LIFE

Teen Bullies Called Her Fat, Then She Gets Revenge By Posing For ‘Sports Illustrated’

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content at LittleThings. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for sites like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Unwritten. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law and Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

Hunter McGrady, 23, always knew she wanted to be a swimsuit model: her mom was a model, as was her grandmother and her aunt.

It was Hunter’s dream to be just like her mother and have a successful modeling career of her own.

She started modeling when she was only 16, but she struggled to make it as a “smaller-size model.”

Like most of us in the world, Hunter actually has hips and thighs and isn’t stick-thin. When she started modeling, she was “straight-size,” or what we’d think of as a “normal” model — aka, not plus-size.

Around four years ago, all of that changed. Hunter’s body was never meant to maintain the 115-pound frame she forced herself into. So when she found out about plus-size modeling, it opened a whole new door for her.

Hunter revealed to Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition that although she always dreamed of being a model, other people put her down.

But despite the years of bullying, Hunter has risen above it all and attained her dreams.

[H/T: Bustle]

Hunter swim

As Hunter McGrady explained to Sports Illustrated: “I was really bullied in high school… I think that we’re all beautiful regardless of what size we are. But they always told me that I was fat and that I would never be a model.”

Now, she’s getting revenge on her bullies by staring back at them from the pages of the magazine’s famous swimsuit edition.

Hunter McGrady Sports Illustrated

Now that Hunter has gotten one of the most coveted modeling positions, she’s using her success as a platform for her message of acceptance.

She says, “My main goal is to get across to women that you are able to love your body at any size and that you’re sexy and beautiful at any size.”

swimsuit body paint

Hunter’s swimsuit actually isn’t a swimsuit at all — it’s body paint.

It took 12 hours for an artist to paint it on her body, but the end result is spectacular.

Hunter McGrady swimsuit

Hunter wants women to stop shying away from the features that make them unique — even if that’s cellulite, stretch marks, and acne.

They aren’t flaws, they’re what make you you.

Hunter McGrady bathing suit

Everyone — even the biggest names in the modeling world — deal with “flaws.”

They might look perfect from the pages of magazines and plastered on billboards, but Hunter wants everyone to know that they deal with imperfections too. After all, it’s what makes them human.

sports illustrated swimsuit

It’s not easy to accept what you perceive as “flaws,” but Hunter proves that the most gorgeous feature of all is confidence.

If you’re glad the fashion industry is finally embracing models who have realistic bodies, please SHARE this article with your friends and family!