Sports Illustrated Embraces Body Diversity

by Lucy Kuchma ’18

This spring season, Sports Illustrated has displayed its first set of swimwear shots featuring a plus-sized model. Hunter McGrady, a 24 year-old model from Los Angeles, struggled with body confidence in the modeling world for years which led her to develop an eating disorder. After battling Anorexia for most of her teenage years, McGrady decided that fitting into the standards of the modern modeling industry were not worth her deteriorating mental and physical health.

Not only is Sports Illustrated breaking down walls by featuring a woman with curves and cellulite, but the publication is also making a statement about how McGrady is more beautiful in her healthy mind and body than she was when she was stick-thin. The magazine’s editors claim this is only the beginning. They plan to feature many more unrepresented body types in the future. For a publication whose audience is 68-percent male, it is much-needed for different shapes and sizes of women to be represented. This is the first step in creating a more representative and equal media sphere for young women to identify with.