Meet and Love: Hunter McGrady

Meet Hunter McGradyModel and Activist

"We are shaped by our thoughts! Be kind to yourself." 

Each month Love Squad is growing! The squad is getting bigger and with each event we dive a little deeper with our guest panelists who share their stories. Our upcoming Love Squad Series we'll be discussing "Our Bodies... How We Hate It, Hurt It, and Ultimately Heal It," and we've asked Hunter McGrady to share more with us before she hits the panel at the series. Be sure to sign up and join us on June 28th to hear Hunter and the other panelist share their stories with us! More information can be found here.

LS: How did you/do you find confidence?

HM: My confidence came from a lot of struggle but of realization that I am beautiful, my body is beautiful, and I am absolutely worthy of feeling this way. Positive affirmations and thoughts changed my life. The words we feed our souls is just as important than the food we feed our body.

LS: Do you believe confidence and success are closely correlated? How does your confidence boost your success?

HM: I do because when I’m confident I’m unstoppable. Nothing can keep me down or away from what i want. I look fear in the face and tell it to bug off!

LS: What are some obstacles that you have faced in your past or even in recent times?

HM: In the past I really struggled with my body, my image, and self worth. I started modeling at 16 at a size 2 and I was told numerous times to lose more and more weight which was just unattainable. My dreams were crushed but i wasn’t going to compromise my well being for it. I took about a 4 year break and during that time I grew into what I believe is my God given body and I found out about plus size modeling, I was thrilled. It went hand in hand with how I felt about myself and what I was able to bring to the table.

LS: Have you had an "ah-ha" moment, a time you realized something that has impacted your life since, something you continually grow by?

HM: Yes! My last modeling job as a “straight size” model. I walked in, 6 feet tall and 114 lbs to shoot for this t-shirt company in LA and when they saw me, the producer came over and told me they didn’t realize “how big I was.” It was in that moment that I needed to make a change, not only for myself but for the industry. I never wanted someone to feel like I did on that day so I strive to continuously champion women and to show them that we never have to compromise our self worth. We need to take that power back that society has been so desperately trying to push on us.

LS: As an advocate for body positivity, and our upcoming event focusing on our bodies -- can you give our readers some words on ways they can be body positive?

HM: Yes! Like I said, positive affirmations changed my life. I will literally tell myself wonderful things about myself in the mirror in the morning. “I a beautiful” “I am smart!” “Those stretch marks, they signify growth!” “I am Worthy!” And these words become who you are! We are shaped by our thoughts! Be kind to yourself.

LS: #AllWorthy -- can you tell us more about this hashtag you have created and what you hope to accomplish or see in the future?

HM: #AllWorthy is a hashtag I created after I shot Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue for the first time. I was sitting on my couch watching TV thinking about 16 year old me who would have never thought to be worthy enough of landing a spread in SI. It got me thinking of how many people are constantly doubting their self worth due to media manipulation and with I wanted a place where you can type in #AllWorthy and it’s a hub of beautiful people men and women who are sharing their stories, or photos they love of themselves, or their bodies in a different light than they have before. I wanted a safe place and a safe community.

Hunter McGrady is breaking down cultural and societal beauty barriers as the curviest model to ever appear in 'Sports Illustrated' and one of the first curve models to walk NYFW runways in September 2017. Hunter’s journey to confidence and success has not been easy. She is a dedicated advocate for body positivity, mental health, and suicide prevention, inspiring her loyal community to know they are #AllWorthy – a hashtag she founded in 2017.