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Tyra Banks is one of the curvy bikini models featured on multiple covers of Sports Illustrated‘s annual Swimsuit issue.

The former supermodel, who looks younger than her stated age of 45, explained why she changed her name to BanX.

The TV personality said she changed her name to “BanX” to signify her rebirth in the modeling industry after retiring from modeling 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 says her new name reflects a changing modeling industry that is inclusive of all sizes and ages on the runway.

“BanX is me, but she’s also every woman. BanX represents rebirth and that beauty boundaries only exist to be broken.”

Times were different in 1996 when Tyra launched her career as a SI Swimsuit model. Models were required to be rail thin and the competition for spots in top modeling campaigns were fierce.

Models literally starved themselves to death to keep up with the unrealistic demands of fashion designers.

Since retiring from modeling in 2005, BanX made a name for herself by helming her popular daytime TV talk show. After her talk show was canceled, she moved on to conquer prime time by hosting the top-ranked reality TV series America’s Next Top Model.

She is also a guest lecturer for a personal branding course at Stanford School of Business, and she runs several successful companies.

Now BanX is returning to modeling part-time.

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“I am telling people that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and ages,” said BanX who shot 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.”

BanX shares solo covers with Alex Morgan, USA National Women’s Soccer team star and Olympic gold medalist, and Camille Kostek, 2018 SI Swimsuit Model Search winner and 2019 SI Swimsuit Rookie.

The SI Swimsuit issue hits newsstands on May 8.