These days, Hunter McGrady is making quite a name for herself in the modeling world. Not only did she just appear in the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, but she’s a body positive advocate, too. For the first time ever, SI has featured a series of unedited photos for its “In Her Words” spread – and McGrady is one of the models who showed her skin in the nude photo shoot.
However, for her, the shoot was about much more than creating photos for a magazine. It was a chance for her to further body inclusivity and spread her message to a wider audience.
And because you probably now want to know everything about her, here are nine things you should know about the 23-year-old model who’s challenging the modeling industry from within.
1She’s a size 16 and proud of it.
2She prefers the term “size-inclusive” over “curvy” or “plus-sized.”
“Sometimes the word ‘plus’ seems a little bit segregating,” she told Glamour magazine. “I think size-inclusive is awesome, curvy is great, plus-size is fine. Whatever you want to call it, it’s just important to keep inclusivity as the main narrative here.”
3She didn’t start her career as a size-inclusive model.
In fact, McGrady first began modeling at age 16 while trying to be a “straight-size” model until she discovered “plus” modeling at 19. She says she used to “starve” herself, and was extremely depressed and unhappy at the time.
4She grew up in the entertainment industry.
Her dad is actor Michael McGrady, and he’s appeared in TV shows like Ray Donavan, Southland, and American Crime Story. Her mom, grandmother, and aunt were all models as well.
5She’s modeled for Melissa McCarthy’s line Seven7.
6She met her fiancé on Snapchat.
“He was on a date with somebody a few months before he even started following me on Snapchat, and she said, ‘You have got to follow this model, Hunter McGrady,'” McGrady explained in an interview with Ash Tulett. “So he followed me for a few months. I was in New York last March  and he reached out to me and said, ‘You want to get drinks?’ I was like add me on Facebook. I didn’t know what he looked like and he added me and he was super cute. I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s get drinks!'”
7She created the hashtag #AllWorthy.
McGrady’s body-positivity movement inspired women all around the world to send her their swimsuit pics.
8She has bad days, too.
“There are days I cry because I feel like shit and don’t want to do anything,” she said in the Glamour interview. “Or I don’t like my hair or my stomach or my butt looks bad, etc. Of course there are those days because, again, I’m human. But am I going to let them ruin my life? No.”
9But above all else, she’s not afraid to be herself.
She tells Glamour, “I’ve learned to tell myself what I need to hear. I’ll say, ‘You know what, Hunter, you’re worthy. You’re beautiful. It’s OK if you’re not having a good day, but get up, go out, smile at someone, make someone else’s day. Tomorrow is a new day, but you look beautiful.”
It’s safe to say Hunter McGrady is our new shero.