'We need to move on from this stigma that women who are comfortable in their bodies and their sexuality are just "dumb sluts"...'
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
Ariel Winter was thrust into the spotlight eight years ago as teenager Alex Dunphy on Modern Family. Nowadays, the 19-year-old actress has used her public platform to talk about bodyshaming, something which she has experienced a lot of as a result of growing up in the public eye.
In the past she has been lambasted for a variety of choices she has made – she was slammed for dating someone ten years her senior, slated for the outfits she wears on the red carpet, and criticised for having breast reduction surgery. Yes, really.
Whenever she has been the subject of unwanted attention, Ariel has publicly clapped back, and this time is no different. Just a week after an interview with The Hollywood Reporter where she addressed how often she is bodyshamed, Ariel took to Instagram to vent to her followers when everything she said had been reduced to a few lines in the interview.
‘Something I wish people would realise… I am not trying to be featured on Snapchat, I am not trying to be pap’d everywhere I go, I am literally just living and unfortunately, I can’t do that without paparazzi following me around everyday,’ Ariel started.
‘I’m not trying to show you my ass in shorts when I go to the grocery store. I’m trying to live my life. People wear shorts. People have wardrobe malfunctions. No one is perfect.
‘I’m not a stylist! I don’t know what to wear everyday so I look ‘appropriate’ or ‘fashionable’. Also, screw having to always look appropriate or fashionable. For what? Society? Who gets to decide what is appropriate or fashionable? I wear what I like and no-one should fault me for that.’
Ariel also went on to discuss her fractious relationship with her mother. She famously emancipated from her biological mum, alleging that she had sexualised her as a child, and Ariel revealed that she often gets tweets about it.
‘I’d also like to address the tweets I get saying, “You accused your mother of sexualising you yet you’re a whore.” I was a child being dressed like I was 24,’ she wrote.
‘I’m an adult now, who can make my own choices and have my own identity. 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.
‘I have extreme respect for myself, I have talent, and I am intelligent. We need to move on from this stigma that women who are comfortable with their bodies and their sexuality are just “dumb sluts”.’
‘I also just want to say how disappointed I am that out of everything in [The Hollywood Reporter] article, that’s all anyone’s picked up. How disappointing.’
It’s not the first time that Ariel has spoken out about her own experience with bodyshaming, and she’s also not alone. Just a few months ago, Rihanna responded to body shaming critics who mocked her body.
But there’s definitely something to be taken from what Ariel calls her ‘rant’.
‘Do whatever you want people,’ she signs off, ‘and just strive to please yourself and no one else.’