EXCLUSIVE: Ariel Winter Reveals the Special Meaning Behind All Five of Her Tattoos

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It's no secret Ariel Winter is a fan of getting inked, and in an exclusive interview with ET, she reveals the meaning behind all five of her tattoos.

"I love tattoos," the 18-year-old Modern Family actress told ET at the London Hotel in New York City on Thursday, where she was celebrating being named the new Dove Self-Esteem Project #SpeakBeautiful squad leader. "I love getting tattoos. I think it's a super fun way of expressing yourself. I only get tattoos that are really meaningful to me and I love it."

Three of her tattoos are dedicated to her family, including her older sister, Shanelle Workman-Gray. In 2012, Shanelle was granted temporary custody before Winter was officially emancipated from their mother, alleging ongoing physical and emotional abuse.

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"This is October 3rd, 2012, which is the day I moved in with my sister, and it kind of started a new chapter in life for me, so it was really important," Winter says, pointing to one of her tattoos on her arm. "My sister's one of the most amazing people in my life. She's my best friend. She's really the most important person to me. She has done so much for me, and has taught me so much."

Winter says her body confidence is largely due to her sister.

"She was always that person who felt amazing about herself regardless if she was going out in sandals and socks, or to the grocery store in her pajamas, or if she was going to an event in a ballgown," she explains. "She always felt so amazing about herself, and she was always such a beautiful person inside out, and really inspired me to be just like her. She was always there to support me and make sure I felt beautiful and special anywhere I went."

Another important woman in Winter's life is her grandmother, who taught her how to play poker.

"I have a spade on my wrist because I love playing cards more than anything," she says with a smile. "It's my favorite thing to do. I've been playing poker since I was six years old -- my grandmother actually taught me when I was young -- so I have a spade for her."

Winter also has a tattoo on her rib cage of her nieces and nephews from both Workman-Gra and her brother, Jimmy Workman -- Dakota Patrice Workman, Skylar Athena Gray, Parker Eleni Gray, Demetra Eleni Workman and Asher Ruben Gray.

Winter explains her most recent tattoo, a tiger on her back.

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"I have a tiger on my back because I've always felt like I've been a protector for other people, and I've always had these amazing protectors in my life," she notes.

Lastly, Winter has a quote in Greek on her hip, reading, "Love risks everything and asks for nothing."

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Winter also talked to ET about currently loving the single life after her split from longtime boyfriend, Laurent Claude Gaudette, earlier this year.

"It's just nice to be able to find yourself and be alone and spend that time really, like, learning to have it just be you instead of [being] co-dependent," she said.

Though she does have one huge celebrity crush -- 29-year-old rapper Drake! Watch the video below to hear Winter gush about the "Summer Sixteen" rapper.

-- Additional reporting by Darla Murray

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