Hunter McGrady is using New York Fashion Week to take a stance against designers and brands who aren't inclusive, and her fans are noticing.
"This year, I decided: Any event, fashion show, or party that’s going on and is not inclusive, I’m not going to be a part of," Hunter revealed to Glamour. "I’ve turned down about 32 opportunities this season because of that."
The two-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model went on to explain that the response to her stance against body exclusivity has been overwhelming positive, but has left fans and friends wondering who she's doing it for.
"For me, it’s more important to make it known that I’m not going to support somebody who doesn’t support me," Hunter explained. "If you’re not including plus-sized people, that’s basically what they’re saying to me. And I’m not okay with that. Hopefully, if enough of us take a stand, it’ll start catching on. We’re no longer supporting exclusivity.
"I’m so tired of being the token plus girl invited to these things," she continued. "I’ll feel really defeated. There have been times where I’ve gone home and cried after an event because, in that moment, I’ve felt like we’ve taken a step back. I alone am not enough to call a runway show 'diverse.' If it’s just me, then we’ve got a big problem."
Hunter is quick to mention a few brands and events that have been inclusive this season, including, but not limited to, 11 Honoré, CurvyCon and Chromat. And if turning down a job from a brand that isn't really embracing diversity means turning down a paycheck, Hunter is willing make the sacrifice in hopes of making a bigger impact down the road.
"Sometimes you have to sacrifice for what you believe in," she said. "For me, if that means I don’t walk for a certain brand, then I don’t walk. If that means I don’t get that paycheck, then I don’t get that paycheck.
"For me, my beliefs are more important than any dollar amount or any advertisement I’m getting from being in that show," she said proudly. "I think it’s more important to stick to what you believe in than to make a buck."
See all of Hunter's gorgeous photos from SI Swimsuit 2019: