Sarah Hyland is best known for playing the boy crazy, fashion-obsessed Haley Dunphy on Modern Family, but on Wednesday she proved she’s so much more than the slightly vapid character she plays on television, taking down hateful internet commenters with a series of tweets.
Hyland addressed negative comments about her weight on a recent Instagram post promoting her boyfriend’s clothing line and the Anti-Bullying Alliance. “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,” she wrote.
Admitting she hasn’t “had the greatest year” and that maybe she’ll talk about it at some point, she asks for privacy before continuing her post. “I will say that this year has brought a lot of changes and with that, physical changes,” she continues. “I have been told that I can’t work out, which, for me, is very upsetting. I am an activist for activity (and for eating junk food in bed, but it’s all about balance right?). I love to be outdoors. I love to be STRONG. (I’ll be using that word a lot) Strength is everything. Being strong has gotten me where I am. Both mentally and physically. I am not a fan of “being skinny.” Which many of you have told me that I am too much of.”
Hyland went on to address some of the details and side effects of the difficulties she’s currently facing and how they have made it difficult for her to maintain her weight. The actress has fought a lifelong battle with kidney dysplasia, and she received a kidney transplant from her father in 2012. In January, she skipped the SAG Awards due to health concerns.
RELATED VIDEO: Sarah Hyland calls Katharine Hepburn her ultimate role model
She addressed calls for her to “eat a burger” and a comment that “[her] head is bigger than [her] body and that’s disgusting.” She writes, “No one’s head should be bigger than their body, but considering I’ve basically been on bed rest for the past few months, I’ve lost a lot of muscle mass. My circumstances have put me in a place where I’m not in control of what my body looks like. So I strive to be as healthy as possible, as everyone should.”
Hyland shoots down claims that the image is photoshopped and explains she decided to address the comments because of the concern that her photos promote anorexia. “I’ve been accused of promoting anorexia in, ironically enough, an anti bullying post. And I want young girls to know that’s NOT my intention,” she writes. “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 may affect others. So I’m here to say that not one should aim to be the weight that I am at right now. I am working hard to maintain my weight by eating as much protein as possible and continue to be STRONG and healthy.”
The Modern Family star goes on to reassure her fans they need not worry about her and that though she is dismayed by her current circumstances, she knows she will conquer them and return to the “STRONG, lean, and fabulous self [she] knows [she] can be.” She also addressed rumors that she is pregnant by mentioning that her face is swollen from medication she’s taking.
Hyland concluded with a message stressing the themes of strength and self-love, urging her fans and followers to embrace love and positivity: “My self confidence is not rendered from your comments. Because I will always be too fat. I will always be too skinny. I will never have enough curves to be called a woman. And I will always be a slut for wearing a push up bra. Love the you you set out to be. Be the best version of yourself. Be healthy,” she said. “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 didn’t give up. I am grateful for the life I live and you should be too. Don’t let other’s comments alter any part of you! Love and positivity is what we need most. Especially at a time like this. The world may be falling apart but it’s up to you to pull it back together. Smile. Laugh. Love. Be happy. Support your peers. Love. Work hard. Be confident. love. Adopt puppies! Tell your mum you appreciate her. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.”