News and Commentary

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2020 Issue Features ‘Curviest Model Ever’

"It’s a stigma that needs to change."
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 01: Model Hunter McGrady speaks during #BlogHer20 Health at Rolling Greens Los Angeles on February 01, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Sarah Morris/Getty Images

The Sports Illustrated 2020 swimsuit issue is now featuring plus-sized model Hunter McGrady, who has been called the “curviest model ever,” according to Fox News.

In a series of Instagram posts over the weekend, Hunter shared various photos of herself that will be featured in the magazine issue.

In another Instagram post, Hunter said she is deeply grateful for her opportunity to be in the swimsuit issue.

“I have been so excited for this shoot to be released,” she said. “This trip was life changing and was so special to experience with the most special team. Sports Illustrated has given me so much and created so many incredible opportunities for me and I will forever be grateful.”

She then thanked Sports Illustrated editor MJ Day for being a catalyst for change in the industry.

“Every time the magazine comes out it is a ‘pinch me’ moment. Thank you [MJ Day] for consistently being a catalyst in the way our industry is changing,” she continued. “Thank you to the entire team for always making me feel my best on set, and always rooting for me in every endeavor.”

In another post, Hunter said her presence in the swimsuit issue will hopefully help other women with her body type feel seen and understood.

“Of course I always know I’m going to get killer, beautiful shots with SI but most importantly I know that the woman who for so long hasn’t seen her body represented will hopefully feel seen, heard, and understood,” she said.

View this post on Instagram

When I look back on this shot from My @si_swimsuit shoot I remember being so in the moment and feeling so strong, and so confident more-so than ever before! I took the months, and weeks, and days, and even hours leading up to this shoot to really hone in my “why” and really setting my intention for this shoot. Of course i always know I’m going to get killer, beautiful shots with SI but most importantly I know that the woman who for so long hasn’t seen her body represented will hopefully feel seen, heard, and understood. I can’t wait to see the rest of these shots from this extraordinary trip to Bali which absolutely changed my life (I had a serious eat, pray, love moment) the issue hits stands July 21st! ❤️ photographer: @yutsai88

A post shared by Hunter McGrady (@huntermcgrady) on

Speaking with Fox News this past May, Hunter said she was at her most confident when shooting the swimsuit issue.

“For some reason this year, I really went in feeling my absolute best,” she said at the time. “Any kind of insecurity I had just went out the door… Every year I shed a little bit of that insecurity because let’s face it, we’re all human. I love myself, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have any insecurities. But this year I feel like I really let that out the door and went in feeling with this feeling of just being the best that I can be. And I just had fun with it. I’ve already seen some of the photos and they’re amazing. I just feel really, really great about this issue.”

McGrady added that she hopes her presence will spell certain misconceptions people have about plus-sized models and dispel some of the stigmas.

“I think a lot of people think that [plus-sized models] are able to eat whatever they want,” she explained. “They don’t work out. They just sit at home and lounge around. That is absolutely not the case. I work out with my trainer and I train daily. People for so long have equated a larger size to be unhealthy. The truth of the matter is that I’m more healthy now than I’ve ever been in my life. It’s a stigma that needs to change.”

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