Ah, summer — that glorious time of year when everybody relaxes, strips off a few layers, and indulges in their favorite activities. Swimming, for instance, or cycling. Laying in the sand, soaking up the rays... or going on Instagram and body-shaming a young woman because her beach body isn't exactly how they want it to look.
Yep, as sure as the sky is blue, people on the internet still have problems with female celebrities being happy with their own body, as Modern Family star #ArielWinter discovered (not for the first time) when she felt the full wrath of the body-shamers after hitting up a beach in Malibu on Memorial Day.
To add a twist to the tale, Refinery29 then published an interview with Winter in which she spoke candidly about her body and the beach being a "safe space" for anybody to enjoy their physique — but Winter then took to Twitter to tell her followers that Refinery29 had sensationalized her words to sell a better story.
All because a woman wore a bikini on a beach. Yes folks, it really is 2017.
The pictures above are the photoshoot which initially had the body-shamers crawling out of the woodwork — I think it's fair to say she looks pretty incredible, and more importantly, comfortable in her own skin. Here's what Winter had to say about the minor backlash to the pics in interview with Refinery29 this week:
"I went through a lot of hate online, so I tried to change myself for a really long time. But people just kept hating on me no matter what I did. [They're] going to be rude to me regardless of what I do, so I should just try and be happy with what I am.
Whether I want to go [to the beach looking] natural or with makeup or in sweatpants, that’s up to me. People are so stressed out about how they’re going to look in their bathing suits that they forget to go to the beach because they want to go to the beach, which defeats the whole purpose. The beach should be a safe space."
Smart words from a smart girl.
After the piece was published, though, Winter wrote a follow-up message on Instagram pointing out to her fans that Refinery29 had made it sound as if she was "defending" the fact that her boyfriend is 29 (she's 19), taking her words out of context in the process.
Being a #celebrity is a privilege in many ways, but for women, especially young women trying to come to terms with being in the spotlight, it can be a challenge. For dealing with it so well, Ariel Winter deserves nothing but respect, and to be able to go to the beach and have fun like anybody else. Isn't that what summer's all about?
Which other celebs like Ariel are awesome role models for young women?