Ariel Winter knows just how hard it is to grow up in the spotlight.
The 23-year-old actress, best known for playing Alex Dunphy on Modern Family, was only 11 years old when the first season premiered on ABC in 2009. Throughout the years the sitcom was on-air, she sadly became a constant target for haters who criticized her body as she started growing up. Naturally, the internet bullies got to her at times — especially at such a young age.
During an upcoming appearance on Red Table Talk: The Estefans, Winter reflected on constantly wanting to change her appearance to stop the hate comments coming her way. However, she eventually realized that the negative remarks and “disgusting” sexual DMs actually said more about the bullies than her. Winter explained to Gloria Estefan, Emily Estefan, Lili Estefan, and fellow guest Lauren Jauregui in a sneak peek:
“Just because I feel like I look good, I look like a snack or an entree. Honestly, an entree, not a snack. You can put your titties out there and feel good about it, and be like, ‘I put them out there, they’re not for you.’ These are for me. I can put what I want about me online. To tell me that I’m looking for it, that I’m asking for you to say that to me, I’m asking for the dick pics in my DMs, I’m asking for all the things that are disgusting to read …”
Related: Emily Ratajkowski Says She Was Sexualized Way Too Young — Including By Teacher Who Touched Her Bra
Truly gross. She continued:
“There were a strong amount of people that really just … overwhelming amount of negativity and also sexualization that was really dark.”
This is not the first time that the Sofia the First alum spoke out about being sexualized at a young age. Winter previously accused her estranged mom Crystal Workman of contributing to it. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, she claimed that her momma dressed her in “the smallest miniskirts, sailor suits, low-cut things, the shortest dresses you’ve ever seen. People thought I was 24 when I was 12.” She then added:
“If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand percent said yes. I went through a really rough period, a really bad chapter.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Winter also defended that just because she shows off her body doesn’t mean she is a “whore,” saying:
“If you want to wear a short skirt and show your body like I do, it doesn’t mean you’re a whore. And it doesn’t mean you’re not one. People call me stupid because I post photos of my butt when the real thing is, I love my butt. I love butts! Why stifle yourself because other people can’t handle it?”
It seems like Ariel is not going to hold back on how the trolls have impacted her over the years. You can check out the teaser for her chat with the Estefan fam (below):
[Image via WENN/Avalon]