Being a child star can be tough. “Modern Family” star Ariel Winter knows this all too well. the 19-year-old is no stranger to defending herself from press reports. In May 2017, she attended an Emmy event for Modern Family in North Hollywood, California. Some observers criticised her outfit choice for being too revealing and over-the-top as the other cast members were dressed much more casually than she was. In response, Ariel stood up for herself and refused to be bullied and also included a message of support for others, advising them not to “let anyone stifle who you are and how you express yourself”.
This was not the first time Ariel had been criticized for her clothing choices and life decisions. She received significant blowback for posting a racy selfie on Memorial Day, and was accused of making light of an important public holiday meant to revere fallen troops and the sacrifices they made for their country.
Ariel’s body and how she chooses to clothe it have long been the subject of press reports, and she has admitted that this comes with a lot of pressure. She has spoken to People magazine about being acutely aware that “people criticize you at an extremely young age” – a reality she had to adjust to as a young actress. Most recently, many raised eyebrows following an interview with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel in which Ariel revealed that she was living with her boyfriend, actor Levi Meaden. Much of the coverage has emphasised the age difference between the pair: Levi is 10 years older than Ariel.
Again, Ariel was quick to stand up for her boyfriend and their living situation – a defensive stance which has become all too familiar for the actress.
“I’m happy, and whatever people want to say, they can say. I don’t understand why someone would even comment on our situation at all. There are tons of people of all ages that live with their boyfriend. 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.”
Now, the latest source of criticism is Ariel’s own mother Chrystal Workman. In an interview with In Touch magazine, Chrystal commented on the much-discussed matter of Ariel’s dressing and Ariel wasn’t pleased with what her mom had to say.
Chrystal Workman and Ariel Winter are currently estranged from one another, as Ariel decided to emancipate herself from her parents at the age of 16. In the two-year interim which followed that decision, her sister Shanelle Gray took over her guardianship which meant Ariel lived with her. Ariel described her as a “support system” in an interview with People magazine and described her living arrangement as “a happy situation for me”. Upon turning 18, Winter purchased her own home – a $1.5m four bedroom home in the Sherman Oaks neighbourhood of Los Angeles, California.
Reflecting on the stress that comes with being in the public eye, Ariel has emphasised that she loves her job but has admitted “I don’t know if it’s a choice I would have made on my own”. It appears that the sense of being pushed into Hollywood could be a contributing factor in her difficult relationship with her mother. Ariel has accused Chrystal of sexualizing her at a young age in order to advance her career, as well as physical and emotional abuse. The actress’ mother has denied all of these allegations, insisting: “I would not do that.” Chrystal also added that she does not approve of Ariel’s clothing choices, saying she would prefer for Ariel to “dress properly”.
“She needs to grow up. I would tell her to dress properly, be the beautiful person she is. I feel sad that she feels the need to expose herself when it’s not necessary. Ariel is smart, beautiful and talented. She is a legitimate actress. She does not need to do this. She is beautiful with her clothes on.”
Ariel fired back on Twitter, calling her mother “toxic” and asserting her right to make her own decisions.
It’s sad to see a relationship degenerate to the point where both parties can only communicate through the media. What remains clear is that Ariel is an adult who has established certain boundaries. Whether these will continue to constitute to obstruct any hope of reconciliation with her mother remains to be seen. It is however certain that Ariel will not simply accept any unsolicited opinions about her life without having anything to say in return. She’s one woman with which you will never have the last word.
H/T: In Touch