Swimsuit model Hunter McGrady is proud to be a curvy model and claims she is healthy despite what body-shamers may say.
The model, who has appeared in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue for three years, spoke to Yahoo Lifestyle about the misconceptions that come along with being the curviest woman to appear in the issue.
“I hold the title of being the curviest model in the issue so proudly,” she said.
“People always tell me there’s no way you’re healthy, there’s no way you’re healthy. And I’m like, I work out literally every single day.”
McGrady also eats healthy, but she said the most important thing a person can do is love their body — curves and all.
“Not all of us have a perfect hourglass, not all of us have the same stretch marks, some of us have rolls in different places,” she said.
McGrady also said that she and other models like her won’t be deterred when it comes to the modeling industry becoming more inclusive.
“I’m sure a lot of people would love for us to be silenced, and there’s a lot of negativity out there,” she said. “And I think that it’s our job now to really push it forward and to continue this conversation and to move it.”
McGrady, who has her own column on the Sports Illustrated website, talks about the importance of diversity and explains that when people are open to it, they welcome understanding and acceptance.
Self-acceptance is important to the model. Once a size 2, McGrady found that even that was not small enough for some people. She told People Magazine when she was 16-years-old, she had modeling agencies tell her that she needed to lose inches off of her hips. At almost 6 feet tall, she said it was physically impossible to become any smaller. Instead of trying to be how everyone else thought she should be, she decided to accept a size where she felt most comfortable.
She said over the years that she has fluctuated between sizes 10 and 18 and at size 14/16, she was the most comfortable with her body — and her photos show it. From sharing images to her 500,000 followers on Instagram to appearing on the pages of Sports Illustrated, McGrady exudes confidence.
She said that making it to the cover of Sports Illustrated was a moment for women all across the world to feel inspired to love their bodies just as they are.