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Hunter McGrady says people asked her if she was worried she wouldn't 'look pregnant' as a plus-size woman

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  • Hunter McGrady
    American plus-size model
  • Katherine Schwarzenegger
    American writer

Hunter McGrady is opening up about the stigma she faced as a plus-size pregnant woman.

On Thursday, the model — who, in June, welcomed first child Hudson Tynan with her husband Brian Keys — spoke to Katherine Schwarzenegger on Schwarzenegger's Instagram Live show BDA Baby about some of the comments she received when she was initially planning on becoming pregnant.

"When I first announced my pregnancy, one of the biggest things that I got inundated with in my DMs was, 'Was it hard to get pregnant because you're plus-size?' because there is such a stigma around it, right? Automatically in society being plus-size equates to being not healthy, which is complete and utter B.S., it's just not true," McGrady explained. "[The other was,] 'Are you nervous you're not going to look pregnant? Are you nervous it's going to hinder your pregnancy journey?'"

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 01: Model Hunter McGrady speaks during #BlogHer20 Health at Rolling Greens Los Angeles on February 01, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sarah Morris/Getty Images)
Hunter McGrady talks facing pregnancy stigmas as a plus-size woman. (Photo by Sarah Morris/Getty Images)

McGrady shared that she and her husband were able to get pregnant quickly, and that she made sure she chose a doctor who wouldn't let her size interfere with the quality of care she received.

"I have been to doctors in the past who, if your pinky hurts, all of a sudden will be like 'Well, you need to lose weight.' That sounds a little lazy to me. It sounds a little far-fetched," McGrady said. "I always tell my doctors, 'What are your thoughts on this? What are your thoughts on me, as a person? And this journey, because I want it to be a positive one.' I've had so many women reach out to me and say, 'My doctor fat-shames me, my doctor always brings up my weight, and I'm so horrified of getting pregnant.' Or, 'I am pregnant, and I'm so scared of having a baby because of the way my doctor speaks to me about the way that I look.'"

While McGrady also told Schwarzenegger that it's not just plus-size women who have to deal with societal expectations surrounding pregnant bodies.

"I didn’t look pregnant until probably my late, late second trimester, beginning of third trimester, and for me, again, society has such a way of making us feel bad already as women," she said. "And then, being pregnant on top of it, because you only ever see the 'perfect' pregnant woman. She is just belly, she's glowing, her skin is amazing, her hair is long and flowing. When you’re not that, you’re like, ‘Is something wrong with me? What is going on?' And I was not that. I gained weight everywhere. I had terrible acne. My hair was falling out. It wasn't what I imagined it, and again, it was because I was fed the lies that I had to look a certain way. A lot of women feel that way, no matter your size."

Back in August, the body acceptance advocate spoke to Yahoo Life about how, as a curvier woman, she often faces criticism for breastfeeding in public.

"We rarely ever see plus-size women represented in any regular [everyday] life, let alone breastfeeding, pregnancy, none of it," she said. "And I noticed that when I have my baby and I am breastfeeding out in public, I get the most disgusted stares, like I am doing something so wrong and unnatural. But when I go out with my girlfriends who are smaller-chested, they don't get those stares as often. They still do [get some], because I do think that there is a stigma around breastfeeding that needs to change 100 percent."

In October, McGrady used a sweet photo of her son looking in the mirror as a way to illustrate an important message about self love.

She captioned the post, "Before everyone told us who we should be, we were in awe of ourselves exactly as we were. We looked at ourselves in the mirror in absolute wonderment. We were enamored with ourselves. We giggled at every movement we made, we loved the way our eyes lit up and our smile looked in the mirror. However, at some point in our lives we had someone or some thing make us question how great we are. There was a moment where were led to believe that something was wrong with us, that we needed to change, we needed to conform. But all of us, every one of us, started out in awe of ourselves. Let us always be searching for that childlike wonder."

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