When Sarah Hyland posted a photo of herself to Instagram Tuesday, she only meant to show off a T-shirt and promote a good cause. But many of the fan comments that followed had nothing to do with that.
The "Modern Family" star soon found herself facing body-shaming barbs and accusations of promoting anorexia, and now she wants to set the record straight.
In a series of tweets she shared Wednesday, Hyland opened up about her health and weight, and hit back at her critics — with kindness.
"I’d like to address something that has not only been brought up on Twitter but has been HEAVILY discussed by all of you in my Instagram comments," she began. "That something is my weight. I normally don’t comment on things like this because it draws attention to those trying to spread negativity but I’m here to explain a few things and spread love."
Hyland told her followers, "I haven’t had the greatest year. Maybe one day I’ll talk about it but for now, I’d like my privacy. I will say this year has brought a lot of changes and with that, physical changes."
She explained that she's "basically been on bed rest for the past few months," and she's been told she can't work out right now, despite being "an activist for activity."
"My circumstances have put me in a place where I’m not in control of what my body looks like," she wrote. "So I strive to be as healthy as possible, as everyone should."
Hyland decided to respond to the comments, but because she felt the need to defend herself from their claims. Instead, her motivation was to protect her young fan base.
"I posted a picture of my boyfriend's apparel line, in which part of the proceeds go to the anti-bully alliance, and in return am bullied, which made me laugh," she said. "But then it dawned on me that young girls are reading posts that are saying that I'm promoting anorexia due to my weight. While these comments don't affect me, they affect others. So I'm here to say that no one should aim to be the weight I am at right now."
Hyland underwent a kidney transplant in 2012, following a lifelong struggle with kidney dysplasia. Whatever challenges she faces now or in the future, she intends to remain unfazed by the critical commentary of others.
She knows she'll never be able to please the body-bashers.
"I will always be too fat. I will always be too skinny. I will always be a slut for wearing a push up bra," she added. "I'm a 26-year-old woman who goes through more than you could even imagine on a daily basis. But I work hard. I love hard. And I got to where I am because I am STRONG and I didn't give up."