Ariel Winter Talks Being Sexualized at Age 7 in Sailor Suits

I love Ariel Winter. If you asked most men what they wanted in a partner, they’d give a list of things that all apply to her, from funny, cute and sweet to entirely out of their league. If you have any doubt how talented Winter is, take a look at her Instagram and then remember that she’s famous for playing an unattractive outcast.

Seriously, she looks like that and her main character arc on Modern Family is that only weird guys are attracted to her. If she doesn’t deserve an Emmy for that, I don’t know who does.

Ariel Winter has had a famously rough home life, and as she’s preparing to start school at UCLA, she opened up The Hollywood Reporter about what she’s been through as a child star, specifically with her abusive mother.

She wasn’t allowed to make friends with girls, she says, “because females are competition — that’s how some people see it.” Pressure to land jobs was intense. “You don’t get to mess up when you have somebody around you who is constantly watching.” Food was “very, very restricted” from the time she began acting, and her education was neglected. “I had a few tutors, and they were amazing,” Winter notes, and occasional school education helped (she attended half of kindergarten and half of second grade), but she felt at sea.

She also says her mother played up her sexuality when she was a child, which is weird. Sure, Winter is gorgeous now, but there’s no such thing as a hot seven year old, that’s just creepy.

From age 7, Winter recalls, she was sexualized — dressed in “the smallest miniskirts, sailor suits, low-cut things, the shortest dresses you’ve ever seen. People thought I was 24 when I was 12. If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand percent said yes.”

Winter has also been attacked by people online for some reason, but she handles it better than almost anyone, eventually embracing the attention she’s garnered.

Initially, Winter tried to tame — or at least neutralize — the online haters. “I was like, ‘Maybe I’m going to lose some weight, dye my hair, change how I dress. … Maybe I’m doing something wrong.’ ” But it didn’t help. “I actually got more hate by trying to change.” So she opted to follow her heart — and her own provocative style — into the tabloid fray. “Ariel Winter Twerking in a Storage Unit Is the Strange-but-Sexy Video You Never Knew You Needed” runs a typical headline — but Winter says she knows what she’s doing.

It’s so hard not to like Winter, I don’t know why so many people seem to have a problem with her. On top of everything else, she ended up being the only child actor on Modern Family who could actually, you know, act. She’s probably second only to Ty Burrell in terms of comedic acting skill on that show. You can see Ariel Winter in Modern Family on ABC when the show’s ninth season premiers on September 27 At 9 PM eastern.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments