One of the things we love most about Hunter McGrady is that she is so passionate about body-positivity. From calling out brands for their lack of inclusivity, to creating her own plus-size swimwear line, Hunter is constantly proving that beauty isn’t determined by size.
In a talk with The Jed Foundation, a non-profit organization that strives to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults, Hunter delved deeper into her own experiences with mental health and how she gained the confidence she has today.
From a young age, Hunter knew she wanted to enter the modeling industry, but bullying and a lack of diverse representation in the media made it difficult to feel comfortable in her own body.
“I would look in the mirror and I would hate who I saw,” Hunter said, recalling her struggles with body dysmorphia as a teenager. “I would hate the way my body looked because it wasn’t what I saw in the media, it wasn’t what was considered pretty. And I had severe depression over it because I thought that I wasn’t good enough.”
It wasn’t until later in her life that Hunter grew to embrace the curves that we all know and love.
“I went into plus-size modeling when I was 20 and at first I was so mortified to say the words ‘plus-size’ because I was like ‘ugh, this just means I’m overweight and that I’m not worthy of being a regular model,’” Hunter said. “And then I really learned about what it meant and everything behind it. And I learned more about my body and who I am. I learned more about the way my body works instead of the way it looks.”
But the change didn’t happen overnight. It took time for Hunter to view her body—stretch marks and cellulite included—not only as normal, but beautiful as well.
“I had to, of course, go to therapy and really learn how to look at myself a different way, look in the mirror a different way, and take care of myself,” Hunter said.
Whether she is journaling or reciting her daily positive affirmations, Hunter is constantly striving towards strengthening her mental health. And she’s open about things she’s still working on, like combating the anxiety that comes with social media.
Hunter is raw, real, and empowering and we’re definitely proud that she is part of our SI Swimsuit family!
See Hunter McGrady In Her Own Words: