Ariel Winter lashed out at haters who criticized the low-cut dress she wore to a Modern Family panel on Wednesday, May 3.
“Why TF does anyone care that I didn’t dress casual like everyone else for the panel?” the 19-year-old wrote on Instagram. “Why do I have to be like everyone else.”
Winter wore a glam, plunging minidress at the event, while her castmates mostly dressed down in jeans (even Sofia Vergara‘s monochromatic dress looked casual compared to Winter’s embellished frock).
“Why can’t people just let other people feel good about themselves and do what they want?” Winter, who plays Alex Dunphy on the ABC sitcom, 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 :)”
It’s not the first time Winter has clapped back at body-shamers. She’s taken to social media more than once to defend her style choices and has spoken in interviews about having a positive body image.
“Walking down the red carpet and seeing the photos afterward and having every headline be about my cleavage and not about my talent. Not about, ‘Oh, if they liked the dress.’ Not about what I was really there for or anything that I wanted to be put out there,” she said during an interview with Good Morning America in March 2016. “And I thought that was really disappointing that everybody nowadays in the media, what we’re talking about is the way people look.”
The teen, who underwent breast reduction surgery in 2015, was open about her surgery and proudly showed off her scars at the SAG Awards last year. “They are part of me and I’m not ashamed of them at all,” she later tweeted.
Last November, Winter credited her costar Vergara with teaching her how to ignore the trolls.
“Working with Sofia Vergara and growing up with her was great, because she was, you know, a really amazing, curvy role model for me,” she said in an interview with New York magazine. “She helped me learn to accept the way I looked and love it and dress for it, and feel good about myself.”
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