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Sarah Hyland Defends Wearing Two Pairs of Spanx to the Oscars to Hide Her Kidney Transplant Bulge


After posing for photographs Sunday evening at Vanity Fair’s Oscars party, actress Sarah Hyland took to social media to let her fans in on a secret.

“#funfact I’m wearing TWO pairs of spanx. Why diet? When you can just hide it!” she wrote on Instagram.

Some were quick to applaud her for being so honest:

“Just one of the many reasons I love you so hard” – nicolescherzinger

“I freaking love how real you are! Keep rocking it and enjoying all the tacos you want!” – khamon

Others criticized Hyland, believing the post to be a promotion of thinness and diet culture:

“What an irresponsible post from someone with influence. You are transparent about your problems gaining weight, so imagine how confusing and upsetting this post is to some people. Please consider addressing your mistake, you can do better!” – beckarrooo

“Disturbing comment. People should use their ‘celebrity’ in a positive way, not about wearing spanx & dieting.” – jkelleeeyyy

“@sarahhyland as a (thin) person with influence your caption is problematic. You’re suggesting that women should EITHER diet OR hide. How about NEITHER. Instead, we could shift the focus towards encouraging a culture where we embrace and accept a variety of bodies. I like you and don’t think this came from a bad place but I urge you to consider the impact of your words, particularly on certain people such as those recovering from an eating disorder – this is triggering and dangerous” – brunaxcosta

Want to connect with others living with chronic illness? Follow The Mighty’s chronic illness page to share your Thoughts and Questions with the community.

What many might not have realized, however, was that Hyland was actually wearing two pairs of Spanx to conceal the bulge from her kidney transplant.

One of Hyland’s fans pointed this out on Twitter, to which the actress responded, “Someone gets it!!”

The “Modern Family” star was born with kidney dysplasia, meaning her kidneys didn’t develop correctly. In 2012, she received a kidney transplant when her dad donated one of his. Hyland’s body began rejecting her first transplanted kidney in 2016 and in September 2017, she had her second transplant – this time from her brother.

In a previous interview with SELF, Hyland explained that during her second kidney transplant, doctors connected her old kidney to her new kidney in the front of her abdomen, causing it to stick out and create a “bulge.”

“I call it my KUPA,” she said. “Kidney upper pussy area. Always have, will forever. For me it’s always hard for KUPA to be on display. Still mentally it’s hard to get over that. But I think personally, for someone being so tiny to have a stomach that looks like the New Jersey turnpike, just shows who I am, what kind of character I have.”

Those with health conditions should never feel like they have to hide visible manifestations of their illness. But if, like Hyland, you’re still struggling to feel comfortable with how your body has changed, know your feelings are valid.

Lead photo via Sarah Hyland’s Instagram