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Inside Hunter McGrady’s Postpartum Shoot For Her SI Swimsuit Cover

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The now 31-year-old model made her debut with SI Swimsuit at 22 and has been an advocate for body positivity and inclusivity ever since.

Nearly ten years later, she appears on one of four covers for the magazine’s 60th anniversary issue for the first time. Chrissy Teigen, Gayle King, and Kate Uptonare the other three stars who landed a cover spot.

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Hunter McGrady Talks About Her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover

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When speaking on the photoshoot, McGrady says, “It was such a surreal moment.”

“I automatically thought back to little me and what that would mean to me, seeing somebody like me on the cover of any magazine, let alone Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. It’s huge,” she told PEOPLE Magazine. 

While Upton, McGrady, King, and Teigen were the four stars to be featured on the covers, the Legends photoshoot also included Martha Stewart, Christie Brinkley, Tyra Banks, and more.

“I have met Tyra (Banks) before, but your heart never stops sinking when you meet Tyra,” she said of the model. “I grew up with her being that person on my television who was the ultimate model.”

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Hunter McGrady Reveals She Was 8 Months Postpartum When Shooting The SI Swimsuit Cover

Hunter McGrady poses for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
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The 31-year-old welcomed her daughter in March 2023, meaning she was “about eight and a half months postpartum when (she) shot this cover.”

“And I was just like, ‘I want my daughter to see this one day. I want the next generation to see this. I want our generation to see this,'” she added.

“My body’s not what it was when I was 22,” McGrady acknowledged. “It’s very different when you have kids. I have tons more stretch marks, and things are a lot softer, and there’s a lot more cellulite, but that’s okay.”

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Check Out Hunter McGrady’s 2024 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Shoot

The model and mom of two said she is “just proud to be part of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.

“I’m proud of the company as a whole, I’m proud of the imprint that they’ve made on society and they continue to make,” she added. “And that would genuinely be my all-encompassing word: proud.”

When speaking on the Legends photoshoot, SI Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day said, “We assembled some of our most influential alumni together for one legendary photo shoot. Sure, it looks back on history.”

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“But more significantly, it’s a window into the present—where we are right now—and a hope for the future. The result was nothing short of spectacular,” Day continued. “So spectacular that we created three covers, a triptych that speaks to the collective strength, power, beauty, and diversity that is what SI Swimsuit looks like at 60.”

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Hunter McGrady Talks Body Positivity

Hunter McGrady at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Launch of the 2022 Issue
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Ahead of Fashion Week in 2019, Hunter McGrady opened up about what inclusiveness means to her.

“For me, I was really selective. I’m not even attending any events or any shows that are not inclusive. Any time my managers come to me with a show, that’s my first question: ‘Do they plan to be diverse this season?’ If the answer is ‘no,’ then I won’t be there,” she told FashionIsta.

“Because I want to support brands who are giving the right message. Who are doing the right things? That’s the kind of fashion I want to support: when people are jumping on the right side of history,” the size 16 model continued.

Hunter McGrady Says ‘Being Authentic Means To Not Conform To Society’s Ideals’

Hunter McGrady poses for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
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The size 16 supermodel also spoke about what authenticity means to her.

“For me, being authentic means to not conform to society’s ideals. You have to treat your body; you have to nourish it like it is a temple,” she said in a body-positivity ad for bottled water company Icelandic Glacial. “You have to eat clean, drink clean. I drink Icelandic Glacial because it’s purely authentic. Just like me.”

McGrady also shared the news on her social media: “So pumped to share my campaign with @icelandicglacial #pureauthenticity and bottled at the source. Love this water, love this message, love this brand. To top it off, my mother and grandmother are from Iceland! #icelandicglacial.”

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