The Internet Has Put Ariel Winter in Constant Defense Mode: 5 Times the Actress Had to Fire Back at Critics Online

Being behind a computer screen is not a free pass to be mean to people on the Internet, you guys

By Bruna Nessif Jul 12, 2016 10:01 PMTags
Ariel WinterInvision

The Internet can have some super cool qualities, like connecting you with your first grade crush or the ability to give you a maybe-somewhat-legit answer to practically any question you can think of, but it can also harbor some very negative behavior—and that's something Ariel Winter knows all too well.

The Modern Family star is definitely not the only celeb who's had to face ruthless trolls on the Internet, but she may be one of the few who are constantly firing back at those who choose to share 140 of characters of rudeness her way. And for that reason, the 18-year-old actress has been put in constant defense mode. 

Winter touched on the fact that everything she does is ridiculed by shamers on the Internet during her guest-hosting gig on The Talk this morning, when she discussed the backlash she received following her decision to get a new tattoo and a breast reduction.

"When I got my tattoos—I have 5 now—and every time I post about getting a tattoo, every single person on the face of the planet has something to say about it. 'You shouldn't be getting tattoos because you're ruining your body. How dare you destroy yourself even more? You were pretty and a nice person and now you're just trash,'" she shared.

"I mean, people say everything on the face of the planet to me about everything I do. And it just really, it can destroy a person and I also think it's disgusting what people spend their time on. You're sitting behind a computer, you don't have the guts to say it to my face, but you have the time and energy to shame and hurt somebody on the computer, and that just show how little respect you have for other people and how people spend their time."

Ariel Winter's Best Looks

A similar reaction happened when she chose to get a breast reduction. Winter openly discussed her decision to go from a 32F to a 34D because of how unhappy she was, yet, still faced criticism online.

"I was in a lot of pain and it was very uncomfortable for me. I didn't feel confident. And when I decided to get my breast reduction, everybody turned to me and was like, 'Oh, you got your breast reduction because everyone was scrutinizing you and that was it.' That was so untrue. I got my breast reduction because I felt like I wanted it. It made me feel more confident. My back didn't hurt anymore, I could sit up straight—it was life-changing for me," Winter explained.

"And even now, what's funny to me, even after i got the breast reduction, everybody still comments on anything I wear. I can wear a tank top and people still go, 'Oh you know, she looks like this and that. I'm sure she is this kind of person. Oh she's asking for it. I thought she got the breast reduction because she didn't want people to look at her or think about her anymore.' That's not true. That's so untrue." 

Unfortunately, what is true is the fact that this online criticism has been going on for far too long.

All Grown Up! Look at How Much Ariel Winter Has Changed Over the Years
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

1. Winter Opened Up About Internet Bullies to Glamour: Winter has faced her own physical critics in the past—a history she shed a light on during an interview with Glamour after undergoing breast reduction surgery in August 2015.

"The Internet bullies are awful," she told "I could post a photo where I feel good, and 500 people will comment about how fat I am, and that I am disgusting. On [red carpets], I just said to myself, 'You have to do your best to look confident and stand up tall, and make yourself look as good as you can in these photos,' because everyone is going to see them."

2. That Time People Said She Was "Asking for It": After getting backlash for a bikini picture, Winter posted a close-up of a woman's leg with marks on it identifying the different labels designated to females who wear a skirt that meets that length. She paired the picture with a lengthy caption slamming those who choose to leave negative comments on bully people online.

"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,'" she began.

"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!!!!!!"


3. Her Graduation Dress Didn't Sit Will With Others, Apparently: Winter felt obliged to fire back at shamers who targed her graduation dress in a series of open and honest tweets. "Dear sorry body-shamers, I looked HOT in that dress. And if you hate it, don't buy it," she wrote. "But please get a hobby. XOXO Ariel #EmbraceYourBody." She added, "Embrace all that you are. Don't let those outside voices become your inner voice  #mychoice #loveyourcurves."

4. Now She Just Beats 'Em to the Punch: The 18-year-old actress enjoyed a soak in the tub recently surrounded by romantic lit candles in a picturesque sanctuary, though according to her explanation on Instagram, the set-up wasn't just for a relaxing night in and Winter made sure to shut shamers up before they had a chance to say anything. "Today's office...relax everyone it's cranberry juice and I'm wearing lady bit pasties," she said, referring to what looked like a glass of wine sitting next to her. "#DogYears #set #movie"

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5. She Comes to Other Stars' Defense: Ariel isn't just about fighting her own battles anymore, she's speaking up for other stars facing the same harsh comments. Winter chimed in when Ariana Grande's figure was slammed on Twitter, and she famously stood by Kim Kardashian's side during the whole nude selfie controversy.

"I think she's promoting body positivity," the actress said on the Australian radio show Kyle and Jackie O. "You know, young girls being able to express that they don't have a stick-thin body—they're curvy. And stick-thin bodies are amazing, you know, those girls are amazing too but I think that everybody's body would be celebrated no matter what it is and I think that it's great that she's so comfortable with herself and that she's able to post out there what she wants to post and if she wants to post a nude selfie, she can."

So what have we just seen? We've seen multiple examples of a young girl who's constantly on the defense because strangers on the Internet feel inclined to put in their negative two cents. We've also learned that she's not the only star dealing with such unwelcome criticism. And, no, celebs don't have to feed into it by responding, but when you're being attacked all day, every day, for the way you look, you can only stay silent for so long.

Let's do better, people. Don't be that person shaming other human beings on the Internet.

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