Ariel Winter is no stranger to standing up for herself. After having a breast reduction surgery in 2015, the 19-year-old star began speaking out about body positivity and self-love and sharing empowering photos of herself on her Instagram account. While some think Winter has taken her self-love movement too far (her estranged mother told InTouch that she wishes Winter wouldn’t “expose herself”), we can’t get enough of the Modern Family star’s positive attitude.
Check out all the times Ariel Winter rocked her bold swimsuits, giving us the ultimate empowering inspo.
In the second photos in this Insta series, you can see a hint of her newest body ink — a snake slithering up her forearm. The same day she got the serpent, she and boyfriend Meaden got matching tattoos in the shape of a heart on their thumbs. Winter also got a block of cheese tattooed on the inside of her ring finger, while Meaden got a jar of peanut butter in the same place.
And the full makeup isn’t just for the photo shoot, either. Winter told Refinery29 that she’ll wear foundation, false lashes, blush and high heels when she’s headed to the beach. Think that’s weird? She doesn’t care.
“I’m definitely a makeup at the beach person, and I don’t care if people think I look ridiculous — it’s my beach day!” she said. “Whether I want to go natural or with makeup or in sweatpants, that’s up to me. People are so stressed out about how they’re going to look in their bathing suits that they forget to go to the beach because they want to go to the beach, which defeats the whole purpose. The beach should be a safe space.”
Winter wasn’t happy when news outlets wrote about her defending her relationship with 29-year-old Meaden. (“There are tons of people of all ages that live with their boyfriend,” she told Refinery29. “There are tons of people that live with their girlfriends, [and] tons of people that don’t live together and are super happy. But I’m super happy in the arrangement that we have. We love living together. It’s just great.”)
Instead, she wished that the media would focus on her positive message of “taking back the beach.”
“The point was to take back the beach and help people understand that the beach should be a safe space to go as you please and feel good about yourself no matter what,” she wrote on Instagram.
Y’all I love you but PLEASE pay attention and post my REAL point from my @refinery29 interview!!! Not that I’m “defending living with my 29 year old boyfriend” or that I’m “firing back at Trump” because first of all I don’t need to defend anything I’m super happy and in love, and I’m not firing at anyone just sharing an opinion after being ASKED! The point was to take back the beach and help people understand that the beach should be a safe space to go as you please and feel good about yourself no matter what! Makeup on, makeup off, heels, sandals, covered up, exposed, do you and feel HAPPY about who you are and YOUR choices, not the ones society wants us to choose. It’s also HARD to be 100% confident- I’m still not- but I’m on a journey and I want other people to know they’re not alone. We all struggle but through our struggle we get stronger and closer to our goals. Body positivity is important- not that I live with my boyfriend. Press- please read the article and take it for what it is- not what will give you more readers! Let’s all be real and represent people how they want to be represented through what they actually say. Rant over. Love yourselves, love others, be yourselves, and be happy. Xo
Winter’s confidence in a swimsuit was hard-earned. Growing up in the spotlight (she started Modern Family as Alex Dunphy at age 11) in today’s social media age forced her to wear a thick skin, because even an 11-year-old child and later teenager wasn’t immune to body shaming from strangers online. She says she “always felt like crap” about herself before her breast reduction (she was size 32F).
Even after the surgery, she says she still feels self-conscious, especially next to her best friend, who she describes as “super tall and skinny.”
“It’s gotten a little better, but it’s still definitely hard,” she told Refinery29. “But I’ve learned to not care about that as much. I’m comfortable in a bathing suit, scars and all.”
During the offseason from filming Modern Family, Winter likes to change her hair color up while she’s not acting as Alex Dunphy. In May, she chose a bold, vibrant shade of red — and even added extensions.
We can’t help but think the gorgeous red color helps her look like a Disney princess — specifically, a certain redheaded mermaid of the same name.
Last year the actress sported the redhead look for three months before changing back to dark.
One thing is for sure: Winter is so over taking criticism from people about her body and clothing choices. Example: Many accused the actress of dressing too glam to the Modern Family season 8 finale when she donned a gold, cut-out minidress. (The rest of her castmates were dressed down in casualwear.)
“Why TF does anyone care that I didn’t dress casual like everyone else for the panel?” she wrote on Instagram. “Why do I have to be like everyone else?”
“Why can’t people just let other people feel good about themselves and do what they want?” Winter continued. “WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT PEOPLE! As long as you feel good about yourself that’s what matters. I know I did. Don’t ever let anyone stifle who you are and how you express yourself. Rant over.”
Perhaps Winter drew some of her strength and positive energy from Modern Family co-star Sofia Vergara.
“I had a great role model in Sofia [Vergara] growing up, with her being a curvy woman that was super proud of who she was and what she looked like,” she told Self. “She could see that I was struggling a little bit with how to deal with my body, and was always trying to give me advice, like, ‘Here are some brands that would look good on our body type,’ or ‘Wear whatever you want, and feel good about yourself.’”
While she’s made it clear that she wasn’t always comfortable posing in a swimsuit next to her “super tall and skinny” BFF, Winter told Refinery29 that she now knows how to be comfortable in her own skin.
“Like, my best friend, she’s super tall and skinny and she’ll wear the same bathing suit as me, but people will automatically look at me and call me out as a slut or write headlines about ‘Ariel Winter’s cleavage.’ Meanwhile they look at her like, ‘Oh she looks so cute!’ But I’ve learned to not care about that as much. I’m comfortable in a bathing suit, scars and all.”
We can’t get enough of Winter’s sunshine yellow swimsuit she wore during her “sister trip” with older sister Shanelle Workman-Gray. When most stars were sharing tributes to their moms on Mother’s Day, Winter shared an emotional message to her sister, who became her temporary legal guardian before she emancipated from her mother at age 17.
“Happy Mother’s Day to all the incredible mothers,” the 19-year-old wrote next to a photo of herself giving her sister a kiss on the cheek. “I was lucky enough to have an unbelievable sister who raised me to be the woman I am today. I wouldn’t be anywhere without her love and guidance. She’s my rock and my best friend in the entire world.”
While Winter seemed concerned with the contents of the ocean she was sailing (“Y’all there are stingrays in the water,” she captioned the photo), we have to say we were a bit distracted by her gorgeous figure.
In a Kardashian-esque vibe, the actress showed off her curves — and her tanlines — while vacationing in Bora Bora.
She must have really been feeling herself that trip, because later she shared a classic Daisy Dukes pic while wearing a see-through red lacey top. Get it, girl!