Banks who has been a longtime advocate of expanding the beauty standard says this endeavor is just another iteration of her mission to challenge what society considers beautiful.
“As I look into the future, I see radical changes in both how people attain beauty and how the world perceives beauty,” said the supermodel, who recently came out of retirement to grace the latest issue of Sports Illustrated’s iconic swimsuit edition.
“Our docu-series aims to expand and redefine the definition of beauty as we know it,” she added. “Challenging why we accept certain beauty parameters and reject others and examining the beliefs behind those judgments.”
Banks — who recently switched her professional name to BanX — says this mission is also why she’s opening the theme park Modelland in Santa Monica, Calif. Her experiences of being rejected in the modeling industry because of body type and skin color has inspired many of her business ventures.
In her widely successful reality series America’s Next Top Model, which aired in over 140 countries with 40 international versions, she even pushed to have a plus-sized model category.
“I created ‘Top Model’ to expand the definition of beauty based on my own pain of being told no that I couldn’t do something because I’m curvy or I’m black,” she explained back in February. “My empathy for women in general increased through the experience.”
As to why she changed her name to BanX she said: “[The new name symbolises] X-ing out cookie-cutter beauty. Mononyms are exciting in the industry. But usually models use their first names, like Iman. I want to flip the script and go by my last name.
“I’m taking something familiar and making it new. I’m wiser now and thicker.”