It’s pretty common for brides to hop on a diet or exercise plan in preparation for their wedding. We all want to look our best on the biggest day of our lives, and there’s certainly no shame in that. But swimsuit model and body positive activist Hunter McGrady is calling out some of the problematic aspects of pre-wedding diet culture.

McGrady made history as the curviest model on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2017, and now in an essay for Glamour, she recounts growing up in a society that pressures women to lose weight before tying the knot. “I used to watch shows like Say Yes to the Dress, and Four Weddings and hear women say over and over ‘Well, this is great, but I’m planning on dropping about 30lbs,'” she wrote, “I remember thinking, ‘When did your wedding become your weight loss journey?'”

McGrady said that when it was time to dress shop for her own wedding, the first question sales people asked was if she was planning to stay her current size for the big day. She was continually shamed throughout the process, even being told that no dress could hide certain areas of her body.

But in the wake of all this noise, McGrady made the decision to stay true to herself.

“Planning your wedding is supposed to be so much fun, but the emphasis placed on weight makes it tainted, stressful,” the 26-year-old continued. “I made a vow with myself and my fiance that I would not get stressed over this wedding — so I called bullshit on the idea that I should lose weight for my wedding.”

 

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In a room full of people, my eyes will always find you. 06.16.19 and forever babe. Special thanks to the most spectacular team who made my Dream day possible. More photos to come! I am in complete and utter bliss 🙏🏻 This Day couldn’t have been made possible without the vendors below. Thank you for making our wedding everything we dreamt of and more ❤️ Cannot wait to share more photos from this incredible day! To be with all of our loved ones under one roof was the most special thing in the world. Dress: @watters Veil/Bridal Robes: @Daphnenewmandesign Ceremony Earrings: @heartsonfireco Reception earrings: @lele_sadoughi Makeup: @linamourey Hair: @hairstylingbymelissa Photographer: @JennyQuicksall Furniture: @Sundrop_vintage Linens: @Nuagedesignsinc Florals: @uniquefloraldesigns Men’s tux: @theblacktux Vodka: @smirnoffus Wine: @OneHope Stationary: @minted Rings: @thefoundryfinejewelry Venue: @E_Gardens Coordinator: @VelvetAlleyEvents Music: @tylerVarnell Video: @ShutterandSound

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Of course, there’s nothing wrong with setting new health or fitness goals in preparation for your wedding, but doing it to please others is where McGrady has concerns.

“Listen, I want to look my best on my wedding day, that’s just human nature,” the model said.”But that doesn’t mean I need to change my body…You should work out to make yourself feel good, to keep your body strong, to improve your mental health. Working out to appease someone else’s idea of what you should look like is just stressful.” Amen.

McGrady married her S.O. Brian Keys in a gorgeous ceremony in Moorpark, CA, over the weekend. The blonde bombshell ended up choosing two custom wedding gowns by Watters. “I am in complete and utter bliss,” she wrote on Instagram after the celebration.

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