When you live with a chronic illness, the way your body feels often seems to change on a daily basis. With time, most people come to expect this. Unfortunately, not all of the changes that come with chronic illness are easy to adapt to. As actress, and now singer, Sarah Hyland knows, when your illness causes your appearance to change your self-confidence can take quite a hit.
On Monday, Hyland shared a photo of her performance with Jordan McGraw at the Teen Choice Awards with a caption acknowledging not only how her chronic illness, kidney dysplasia, has changed her body — but how her self-confidence changes and evolves too.
Yesterday I had my first nationally televised performance of a song I did with the amazing @jordanmcgraw. I was terrified. I was excited. There was a PHENOMENAL crowd supporting us the entire way through. Thank you so much to everyone who watched! Thank you @teenchoicefox for having us!! And a final thank you to my ever changing self confidence for making the decision to not wear spanx and let my KUPA (kidney upper pussy area) shine like the badass bitch she is.
This isn’t the first time the “Modern Family” star has spoken out about her “KUPA,” the nickname she’s given her the bump she has as a result of her second kidney transplant back in 2017. Doctors connected the old kidney to her new kidney in the front of her abdomen, causing it to stick out and create a “bulge,” Hyland previously told SELF. Hyland had her first kidney transplant in 2012 and began to reject the organ in 2016.
“I call it my KUPA,” she added. “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.”
In February, Hyland shared she wore two pairs of Spanx to minimize the bump during the Oscars. “#funfact I’m wearing TWO pairs of spanx. Why diet? When you can just hide it!” she wrote on Instagram, sparking controversy from those who thought she was body-shaming as opposed to talking about her kidney transplant bulge.
It can be hard to accept the changes your body goes through because of chronic illness. It’s OK if, like Hyland, your self-confidence is “ever-changing.” Whether you want to wear Spanx, rock out with your KUPA out or both interchangeably, you’re allowed to do what feels right for your mind and body.