At 50, Tyra Banks talks hot flashes, beauty secrets and aging gratefully

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Tyra Banks, Executive Producer, Generation Drag attends Celebrate Pride with Tyra Banks, Trixie Mattel, Alex Newell, Eric Cervini and other Discovery+ stars at the Tribeca Festival on June 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)
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Appearing in People magazine’s “The Beautiful Issue,” Tyra Banks opens up about what beauty looks like at 50.

She’s broken barriers, taught us how to “smize” and, for better or worse, made the not-always-pretty sides of the modeling industry must-see TV through 24 seasons of “America’s Next Top Model,” which she also co-created and produced. Her famed quip, “We were all rooting for you!” remains timeless, but at 50, Tyra Banks is also rooting for a new perspective on aging.

“What my life is like now is totally different than what I thought 50 was going to be when I was a little girl,” Banks told People magazine for “The Beautiful Issue,” which is spotlighting celebrity women over 50 as part of the magazine’s 50th anniversary. The supermodel, who made history as the first Black woman to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in 1999, is now celebrating new milestones, including entrepreneurial life, a successful relationship, being “a momma” to 8-year-old son York (whom she shares with ex-boyfriend Erik Asla), and hitting the half-century mark in December 2023.

“I’m poppin’. I am not insecure about myself. I ain’t trippin’,” said Banks. “I often say ‘Child, [I’m] 50!’ before I say something. That statement gives me permission to say whatever the heck I feel like saying.”

“I could not wait to be 50 because I felt it was a rite of passage to be my true self,” she later added.

That’s not to say the supermodel is immune to the changes that accompany middle age — specifically, some of the more infamous symptoms of perimenopause, like hot flashes. Reflecting on her own experience, Banks assured women her age that “it is not the end of the world.” In fact, it can make for some much-needed “me-time,” she posits.

“Use that time that you wake up in the middle of the night to just take care of some things because it will wake you up. Read that book; do that crossword puzzle. Watch the end of that show that you were just so amazed with,” she advised. “Don’t trip about it. Don’t be ashamed about it because [we’re] all going to go through it, and now we can do it together and talk about it, which is really cool and much better than what our parents had to do: Just hold it in and pretend like I’m not hot flashing. ‘Isn’t that the sun?’ No, child. That’s you and that’s OK, boo.”

Banks takes a similar approach to the aesthetics of aging; though she has yet to entirely enter her “gray era,” she is open and inspired by other celebrity women who have embraced the gray.

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“I remember back in the day that gray hair was like, oh, you just hid that. You did not show that; that was a no-no,” she recalled. “Now I see women saying. ‘I am gray. And not only is that OK, it’s amazing, it’s beautiful. … And I find it to be so amazing.”

“I’m very, very fortunate to have a mom that was not obsessed with aging in a negative way,” Banks added. “She has gray hair, she loves her gray hair. She wishes she had more gray hair. And so I think it taught me to not fear getting older. I don’t fear that. I see it as a privilege and I think it’s because of my mama.”

Another thing Banks gets from her former “momager,” Carolyn London? A time-tested, super-accessible beauty secret. “She also was all about the Vaseline; she would rub that Vaseline all over her eyes,” Banks recalled. “And I was a Vaseline girl too. I’ve now upgraded to other things, but I, every now and then I’ll take that Vaseline and I’m like, ‘Maybe that’s why I ain’t got no wrinkles.’”

At 50, Banks is seemingly not only looking great but looking forward with less fear.

“I have bitten my tongue, said the right thing, [and tried] to please everybody my entire life,” she admitted. “And now, I speak my truth. I demand respect. And it feels good. I can’t wait until 60 comes along because I’m probably going to be cursing everybody out.”

The post At 50, Tyra Banks talks hot flashes, beauty secrets and aging gratefully appeared first on TheGrio.