Sarah Hyland made a big statement with a single photo that she shared on Thursday.
The Modern Family actress exposed the scars on her mid-section that have resulted from 16 surgeries, including two kidney transplants, in her short 28 years, in a public message to pal Ellen DeGeneres. Hyland made a joke about whether DeGeneres’s famous friend Jennifer Aniston (and Hyland’s former co-star) wore underwear featuring the talk show host’s face where people could see them.
Fans were all about it. There were a lot of jokes about people wondering who Nelle was until they figured out that her boxers actually said “Ellen.” (The photo was snapped in front of a mirror.)
Mostly, though, people complimented Hyland on having the courage to flash her scars.
“The Scars make you you, and I think that that is a beautiful thing.”
“Thank you Sarah. I’ve struggled with my tummy scars since my son’s birth, and you putting it all out there means the world.”
“Love the look im a breast cancer survivor scar from mastectomy but still have to do the reconstruction and once its all done im not at ashamed to hide my scar.. Thanks for being you to show its okay to be who you are with scars.”
“Always remember your scars are just proof that you were #stronger than what tried to hurt you! #showyourscars #loudandproud because you are #everywoman and an #inspiration to always keep going!”
“Seeing your scar brings a smile to my face. It’s barely noticeable and to see you’re doing so well helps calm my nerves as I have surgery for kidney transplant on this coming Tuesday.”
“I Love it show your scars. I’m a Living Donor. So the scars in my body are my beauty marks. God bless you always.”
“Not confident enough to show my transplant scars yet but hopefully one day!!”
The actress has been outspoken before about her struggles with kidney dysplasia, which required her to undergo multiple transplants and, when her body rejected one kidney, dialysis.
She’s been just as candid about adjusting to the way her many surgeries have affected her body.
“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,” Hyland told Self in December 2018.