Sports Illustrated Swimsuit names plus-size model Hunter McGrady as 2018 Rookie

Hunter McGrady is getting ready for her close-up.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit recently announced the plus-size model, along with Olivia Culpo and Ebonee Davis, will be featured as rookie models in next month’s issue.

McGrady previously took part in the annual model search competition and stirred headlines for shooting in nothing but body paint in 2017. It took a team of several different women painting for over 12 hours to create the seemingly there suit before she frolicked on the beaches of Anguilla.

“I feel so insanely grateful to have been asked back and am now a rookie!” she told Swim Daily. “This is a dream come true! It shows women everywhere that regardless of your size, we are all sexy, beautiful, confident and empowering and I’m so happy Sports Illustrated is continuing the body positive conversation.”

McGrady added, “Beauty isn’t a size! They are making history. We are making history. I love my SI family.”

However, the road to being recognized as Sports Illustrated’s curviest model wasn’t an easy one for the California native. While she does come from a family of models, she described struggling to stay in shape in hopes of achieving similar success.

“When I was 16 years old, I was a size 2,” she told Fox News back in April 2017. “To give you a gauge of what that means is that I’m a size 16 now. I wouldn’t eat, I would work out for four hours a day – anything to try to keep down to that size.”

McGrady ultimately discovered the world of plus-size modeling and never looked back. Instead, the blonde pinup finally accepted her shape and learned to embrace her curves.

“My career has taken off ever since,” she said. “It aligns with what I believe in, which is to love your body, embrace your God-given body.”