Tyra Banks Posed in a Bodysuit for Her 48th Birthday: 'Here's to Growing Together'
Tyra Banks just turned 48 on December 4, and she marked her big day with an Instagram post that celebrates her body.
The post features three photos of the supermodel in a floral one-piece bodysuit, striking poses with what appears to be little or no makeup.
"It's my BIRTHDAY! 💫 And every year this BODY of mine keeps changing. My body of work and my body ody ody," the Dancing With the Stars host wrote in the caption. "My body is fuller. And so is my mind. 🧠"
She ended on this note: "Happy Birthday to all my fellow Sagittarius out there. Here's to growing together, in more ways than one. 😉."
The comments section was filled with not only birthday wishes, but also support for the fact that she's embracing her body. "Happy birthday my friend! You look awesome," actress Kenya Moore wrote. "Baby doll!!! Shine and be the queen you are!!! [Your] body is your story share it with us! We love seeing you shine and share with us your life," someone else said. "Thank you for continuing to be a light to this world," another person commented.
The supermodel has been a body positivity advocate for years. Back in 2007, she wore a one-piece swimsuit on The Tyra Banks Show after photos that paparazzi took of her in the look while on the beach were scrutinized by a slew of tabloids. "To all of you who have something nasty to say to me or to women built like me… I have one thing to say to you: Kiss my fat ass," Banks said on her show, according to PEOPLE.
After speaking up on her show, Banks said that she regularly got mail from young girls who said things like, "I look up to you, you're not as skinny as everyone else, I think you're beautiful." "So when [tabloids] say that my body is 'ugly' and 'disgusting,' what does that make those girls feel like?," Banks told PEOPLE.
In the years since, Banks has continued to be a body positivity advocate. And she's impressed by the work that body positivity advocates are doing today. "It's so funny because 20 something years ago, I was one of the leaders in this—in beauty diversity and body image. However, I think what [body positivity activists] are doing today is even more bold," Banks said during a Women@Meredith #StraightTalk event in March, which Health attended.
During the conversation, as PEOPLE reported, Banks noted how she spoke out back in the day when she was given longer trains during fashion shows so that her cellulite was covered. Now, she said, models will walk the runway with marks like cellulite showing. "There's constant evolution of everything. I'm happy to have been a part of it, and I'm happy to see people taking it to the next level," she said.
Banks has also pushed for people to view aging differently. She removed the previous age limit of 27 for contestants on America's Next Top Model, opening up the show to people of any age. "Modeling shouldn't be about the number on your birth certificate. It should be about your look," Banks told Vulture in 2018. "There's such a double standard when it comes to women and men's beauty and aging. Some man gets some salty sideburns, salt-and-pepper sideburns, and crow's feet, and Ooh, he's hot. When a woman gets that, it's considered that she's reached an expiration date."
Banks says she's "lucky" that she was raised by a mom who embraces age. "I didn't have a mom saying that getting older was bad or her gray hair is bad," she told Vulture. "My mom has gray hair, and she rocks it and she's proud of it. Growing up and hearing that every single day, that my mom feels even more beautiful than she was when she was younger… it's all about role models. And I have that."
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