Sports Illustrated’s Curviest Model Speaks Up

We’ve been talking about the fashion industry a lot lately, haven’t we? Last time we talked about how models like Iskra Lawrence are regularly retouched to suit whatever image the industry once and this time is no different. Hunter McGrady is another plus sized model who has had quite the exciting career. She’s managed to become Sports Illustrated “curviest” girl by appearing in its Swimsuit Issue recently (and she rocks it too), which has caused her to come into the limelight. Like many other models, she has her stories to tell.

Hunter herself comes from a family of models, her mother, sister and aunt were models, and her father was an actor. That’s quite a lineage to follow, which is why it wasn’t surprising when she ventured into modelling herself.

Things didn’t start up to well for her, however. When she first started modelling, she was turned down for being too big, even though she was a size two (a size two!), this left her dejected, and it wasn’t till she found out about plus sized models that she went back into modelling, now at a size six.

Yeah, you read that right, she’s a size six, but they consider her a plus sized model, even though 67% of women in America are between size 16 and 18, while the average size in the UK is a size 12. This just goes to show how the world of fashion marginalises the majority of women when it comes to representation on the cover and runway. However, we cannot really blame them because this is a result of what consumers (that’s you and I) have influenced the fashion industry to do because most brands aren’t able to sell their products if they used average sized women. Oh, the irony of marketing.

Of course, this isn’t that new of development. Everyone knows how clothing sizes can vary and sometimes be completely misbalanced, especially with how each company wants to sell it. But what is more important is that regardless of what size you are, you should still feel good about being in your skin.

In a recent interview with PopSugar, Hunter went on to talk about some of the assumptions that people make about plus-sized models. The public tends to think that if you’re a plus-sized model, it means that you don’t have to eat healthily or that you don’t need to exercise. People say this even though plus-sized models have to work just as hard as regular sized models and also have to deal with the added prejudice of people judging them due to their weight.

Hunter also pointed out how she’d love it if people would drop the labels for models, that even if there’s a reason for why they are marked by their body type that it would be better if models of all shapes and sizes would just be called that – models.

She also pointed out that the fashion industry is moving more towards this ideal as well, with more plus sized models popping up along with fashion lines made for them and people like them, allowing girls who’ve led similar lives also to see themselves reflected in them.

Either way, we’re glad for Hunter’s success, it is good to see that more models of various sizes gaining recognition around the world and making a change. Hopefully, this will help create an even bigger and who knows, maybe one day there wouldn’t different labels for models and they’re simply called that.

Photo Credits: Maxim, People

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