Mcgrady is a fash­ion rule breaker

The curvy model ad­vo­cate ex­plains how she learned to love her own skin

StarMetro Vancouver - - DAILY LIFE - Kather­ine Lalancette

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Hunter Mcgrady just got off the run­way and she’s feel­ing good.

“I felt con­fi­dent, sexy, strong,” the bois­ter­ous blonde says of her turn on Olay’s #Faceany­thing cat­walk. The New York Fash­ion Week event fea­tured a group of in­spir­ing women, in­clud­ing am­putee model Mama Cax and Olympic gym­nast Aly Rais­man strut­ting bare-faced as their mes­sages of em­pow­er­ment sounded from the speak­ers.

At only 25, Sports Il­lus­trated’s “curvi­est model ever” has be­come an in­flu­en­tial body-pos­i­tiv­ity ad­vo­cate, but Mcgrady says she didn’t al­ways feel com­fort­able in her own skin.

“That’s some­thing I’ve strug­gled with so much and I still have my bad days where it’s not easy to get out of bed and feel good about my­self.” Here, Mcgrady talks about cul­ti­vat­ing con­fi­dence and not let­ting any­one tell you how to dress.

What’s your fash­ion phi­los­o­phy?

“I like to shock peo­ple. I’m a plus-sized model, so I like to al­ways go against the grain. If some­one says, ‘Don’t wear hor­i­zon­tal stripes,’ I’m go­ing to wear hor­i­zon­tal stripes. If some­one says, ‘Don’t wear body-con,’ I’m go­ing to wear body-con. I re­ally like to push the en­ve­lope and say, ‘Here’s who I am and I’m go­ing to own it.'”

Have you al­ways been this con­fi­dent, or is it some­thing you’ve had to work on?

“I think con­fi­dence is a learned thing. I started mod­el­ling when I was younger as a ‘straight-sized model’ and I was told I was too big all the time. Fi­nally, after I got turned down for yet an­other job, I de­cided I was done — I wasn’t go­ing to al­low peo­ple to make me feel this way any­more. That mo­ment was su­per trans­for­ma­tive for my ca­reer and, most im­por­tantly, for my life and how I look at my­self.”

How did you get back into mod­el­ling after that ex­pe­ri­ence?

“I took a break and worked on my­self. That’s when I learned about plus-size mod­el­ling, flip­ping through Vogue Italia and see­ing three gor­geous mod­els who are now my friends — Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine and Robyn Law­ley. I saw them and thought, ‘Those girls look like me. I want to give this a try.’”

What would be your mes­sage to women strug­gling with in­se­cu­ri­ties?

“We are so brain­washed by so­ci­ety, which has deemed things like stretch marks, rolls or a bit of ex­tra weight as ‘im­per­fec­tions.’ I’m call­ing B.S. on that. I think we’re all beau­ti­ful and these so-called ‘un­de­sir­able’ things make us who we are. We need to know that we’re all wor­thy of feel­ing loved and beau­ti­ful.”

What are your favourite cloth­ing brands or re­tail­ers?

“I love Elo­quii, ASOS Curve and Good Amer­i­can for denim. I live in Be­yond Yoga — it’s so com­fort­able. For­ever 21 has an amaz­ing plus-size range and I like Premme, which is a new line by blog­gers Ni­co­lette Ma­son and Gabi Gregg. A lot of brands just size up with­out re­ally fit­ting plus-sized women’s pro­por­tions. If you can get stuff tai­lored, that’s amaz­ing, but not ev­ery­one can af­ford that. In that case, you can use lit­tle styling tricks like adding a belt or rolling a cuff to make it your own.”

Read more about Mcgrady’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Katie Sturino @the12ish­style at thes­tar.com/life/fash­ion_style

"I think con­fi­dence is a learned thing," says body pos­i­tiv­ity ad­vo­cate Hunter Mcgrady.

DAVID LIV­INGSTON/GETTY IM­AGES

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