Tyra Banks Sports Illustrated Cover
photo: Sports Illustrated Swim

Tyra Banks is a powerhouse in every sense of the word. She's a mother, a retired supermodel, an actress, a business owner, and all-around boss. However, that word "retired" may be a thing of the past, because on Wednesday, Banks revealed her brand-new cover of Sports Illustrated Swim. The cover comes almost 15 years since she last strutted her stuff, and everyone is losing it. 

But this was about more than just showing off the latest designer bikini. For Banks, this is a declaration about loving your body and embracing your curves. 

Check out the iconic and history-making cover ahead.

In recent years, it's been pretty quiet for Tyra Banks.

Banks launched her Tyra Beauty brand and filmed a movie. She also left America's Next Top Model as the host and then returned to the reality series to replace Rita Ora. Other than that, we hadn't heard much. Of course, Tyra Banks was making major moves in silence the entire time. That includes continuing to be the iconic, history-making supermodel still paving the way more than 25 years into her career. 

First, Life Size 2 finally came out.

The cult-favorite Barbie-inspired film was given a reboot! People loved the first film starring Banks and Lindsay Lohan. The original film also served as a lovely representation of black girls who rarely got to see themselves depicted as dolls or supermodels. Though the reboot wasn't as critically acclaimed as the first, it proved to be yet another opportunity for Banks to leave her mark on the entertainment industry that she's already so greatly impacted. 

Now she's making history again!

Banks revealed that she will be one of three cover girls on the 2019 issue of Sports Illustrated Swim.  

“The three women that make up the covers of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue represent the brand in the most powerful way possible,” said SI Sports Editor MJ Day to the magazine. “While each individual woman is so unique, they come together cohesively to tell a spectacular story."

Banks is officially the oldest model to cover the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. 

At 45 years old, and almost 15 years after retirement, she's returned to the cover of the annual magazine looking better than ever. Wearing an itsy-bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow bikini, she slayed the waters, leaving the young models of today incredibly shook!

Her return to Sports Illustrated is also extra special because of her past with the magazine.

Banks is a major groundbreaker in the modeling industry. In 1997, she became the first black model to cover Sports Illustrated Swim, paving the way for a number of women of color to follow in her footsteps. In 2018, model Danielle Herrington graced the cover. This month, model Halima Aden also has scored a full spread and earned the spot as the first hijabi woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated wearing a burkini.

In one shot from the spread, Banks even wore the same pink polka dot swimsuit she sported in 1997. 

Tyra Banks Sports Illustrated Cover
photo: Sports Illustrated Swim

Some serious nostalgia hit when that red and pink polka dot bikini came back out to play, and we must admit, she looked even more flawless than she did 22 years ago. 

"You are just the most incredible role model. You have changed my life and countless others and all while being the fiercest in the world. You are the greatest," commented adoring fans under the newest photo spread of Banks wearing the #tbt swimwear. 

Banks expressed to her fans via Twitter what this moment means to her and to the world.

"This is for everybody that has been told that 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[s] mic now!" she said on her Twitter. The history-making moment will prayerfully mark the first of many times that more mature women are featured on the cover. Women are beautiful at every age, and the media should reflect that truth in the images pushed to the public. 

It's true what they say: Black really doesn't crack. 

It's almost impossible to tell that 25 years had passed. Banks has clearly been sipping from the fountain of youth. 

"Tyra Banks was the first black woman to grace the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition in 1997 solo, and now she's doing it again for the 2019 cover. The black is not cracking!" said a fan. 

And about those curves...

"Can we talk about how hot Tyra Banks is in her new cover. My god!!!!! The curves!!! The grace!!!" said a fan admiring the vibrant cover. Showing off her fuller body, Banks serves as inspiration for curvy girls everywhere who may be fearful to show off what they've got. Who says girls with curves can't score a coveted cover spot and SLAY?! Banks is turning that terrible thinking on its head.

Guys who had childhood crushes on Banks during the 1990s came out of hiding too. 

"Thread: I’ve been waiting since AM for my work break to post about this! @Tyrabanks was my first celebrity crush. Had her original SI issue and swimsuit calendar as a kid (that my [dad] threw out when we moved)," a fan swooned on Twitter. 

"I had a portfolio of her mag interviews, VS ads, her book, and I watched every Victoria Secret show she was in! I almost fought a friend at a sleepover for ripping her picture. In front of my hospital bed was her swimsuit poster. She has aged like a fine wine, looking better than the original! I may belong [to] Janet, but I still [love] u baby!"

Cheers to Tyra Banks, her curves, and the boundaries she's breaking for women in the fashion industry!