Body acceptance can be difficult for individuals struggling with chronic illness, and on Saturday, Sarah Hyland inspired "invisible illness warriors" with an important message on Instagram, reminding all followers to show appreciation for their bodies. Hyland posted a picture of herself in work-out gear, writing that the photo initially made her feel "insecure" about her body, and explained how she changed her mindset.
The Modern Family star urged fans struggling with an illness or injury to "check in with yourself" and "say thank you." She wrote, "Our bodies have endured unfathomable feats that our minds barely have time to comprehend what has actually happened."
Hyland, who was born with kidney dysplasia, a condition which prevents the kidneys from developing normally in the womb, has faced many health obstacles in the past. In December 2018, Hyland revealed she'd undergone a second kidney transplant, after her body rejected a kidney transplanted seven years before, according to CNN. That same year, Hyland had five additional procedures to treat endometriosis, a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus, as well as surgery to repair an abdominal hernia.
These days, Hyland's health is better, but on Instagram, she revealed how chronic illness continues to impact her body image, writing, "With inflammation, excess water gain, and medications, my skin has a hard time bouncing back. I saw this picture and HATED it but quickly readjusted my attitude and decided to celebrate it."
Although chronic illness can challenge your confidence, Hyland urged followers to "love yourself" and "be patient" amid health struggles. She wrote, "We are all stronger than we think we are."
The post received plenty of support from friends and fans, including Lily Collins, who wrote, "Powerful mama," and Laverne Cox, who commented, "Yes Sarah." Many others wrote how meaningful the post was to them, including The Bold Type star Katie Stevens, who shared, "i am so proud of the woman that you are, your outlook, and how deeply you inspire others" and celebrity hairstylist Riawna Capri, who wrote, "Thank you for sharing and helping others appreciate their battle scars that kept them alive."
In Dec. of 2018, Hyland discussed her body-image struggle post-transplant in an interview with Self, saying, "It's this bittersweet moment of, ‘Oh my gosh. I have new life,’ but then also being an actress and being held up to this sort of pedestal of how you're supposed to look." Finding confidence is a journey for many women, even those who haven't struggled with significant health crises. Hyland's recent post was a positive reminder for anyone feeling insecure of their scars to appreciate their body for all it does.