Hunter McGrady Is So Over Fashion's Lack of Plus-Size Options
The Sports Illustrated model wants to be able to walk into any store and find something that fits—which isn't too much to ask.
Hunter McGrady recently went shopping in Soho and bought nothing. It wasn't because she didn't see anything she liked, but because couldn't find what she liked in her size. While more brands have been extending their size ranges, most still carry only 0 to 14, and she's so over it.
The model sat down with us to spell out why she's fed up with the lack of plus-size options. To illustrate her frustration, you should know that 68 percent of American women wear a size 14 or above, according to Plunkett Research, as reported by Racked. So the fact that companies are neglecting to offer clothes above that size is BS. "It's frustrating," she says, frankly. "I want things that I want. I want the latest trends, things that I see on every other girl, but they don't make my size."
Hunter is also featured inside the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, her third time making into the mag. The first time around, she made waves as the curviest model to appear in the iconic issue. At the start of her career, Hunter was a straight-size model and struggled to mold herself the industry's body standards. At 19, she learned about plus-size modeling and decided to stop fighting her body's natural shape. Since then, she hasn't held back in calling out the fashion industry for its treatment of plus-size women.
To illustrate her fearless status, we gathered some of her best body-positive moments.
Offering Perspective Around the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
In recent years, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show has drawn criticism for not casting a size-inclusive cast of models. Hunter, like fellow models Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence, has used social media to draw attention to the show's lack of size diversity and inclusivity. "Happy Victoria's Secret Fashion Show day," she wrote in an Instagram post before the 2017 show, "and if you are watching: Remember that you are beautiful in your own body whether you are tall, short, curvy, athletic, slim, have cellulite, stretch marks, scars, or not! We all have wings of our own! Go on with your bad self, Angels." (Related: Victoria's Secret Added a Slightly More Size-Inclusive Angel to Their Roster)
Calling for an End to the Term 'Plus Size'
Hunter isn't into the term 'plus size.' She prefers 'curve model', but hopes for a world where models don't get labeled by any size. "I do the same thing as other girls," she told People. "I get paid the same, I show up at the same time, we get treated the same. So why would I be called something else?"
Launching a Swim Line
McGrady collaborated on a collection of swimwear to address something she found the fashion industry to be sorely lacking: Plus-size swimsuits that are actually fashionable. Her collection is in partnership with London-based brand Playful Promises and is available in sizes 14–20. "I have always found that plus-size swimsuits cover everything up, are ill-fitting, not supportive, and have awful, dated designs," she said previously. "I wanted women to put on these suits and feel supported but sexy."
Pointing Out How the Fashion Industry Treats Plus-Size Models
As a model, Hunter has experienced firsthand the fashion industry's preference for thin models. When she was 15, an agency suggested she lose weight to reach a size 00 to improve her prospects, she revealed in an Instagram post.
She once got sent home from a shoot because of her size. "I just remember showing up to a photo shoot and getting turned away because they said 'I didn't realize how big you were,'" she told Hello Giggles. "I felt so sad, not for myself, but for them because they just didn't get it."
Weighing In On a Controversial Design
Last year, Revolve offered a shirt from brand LPA which read "Being fat is not beautiful. It's an excuse." Hunter called out the brand in an Instagram story, writing "Inclusivity is not a hot button topic. It's not a trend. This is peoples lives," on an Instagram story. The brand responded to the criticism, arguing that it intended to draw attention to the realities of internet trolling but failed to provide context around the design. No matter the designers' intentions, Hunter made an important point: If brands or people view inclusivity as a fad, it'll never evolve into just being the norm.