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Sarah Hyland Responds to Concerns Over Weight Loss

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist and writer specializing in sexual and reproductive health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. She is an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham ...

Leave Sarah Hyland alone: Her body isn't up for critique

Sarah Hyland can’t catch a break. First, she had to undergo a kidney transplant in 2012, and now, she’s been on bed rest for the past several months because of other medical issues.

On top of that, she been the target of criticism lately for allegedly “promoting anorexia” by posting photos of herself on Instagram. But here’s the thing: her illness and required bed rest means that she has lost significant muscle mass lately, causing her to be so thin.

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In a two-part Twitter post, the Modern Family actor went public with her most recent health struggle, noting that her circumstances have put her in a place where she cannot control what her body looks like.

“Since I’m here,” she wrote, “You may wonder. Am I bothered by my appearance right now? Well it’s never fun to look in the mirror and see your hard work at the gym fade away or have your legs be the size of one’s arms.”

Hyland also explained that despite her thin body, her face is swollen because she has been on a medication (prednisone) that has both saved her life and altered her appearance.

“My self confidence is not rendered from your comments,” she wrote. “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.”

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The reaction to Hyland’s weight loss is part of the larger problem of not accepting women’s bodies if they don’t conform to very rigid standards. While under no circumstance is a woman permitted to carry any extra weight around (except in Kardashian-approved locations like tits and ass), she is also not supposed to be so thin that it makes people uncomfortable.

As Hyland points out, sometimes it’s beyond our control. I know this firsthand, after taking a medication caused me to gain a significant amount of weight. It’s hard enough dealing with whatever is requiring you to take medication or remain on bed rest without having to field questions from well-meaning people concerned about your “health” or strangers on the subway who yell “FAT BITCH” at you as you exit the car.

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So moving forward, if we could all just keep our opinions on other people’s bodies and their shortcomings to ourselves, that would be great. Trust me: We all own mirrors and know what we look like. Telling us that we’re too fat or too skinny isn’t helping.

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