Actress Sarah Hyland and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman both work in arenas where people pay attention to what’s on the outside – how they look, how much they weigh.
But both of them on Wednesday metaphorically slammed their hands down on the table and told their critics: Enough!
Hyland, 26, who stars in ABC’s “Modern Family,” posted a lengthy and passionate essay on Twitter responding to comments people have been making recently about how thin she looks.
She made one thing crystal clear: “My self confidence is not rendered from your comments.”
“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. That something is my weight,” wrote Hyland, who appeared in ABC’s “Dirty Dancing” remake that aired Wednesday.
“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 revealed she’s lost muscle mass while on bed rest the past few months. She did not say why she was laid up, saying only she hasn’t had “the greatest year” and asked for privacy.
She has spoken publicly about her health problems in the past, including a kidney transplant she had in 2012. Her father gave her one of his.
“I will say that this year has brought a lot of changes and with that, physical changes,” she wrote. “My circumstances have put me in a place where I’m not in control of what my body looks like.”
She did share that she is on the steroid prednisone and is working to maintain her weight by eating protein.
She specifically called out social media critics who have accused her of promoting eating disorders. One recent photo on her Instagram, in particular, drew fire.
“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. I posted a picture of my boyfriend’s apparel line in which part of the proceeds go to the anti-bullying alliance, and in return am bullied,” she wrote.
“Which made me laugh but then it dawned on me that young girls that are reading posts that are saying I’m promoting anorexia due to my weight. While these comments don’t affect me, they may affect others.”
Raisman, who is 23, sounded just as fed up with body-shaming comments in a series of tweets she issued after an “uncomfortable” incident involving a TSA agent she accused of making “rude” and “sexist” comments about her appearance.
She didn’t name the airport where it happened.
Raisman has spoken openly about body image in the past. When she appeared in this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, she said the photo shoot empowered her “to be out there and just, you have insecurities just like everyone else, your body’s not perfect, but you feel confident and beautiful.”
She recently told Yahoo Style that she works hard for her body and believes “all women should embrace how beautiful they are, no matter their body type.”
So what happened to her at the airport was particularly galling. She tweeted how a female TSA agent asked whether she was a gymnast and said she recognized Raisman by her biceps.
Then a male TSA agent chimed in, saying “I don’t see any muscles” and continued to stare at her.
“I work very hard to be healthy & fit,” Raisman tweeted. “The fact that a man thinks he judge my arms pisses me off I am so sick of this judgmental generation.”