'Modern Family' star Ariel Winter isn't new to being body-shamed, but she always had a mic-drop response ready
Ariel Winter, 22, has spoken openly about body shaming, cyberbullying and mental health
‘Modern Family’ actress Ariel Winter has made the headlines again and this time it was with her new beau, Luke Bernard. She has been very popular among fans and social media, especially when it comes to being trolled or body-shamed. Since she became candid about breast reduction surgery, she faced a lot of trolls and backlashes.
Winter, 22, has starred in ‘Modern Family’ since 2009 and has also done voice-over for shows including, ‘Sofia the First’, ‘Phineas and Ferb’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’, ‘Ice Age: The Meltdown’ and many more shows. In 2010, she won Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series for her role as Alex Dunphy in the series ‘Modern Family’.
She has had a very disturbing past. In 2012, her sister Shanelle Workman filed to become her guardian allegedly claiming that Winter’s mother had been physically and emotionally abusive. In 2014, the court announced in favor of the sisters, giving guardianship to Workman. In 2015, she was officially emancipated.
In June 2015, Winter underwent breast reduction surgery at the age of 17. She has been very vocal about the uncomfortable stares, whispers and rumors that go around because of her size. A petit 15 years old with an F size, and working in a popular sitcom only drew unwanted attention and it pushed her to make the decision of undergoing the surgery at the age of 17.
After the surgery in November 2015, she was publically body-shamed on Instagram. According to CNN, Winter had uploaded a picture of herself with her nieces on a boat in a bikini. This attracted social media users to body-shame her, drawing comments like “put on some clothes” and “asking for it”. She later deleted the post from her Instagram account.
But she had a quick-fire response to that before deleting the post, “Who knew that an innocent photo with my nieces would turn into this? The height of a girl’s skirt or whatever she is wearing for that matter, does not imply what she is asking for. It sickens me to think at 17 years old, a photo of myself with my nieces is suggesting that I’m 'asking for it'. I typically never give power to the mean things people bravely say behind their computer screens on the Internet, but this is for the girls who are constantly bullied whether it be online or at school. You are not asking for anything because of what you are wearing- you are expressing yourself and don’t you ever think you deserve the negativity as the consequence to what you are wearing- YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Celebrate you and don’t let anyone’s comments allow you to think less of yourself. Us girls have to stick together!!!!!!”
In an interview with Glamour, Winter opens up about her surgery. She talks about going through the physical and emotional pain of having huge breast, she also mentioned that “the female side of her family has a history of big breasts”. She also mentioned that she had spoken to her ‘Modern Family’ co-star Julie Bowen about her desire to get the surgery and said, “She was very really supportive and understanding.”
Though she got the surgery, it would seem like she would avoid being trolled on the internet. But it did not spare her. In 2017, she wore a revealing dress at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences television panel in Hollywood, attracting trolls on social media. People were calling her out for that, but she did not sit quietly. She ranted on Twitter, saying, “Wear whatever you want people! As long as you feel good about yourself that’s what matters.”
In 2019, after she shed a few pounds, people body-shamed her for losing weight. In 2020, she spoke to Teen Vogue, “A lot of people commented on my post like, ‘No, she changed her antidepressant because she wanted to lose weight,’” Winter says, “No! I thought every medication I was on, I was going to stay at that weight, and that was fine. It had nothing to do with that.”
However, despite being under constant attack on social media, Winter has strongly held her ground. She has been very vocal about dealing with trolls and body-shamers. She has spoken openly about body shaming, trolls, cyberbullying and mental health.