Hunter McGrady on Plus-Size Pregnancy Representation & The Body Positive Movement On TikTok

Elizabeth Denton
Hunter McGrady on Plus-Size Pregnancy Representation & The Body Positive Movement On TikTok
Photo: AP Images.

Hunter McGrady started her career as a straight-size model when she was 15 years old so she has a unique understanding of body positivity at every size. She went on to become the first plus-size model—at a size 16—to appear in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. That’s why when I got a chance to talk to McGrady about pregnancy presentation while plus-size and skincare, I also wanted to hear her opinions on the never-ending mid-size vs plus debate on TikTok. As expected, she had some thoughts.

McGrady is working with Olay on its sun-ready seasonal favorites: Olay Regenerist Whip SPF 25 and Olay Retinol24 Night Moisturizer. Since the model is pregnant, she’s sticking with just hydrating products for now and picking the retinol back up post-baby. (Talk to your doctor to find out what’s right for you.) “At the very beginning of my pregnancy, I decided to simplify my routine,” she tells STYLECASTER. “Now, it’s washing my face and using the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream.”

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Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Olay.

“It’s funny how your skin reacts to less, less is more in this case,” she continues. “My skin looks so good now! Anytime I add anything else and do too much, its overload. Especially with Olay, I know the products are so good and hydrating, everything you need overall in one product.” Unlike some other celebs we know, McGrady also makes sure to wear sunscreen.

Of course, I use the Olay SPF every day,” she says. “My skin has gotten really dry and sensitive during pregnancy, so I had to pivot and find my holy grail product.” Olay skincare is a family affair for her. She uses the Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich Face Moisturizer ($29.99 at Target) just like her mom and grandmother did. “I remember vividly watching them put it on,” she says.

McGrady is about to become a mother herself. And she’s taking to Instagram to share photos of herself while pregnant to shed light on the lack of plus-size pregnancy representation out there. “Being plus-size, you already have the cards stacked against you. Being plus-size and pregnant, forget about it,” she says. “When I Googled pregnancy, I’d see thin women with just a belly and no weight anywhere else. I’m a larger girl, I’m a size 20. I knew that wasn’t going to be me.”

McGrady looked to magazines, websites, even the brochures at the OB-GYN’s office and couldn’t find any pregnant plus-size women. “I went to social media and heard from women who never even took photos of themselves because they were embarrassed that there was something wrong,” she says.

Speaking of women feeling there is something wrong with them, I asked McGrady about the current discourse happening on TikTok. Many around a size 10 or 12 are calling themselves mid-size, while some size 14+ are calling the term fat-phobic. The mid-sizers are saying they don’t want to co-opt a movement. It’s a lot of time and effort to just continue to label ourselves.

“As women, we already have so much stacked against us and we often make it really hard when we do things like this,” says McGrady. “The body-positive movement was started by fat black women. We have to honor that and know that. Though of course the body-positive movement is for everyone to be at peace with their body.” McGrady also doesn’t love that we’re forcing people to feel positive about their body all the time. It’s okay to be more neutral.

“We’re putting each other in little groups and having this war, which goes against the movement as a whole,” she continues. “We can honor where it stems from first, and then have a conversation. I’ve been every size, two through 20, so I understand. But plus-size women have it harder than mid-size or thinner women. That’s based on facts, but it’s not to take away from how others feel.”

McGrady gets asked all the time if the fashion and beauty industries have changed in terms of size inclusivity. She sees some progress but feels we have a long way to go. “People still don’t hire us because of our size,” she says. “That’s why I like to work with brands like Olay that know we’re all beautiful no matter our size.”

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