‘Curviest Model Ever’ Hunter McGrady Reveals Secret To Her Self-Confidence

“I always say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is confidence.'”

(Photo: Wilhelmina)

Hunter McGrady has been called Sports Illustrated‘s “curviest model ever” and that’s not hyperbole—she made history when she became the first size 16 model to ever appear on the SI Swimsuit Issue. In an interview with Story + Rain, the shapely California-born stunner addressed the kind of confidence it takes to do her job, 

“I think the most powerful thing, over anything physical,” McGrady said in part, “is to hone in your mental health. For me, it’s making sure I’m the right mindset and space to perform. Because you kind of have to be. So I really work on myself.”


McGrady mentioned how quickly she was signed with the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency and that she was a size 14 at the time. She said that the speed with which the Agency got her work “was confirmation that I was able to fulfill my dream while still loving my body.”

She continued:

People often ask me, ‘What’s the secret to confidence, what’s the formula?’ There is none. I still have bad days. To be quite honest, today was one of them. Yesterday was one of them, where all you want to do is lay around, you don’t want to work on the things you have to do. You don’t feel so great about yourself.

It’s okay to have those days. I know it doesn’t define who I am and that confidence is a journey. I always say, ‘Rome, wasn’t built in a day, neither is confidence.’ You’re going to be chipping away at it forever, but something beautiful is coming from it.

Growing up, McGrady’s home wasn’t a source of insecurity about her size, either. She said her mother never treated her body as some kind of “issue.”


“She always celebrated it,” the model said of her mother’s attitude regarding her looks, “She’s from Iceland. We’re very comfortable with who we are in our bodies. She used to always say, and still does, ‘Talking about your body and your weight is so boring. It’s the least interesting thing to talk about. It’s the least interesting thing about you.’ That’s the mindset I grew up with. Thankfully.”

Thankfully, indeed. McGrady’s confidence is evident in every photo she posts on her Instagram. Check out some faves below.