Despite successfully juggling both school and a demanding career since she was 11 years old, and becoming a huge role model for young women struggling with their body image, Modern Family actress Ariel Winter has still had to face more than her fair share of undue criticism and comments.
During an interview to promote her latest film, Dog Years, the young star — who plans to soon begin studying political science at UCLA — opened up to MTV about the unfair nature of being judged on selfies and outfits rather than her talent and hard work.
With over 3.2 million followers on Instagram, the 19-year-old is no stranger to people making comments based on looks alone, though still finds it massively unfair that these things are discussed ahead of a person's bigger contributions to the world. She told MTV:
"It's so unfair that instead of talking about people's talent and work and things that matter, we talk about what they wear and what they decide to show. My underboob in that [graduation] dress wasn't bothering anybody. It wasn't committing a crime, it was just in a picture. ... It's not fair for any of us when we look at the internet and that's what pops up when we google our name."
But Winter's carefree attitude to the comments related to her outfits has been a long-time work in progress. Having grown up in the public eye, she found herself the target of cruel remarks from a young age; And though her initial response was to change the way she dressed, she found that it never made much of a difference:
"People were like, 'Oh, you got fat', or, 'Oh, you have huge boobs, you're a slut', or, 'Oh, you're wearing a tank top, so you're obviously asking for it'. It was just so disgusting and so disheartening, and for many years I thought, 'Let me cover up, and then maybe, you know, people will accept what I do.' But it never mattered. People never stopped hating on what I did."
But thanks to the support of people such as sister Shanelle, who taught her to make herself the priority, and #ModernFamily co-star Sofia Vergara who taught her how to be body positive no matter your shape, Winter has learned to embrace herself, forget the haters and post photos to social media based solely on the fact they bring her joy.
"It's less about who likes your photos and more about if you like a picture and you want your friends to see it. I really don't put that much thought into it."
Do you agree with Ariel Winter, do you think we should focus more on a person's talent than on their outfit?