Model and TV personality Tyra Banks is gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit for the third time!
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@tyrabanks, @camillekostek and @alexmorgan13 have landed the cover of #SISwim 2019! ✨ “The three women that make up the covers of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue represent the brand in the most powerful way possible,” @mj_day said. “While each individual woman is so unique, they come together cohesively to tell a spectacular story."
More than 20 years after she became the first black woman to land the cover, Tyra came out of modeling retirement to pose for the 2019 cover.
In the issue, she explained, “There is this stereotype that only a 20-year-old woman in a bikini is hot. Like, once we reach a certain age, we are no longer desirable. But I want to show that modeling has no age. I’m coming out of retirement to practice what I preach."
On Wednesday, Banks appeared on “Good Morning America” to unveil the cover. She said, “My first one was 23 years ago — how crazy is that?... I’m like, 'Damn — I’m 45, dog!'”
Tyra stripped down to a yellow Andi Bagus string bikini for the photo shoot, which took place in Great Exuma, Bahamas. Her beauty was captured by Laretta Houston.
On “GMA,” Tyra revealed that she also tried to recreate her 1997 cover, which featured her wearing a polka-dot bikini. She said, “We couldn’t find the exact one in the archives — it was the polka-dot bikini, so we recreated that bikini. I recreated it [the shoot] — 25 pounds heavier.”
She emphasized in the issue, “I am telling people that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and ages. I have to put my money where my mouth is. I have to make sure my message is pure.”
SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day praised Tyra, 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.”
Aside from Banks, Alex Morgan, USA National Women’s Soccer team star, and Camille Kostek, 2019 SI Swimsuit Rookie, also got their own covers. Day, who has worked for the magazine for 22 years, added, “The three women that make up the covers of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue represent the brand in the most powerful way possible. While each individual woman is so unique, they come together cohesively to tell a spectacular story.”
Last year, Tyra was the one who surprised model Danielle Herrington with the news that she was on the 2018 cover. Danielle was only the third black woman to appear on the famed magazine’s cover.
Tyra told “Extra” at the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Issue launch party in New York, “I’m super proud, like, crazy. The last time I was on this particular red carpet was me on the cover, being the first black girl. I never thought that I would be able to reveal to another black girl that she was going to be following me. This is crazy... It hasn’t really sunk in for me how monumental it is.”
It was serendipitous, since both Tyra and Danielle are from California. Tyra elaborated, "Not just California, Compton and Inglewood in the house, right now. That, to me, when I found out that she was from Compton, I said, 'Your cover means so much more to young black girls, not just in L.A., but everywhere. It's big.' So for me, to reveal it to Danielle was amazing.”
At the time, Herrington gushed, “Tyra has been my idol. I’m overwhelmed, honestly, I’m just, like... I have no words.”
The second black woman on the cover was Beyoncé, in 2007.