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Hunter McGrady on Misconceptions Around Pregnancy for Plus-Size Women

“Throughout life, you have to meet yourself over and over again, because your body does change—and that's what's beautiful about it.”
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profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Updated
December 16, 2021
Model and influencer Hunter McGrady welcomes her first baby.
Image: Paul Archuleta / Getty Images

Hunter McGrady is opening up about her pregnancy. In a recent interview with Health, the 28-year-old new mom opened up about her struggle as a young model. She revealed she was constantly told she was “too big” and struggled with eating and her body image. Now as a new mom, McGrady wants to break down misconceptions around pregnancy for plus-size women.

“Before pregnancy, society kept telling me that my body was unhealthy and that I’d have a hard time getting pregnant or staying pregnant,” McGrady told the outlet, explaining that she used to get nervous before doctor’s appointments and that they often felt “losing weight” was the solution, even for maladies like earaches.

When she found out she was pregnant, McGrady made a conscious decision not to focus on her weight. “Early in my pregnancy, I told my doctor that I didn’t want to discuss my weight unless it became a real issue to me or the baby. When I’d get on the scale, I’d tell them I didn’t want to know the number,” she explained. As someone who came from disordered eating, I’ve worked too long and hard to care about what that number is. My doctor was on board with it, and I had a healthy pregnancy until the end, when I got preeclampsia.”

When asked whether pregnancy changed how she felt about her body, McGrady answered that she had to “meet myself again during pregnancy.” She explained that her appreciation for her body was still there, but it was different because her body was providing for someone else. “Maybe it’s because of the way society treats pregnant women. All of a sudden, people say you’re glowing and fabulous. And then postpartum happens, and everyone asks when you’re going to lose weight—there’s that whole bounce-back culture,” she said. “You’re not sleeping, you don’t even know your name—you can’t think about bouncing back. It made me realize that throughout life, you have to meet yourself over and over again, because your body does change—and that’s what’s beautiful about it.”

The Birth Announcement

McGrady welcomed her first child, a son named Hudson Tynan Keys, with husband Brian Keys in June. They revealed the happy news through Instagram stories on Sunday, June 27. McGrady posted a picture of herself holding her son’s small hand and wrote alongside the photo, “I’ve never known a love like this. I’ve been enjoying and in pure bliss. Can’t wait to introduce you guys to this sweet boy."

Shortly after, she revealed the sweet significance of her son’s middle name. “Hudson Tynan Keys born June 26,2021 at 7lbs 1oz and 21” tall. The healing we desperately needed 🕊 I can’t wait to tell him how special his middle name is 🤍,” she wrote in an Instagram caption. With her son’s middle name, McGrady honored her late younger brother Tynan, who passed away in May at 23 years old.

“The most gut wrenching words I’ve ever had to write in my life, one that no one ever wants to. My chest is heavy and I feel like I’ll never breathe again, I don’t know how this pain repairs or if it ever feels like life can live again. My baby brother went to be with the Lord on May 1st,” she wrote on social media at the time. “He was absolutely brilliant, just three weeks shy of graduating SFSU with a computer engineering degree…There is no telling why these things happen, why accidents happen, why life is taken too short. I’m so grateful for beautiful the 23 years God gave us with him. I know we will meet again because the Bible says so…Thank you for making me a big sister. Thank you for your heart. Goodnight my sweet beautiful Bubba, I love you.”

McGrady first revealed her pregnancy news in March during an interview with PEOPLE. “We are so excited and thrilled to welcome this little baby into the world," she told the outlet. “After a tumultuous 2020 this feels like the rainbow at the end of the storm.”

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