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This is the empowering reason why Tyra Banks is changing her name

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Lauren Geall
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Tyra Banks on the red carpet at the American music awards

“This is for everybody that has been told that they are not good enough,” the supermodel wrote.

Ten years after she last graced the runway, Tyra Banks has officially emerged from retirement – with an empowering mission.

In a signal of her return to the modelling industry, Banks appeared on one of a series of three covers for the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

But that wasn’t it. In true Tyra Banks style, the supermodel revealed a change in her professional name during an in interview with Entertainment Tonight – and the inspiring message behind it.

Tyra Banks discusses her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover alongside fellow models
Tyra Banks discusses her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover alongside fellow models

“I decided to come out of retirement because I always say there’s no such thing of a cookie cutter of beauty to me, I wanna bust those beauty walls down,” Banks explained.

Coming out of retirement, said Banks, was a decision based on staying true to her message that anyone can be beautiful, at any age. And to signify that she’s changing her professional name - to Banx. 

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“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,” the model explained. “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’.”

In the spirit of Banx, she then took to her Instagram to share a series of photographs from the Sports Illustrated shoot - alongside captions pointing out her insecurities and flaws. 

On one photo of her feet, the model wrote: “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…”

On another, which showed her face and upper body, she was honest about the realities of being a model, dispelling the ‘Instagram myth’ we’re all so familiar with.

“I look so calm and serene and relaxed,” she began. “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,” she went on, “and I’ve been hanging my head back like this for 120 seconds and now it feels like my cranium weighs 100lbs.

“Lordy. And they call me a supermodel.”

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Despite the fact that she looks amazing anyway, Tyra’s honesty is such a breath of fresh air in an industry which has long set near impossible beauty standards for women, while simultaneously telling us all we need to do is love ourselves. Please.

“This is for everybody that has been told that they are not good enough,” the supermodel said in another post on her Instagram, “because of their body, their age, their everything. #BanX is here to tell you that you ARE friggin’ fierce no matter what anybody says!

It’s official - Tyra: 1, impossible beauty standards: 0.

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Lauren Geall

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