Tyra Banks Explains Changing Her Modeling Name to 'Banx' (Exclusive)

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Tyra Banks is making a significant change when it comes to her modeling name.

The 45-year-old supermodel just came out of retirement to cover the summer 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, 22 years after her groundbreaking 1997 SI Swimsuit cover, when she became the first black woman to grace the annual cover solo. In an interview with ET's Nischelle Turner on Wednesday, Banks talked about what has changed over the past two decades, which surprisingly, includes her famous name. Banks says her modeling name is now "Banx, with an X. B-A-N-X."

"But just my model name," she notes. "You know how models have interesting names, different names like Twiggy? She wasn't born Twiggy. I was born Tyra Banks, K-S."

Banks says she changed her name to represent changing standards of beauty.

"Yeah, Banx with an X. 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," she explains. "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.' We are making a new rule that so many more people can fit into this beauty box. Let's bust the box open."

Tyra Banks
Laretta Houston/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Of course, Banks acknowledges she's still not 100% body confident at this age -- but she's learned to accept it in a much healthier way.

"I'm human," she notes. "I still don't love the cellulite on my butt. I still know how to twist and turn even during this photo shoot to make sure you don't see the dimples on my booty, so I still have that. I just don't linger there, and I celebrate the things that I'm proud of. I don't like that my calves are too skinny. I don't like that. I have flat feet. I don't like that my hands look 20 years older than my face. You know, there's just things that I don't like but I just don't dwell there. But I'm also very honest and saying I don't like it, but it's not the end of the world."

ET spoke to Banks last April, when she talked about her infamous, emotional "Kiss my fat a**" clapback at body-shamers in a 2007 segment on The Tyra Banks Show.

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