Ariel Winter Responds to Backlash After Saying She Was Sexualized as a Child in Lengthy Rant
By Jackie Willis
Ariel Winter went on a self-proclaimed "rant" on Tuesday, declaring, "Just because I'm on a show, doesn't make me special."
The Modern Family star posted a lengthy Instagram message after receiving some backlash for her interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where she claims to have been sexualized as a child by her mother, Crystal Workman.
In her Instagram post, Winter says she received hateful tweets following the release of the interview that compared how she dresses now to how she was allegedly forced to dress as a minor.
"I'd like to address the tweets I get saying, 'you accused your mother of sexualizing you yet you're a whore," Winter writes. "I was a CHILD being dressed like I was 24. I was 8-13 years old. I wasn't an ADULT as I am now. As you mature at 16, 17, 18, you further develop your own identity and can make decisions for yourself. As a child, you do as you're told regardless of what is good for you."
Winter goes on to defend herself against body shamers and those who criticize her clothes. "I'm an ADULT now, who can make my own choices and have my own identity," she proclaims. "And just because I DECIDE to show my body occasionally doesn't mean I'm unintelligent or that I'm talentless or that I have no self-respect."
Continuing her "rant," the 19-year-old actress adds, "I have EXTREME respect for myself, I HAVE talent, and I AM intelligent."
Winter also has a message for society as a whole. "We need to move on from this stigma that women who are comfortable with their bodies and sexuality are just "dumb sl*ts," she writes. "Do whatever you want, people, just strive to please YOURSELF and NO ONE ELSE."
Earlier this year, Winter spoke to ET about the struggles she's faced growing up in Hollywood. “A lot of people, when they want to go into their adult careers and transition over, pushed in a way and tried to make people believe they were an adult instead of letting it happen naturally in their work,” she said, noting that the key is not to force it. “Part of being an adult is just living and making your own choices and being who you are. That’s it."