Tyra Banks Returns to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Cover

Tyra Banks first graced the coveted cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue in 1996, and at 45 years old in 2019, she’s back at it!

Tyra stepped out of retirement from modeling for the epic tropical photo shoot. This is her third Swimsuit Issue cover — she posed alongside Valeria Mazza in 1996, and alone in 1997 in an iconic polka dot bathing suit, the first African-American supermodel to be featured solo on the magazine’s cover.

“My first one was 23 years ago, how crazy is that?” Tyra remarked on Wednesday’s “Good Morning America. "I’m like, damn — I’m 45, dog!"

Tyra captioned a pic of her cover, “This is for everybody that has been told they are not good enough because of their body, their age, their everything. #BanX is here to tell you that you ARE friggin’ fierce no matter what anybody says! Drop mic now!”

Laretta Houston photographed Tyra, who wore in an itty bitty yellow string bikini for the shoot.

Tyra told Sports Illustrated, "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."

Olympic gold medal-winning soccer star Alex Morgan and SI rookie Camille Kostek are also cover stars this year in addition to Tyra. Models and athletes including Simone Biles, Winnie Harlow and Barbara Palvin are also featured in the issue.

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