Justice

Ariel Winter Has a Brutal Message for Slut Shamers

November 16th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter perfectly responded to sexist online trolls in an Instagram post detailing her own experiences with slut-shaming. Winter, who is only 17 years old, published an Instagram post about why it's wrong to name-call and slut-shame women. She received a lot of criticism for previously sharing a photo of herself in a bikini beside her nieces.

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Ariel Winter's initial Instagram photo.

 

A photo posted by Ariel Winter (@arielwinter) on

Ariel Winter's follow-up Instagram post.

After receiving a slew of negative comments, one of which suggested she was "asking for it," Winter shared this photo to call out the problem with slut shaming at large:

 

A photo posted by Ariel Winter (@arielwinter) on

"Who knew that an innocent photo with my nieces would turn into this?" she wrote. "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.'"

Winter added that she doesn't usually feed trolls but that she felt compelled to challenge them to highlight the larger problem of online harassment, which is especially alarming for women. The phrase "asking for it" is also prevalent in rape culture, and it suggests that women are "asking for it" by their clothing, demeanor, or look.

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"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," she continued. "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!!!!!!"

Many celebrated Winter's anti-harassment post, including noted feminist Matt McGorry and actress Julie Bowen, her TV mother on "Modern Family":

Over the summer, Winter opened up to Glamour about her decision to have breast reduction surgery, noting that hurtful comments about her body made it hard to feel comfortable in her own skin.

"We live in a day and age where everything you do is ridiculed," Winter told the publication. "The Internet bullies are awful. I could post a photo where I feel good, and 500 people will comment about how fat I am and that I am disgusting."

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She added that she struggled finding "age-appropriate" gowns due to her natural breast size.

"There was so little that I could wear that was age-appropriate. I’d have to wear the dress that was super tight and formfitted everywhere because if I didn’t, it didn’t look good. I didn’t really have an option other than to wear fitted clothes. Everyone would [say], 'Why is she dressing so mature? That’s so inappropriate for her age!' I understood what they were saying. It’s not like I wanted to pick out those inappropriate dresses, it’s just that I didn’t really have another choice, or I was going to get ridiculed. It’s hard when you’re a teenage girl and you already have a lot of ridicule and then you pile on more, and it’s kind of…it just gets too much."

Earlier this month, singer Ariana Grande and Winter united against trolls after a commenter wrote that Winter's body was more attractive than that of Grande, who has a thin frame. Grande wrote on Instagram that she would not stand for body shaming:

“Sigh …. tweets, comments, statement like this are not okay,” Grande wrote. “You know what is NOT sexy? Misogyny, objectifying, labeling, comparing and body shaming!!! Talking about people’s body’s as if they’re on display ASKING for your approval / opinion. THEY ARE NOT!!!! CELEBRATE YOURSELF. CELEBRATE OTHERS."

Winter went on to show support for Grande:

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