were talking about 20 years ago are now realities. The modeling industry of the future will not look like what it does today. Anyone with a phone on a camera can be a model. And Modelland will be a place where you can come and be celebrated and be a fantasy version of yourself.”

One thing is for sure and that is Ms.Banks is a force to be reckoned with, and always has been.

She welcomed her first child in 2016 and not even motherhood could slow this boss babe down!!! Her deep love and passion for modeling resurrected a true queen and the internet simply can’t control their excitement.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Complex, NY Times 

 

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