The supermodel, a bit wider and wiser, sports the same bikini she wore on the cover a decade ago

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 14, 2007 04:25 PM

It was precisely 10 years ago that Tyra Banks became the first African American supermodel to appear solo on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition – a milestone she is not about to let go unheralded.

Now Banks is back and wearing the same red polka dot bikini she sported a decade ago – with a few minor adjustments. “I was about 140 pounds on that cover … and I’m 161 now,” the 33-year-old host of The Tyra Banks Show tells the Associated Press. “I’d say I looked like a stripper when I put it on.”

Banks, who retired from modeling in 2005, said extra fabric was attached to make the bikini a little less itsy-bitsy when they shot her on location in the Bahamas. The results of the shoot will be revealed during next Monday’s episode of her talk show.

“They covered the sides of my chest so that it wasn’t so much hangin’ out. And they put some extenders on the sides of the bikini bottom so it fit,” she explains.

In a PEOPLE cover story last month, Banks responded to the tabloids that ran an unflattering photo of her in a bathing suit under headlines that screamed, “America’s Next Top Waddle” and “Tyra Porkchop.” “I still feel hot,” she said, admitting she had gained some weight, “but every day is different. It’s when I put on the jeans that used to fit a year ago and don’t fit now and give me the muffin top, that’s when I say, ‘Damn!’ ”

Banks tells AP that she considered going on a crash diet before the swimsuit shoot, so she could look as she did a decade ago – then she thought the better of it.

“I think there’s more power in embracing what I am now and showcasing that,” she said. “I’m thinking that I should probably do this every 10 years. So, in 2017 maybe I’ll get in the swimsuit again and I’ll have to get them to add a little more fabric.”

Banks’s covergirl anniversary come as a brand new SI special issue is revealed – this one featuring singer/actress Beyonce.

To see all the Beyoncé pics and more, go to