Ariel Winter Defends Showing Off Her Body: 'I Love My Butt. I Love Butts!'

Modern Family's Ariel Winter talks about defending herself from body shamers who criticize her weight and clothing choices

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Ariel Winter is all about celebrating her body.

The Modern Family star says she used to hold back on social media because of online trolls, but realized that covering up just for them went against her message of body positivity.

“If you want to wear a short skirt and show your body like I do, it doesn’t mean you’re a whore. And it doesn’t mean you’re not one,” Winter, 19, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “People call me stupid because I post photos of my butt when the real thing is, I love my butt. I love butts! Why stifle yourself because other people can’t handle it?”

The actress says that hitting puberty in the public eye was difficult to handle.

“The first season I was very thin, no breasts, no hips,” Winter says. “The next year, I had huge boobs and a butt.”

She was just 11 or 12, but that didn’t stop the trolls.

“It was automatically ‘You’re a fat slut.’ ‘You’re a whore,’ ” Winter says.

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Her first instinct was to change her look to appease them.

“I was like, ‘Maybe I’m going to lose some weight, dye my hair, change how I dress. … Maybe I’m doing something wrong,’ ” she says, but adds that it didn’t make a difference. “I actually got more hate by trying to change.”

Now Winter dresses the way she wants to, and isn’t afraid to stand up to her critics. Her hope now is that her character on the show, Alex, gets to jazz up her wardrobe as well.

“I do wish,” she adds, “we could get out of the stigma that girls who are smart have to dress down and not care about appearance. … But I think [Alex is] starting to.”

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