Tell the truth: after over a year spent primarily in lockdown, how many of you were really ready for “Hot Girl Summer” this year? Oh, I know, I know—for many of us, it started off well enough; some us even shed weight during all the time spent indoors (raises hand)—and promptly packed some of it back on again, as the pandemic raged on (raises hand). But as ready as many of us were to get back outdoors this summer, many of us also resigned ourselves to bringing our pandemic-padded bodies with us. That’s life—and at this point, we’re just happy to be alive.
Now, I’m not saying that’s what was going on with supermodel-producer-etc.-etc.-etc. Tyra Banks during what appeared to be her fully-clad hot tub interview with a bikini-clad Megan Thee Stallion in celebration of the latter’s history-making Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover. But if that is what was happening... Honestly? No shade.
That’s not to say Tyra hasn’t done plenty of weird shit—including countless questionable ANTM makeovers, whatever the hell Modelland is supposed to be and, most recently, the official launch of ‘Smize Cream’ (because when you think of supermodels the first thing you think of is ice cream, amirite?). But as someone within spitting distance of Tyra’s age, I have grown into the firm belief in being real with myself about what I feel comfortable revealing in any given moment. Maybe she just really likes shoulder pads, but if the first history-making SI cover model (making her first appearance 25 years ago, as of this season) didn’t want to lead skin-first with the reigning champ, for my money, she’s earned that right.
And to be fair, maybe it wasn’t that at all. Maybe Tyra just likes shoulder pads, and I’m just projecting my own nearly middle-aged body issues onto her. But if there’s one major takeaway from the juxtaposition of the first to do it with the woman who once idolized her, it’s that whatever form we show up in, Black women make it happen for each other. Meg says as much in the duo’s extensive chat, where she reflects on the legacy left to her by her own mom, late rapper Holly Wood, her incredible fanbase, and how it feels to now be part of the SI Swim lexicon.
In any case, if you’re still hating on the ‘fit, apparently it wasn’t a maxi dress or caftan, after all. It’s a bodysuit, so there.