Sometimes, we tend to forget that celebrities are people. Not just people, but talented human beings. We all do it, or at least have done it once or twice in the past. We often forget to look passed the lens of the character on our television/movie/phone screens and remember that there is an actor underneath that exterior. When we should be crediting and praising actors for their incredible acting prowess, we’re too busy gossiping about their personal lives or gawking at their bodies. If we’re not doing so personally, we certainly help feed into the gossiping media conglomerate by buying the rumor magazines and clicking on website article titles that highlight the size of a female celebrity’s chest in classic click-bait fashion. In recent memory, arguably no one has been subjected more to such ogling from the press as Ariel Winter has.
Ever since she first started developing her curvy physique, the Modern Family cast-mate has been the center of media attention. After turning 18 recently, that attention seems to have only intensified now that she is actually of legal age. So many dirt sheet news outlets have documented stories about the woman’s breasts and yet so few (if any) take the time to applaud her for who she is as a person. If one were to take the time to delve into her background, one would find the story of Ariel Winter to be a rather uplifting story that needs to be celebrated. Winter herself should be celebrated and saluted not only for the level of talent she displays in front of the camera, but also the charitable and inspiring acts she has committed behind the camera. As both an actress and as a human being, Ariel Winter honestly does not get enough credit for what she does and here are 15 reasons why we should all be given the rising star a round of applause.
15. Breaking into the Industry at a Young Age
Every aspiring actor knows how hard it is to book themselves an acting gig. For some, it is hard enough just to book an audition so that makes it all the more impressive to know that Ariel Winter got her first big break at age 6. The first time that Winter found herself in front of a camera was for a Cool Whip commercial. Whether Winter got the gig because she expressed impressive acting skills at such a young age or because she was just in the right place at the right time doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Winter used the momentum built from her commercial to snag guest spots on hit shows like ER, Bones, and Monk. All of these short term gigs led to Winter winning the regular role of Alex Dunphy on Modern Family and the rest, as they say, was history. Her career took off from there.
14. Not Forgetting Her Modern Family Roots
For the last couple years, Ariel Winter has been building quite a bit of attention for herself across the internet. Some admire her for the personality that she has showcased in interviews while others simply admire her for her curvaceous body. Whatever the reason may be, she has a growing fanbase that is naturally gravitating towards her. The attention has left her name on the tongues of many and most celebrities have been known to use that momentum to catapult their career into new directions. If Winter was like most celebrities, this would call for her to walk away from her job on Modern Family to seek out starring roles or bigger film roles, but Winter is not like most celebrities. For 8 seasons, Winter has remained humble and loyal to the show that gave her a big break. For the time being, she will continue to reprise her star-making role of Alex on the show.
13. Her Acting Chops
There is a reason why Ariel Winter’s acting career has lasted as long as it has. It’s because she’s immensely talented for her age. Granted, in her young career, she is yet to be given a role that can fully showcase her range as an actress, but what we have seen of her so far has been the subtlety she brings to her roles. On Modern Family, Winter provides a nuanced performance in each of her episodes where her jokes hit just the right level of subtlety that doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of her character. Alex still feels like a real, genuine character without having to pander to the audience for a cheap gag. Ariel Winter is funny as Alex Dunphy because Winter doesn’t try to act like anyone but Alex Dunphy. Not a slapstick caricature, but Alex Dunphy, and Winter has played the part consistently well for 8 years. If Winter continues to show that exceptional acting talent, or better yet improve in the coming years, then she will surely find much success in her post-Modern Family career.
12. Her Voice Acting
Voice acting isn’t easy. Some voice actors would argue that voice acting is actually harder to pull off than physically acting in person. It’s challenging for an actor to lend distinct voices to different characters, but Ariel Winter has been doing just that for the past decade now and seemingly with ease. In 2006 alone, she provided voice work for 3 major animated films in Bambi II, Curious George, and Ice Age: The Meltdown. Her voice acting talents were so well regarded at a young age that she was given the opportunity to lend her voice to various characters in one movie, Horton Hears a Who! Right before she found a home on ABC with Modern Family, she was the voice of Gretchen (as well as other characters) on Phineas and Ferb for Disney Channel, a role she maintained until the show ended in 2015. She also voices the title character for the Disney Junior show, Sofia the First. Winter is slowly building a voice acting resume that looks even more impressive than her regular acting resume.
11. Learning Taekwondo
When an actor manages to find some free time out of their busy schedule to spend away from the set, some take the opportunity to take up a hobby. Usually those hobbies are simple, like picking up a rock collection or practicing their origami skills. In her free time, Ariel Winter tried her hand at an extreme hobby: martial arts. Not just any martial art, but taekwondo. Perhaps Winter took up taekwondo less as a part-time hobby and more as a self-defense necessity, but regardless, Winter has some tricks up her sleeve that make her a force to be reckoned with. Taekwondo takes a special level of patience and endurance to master and Winter is on her way to becoming an expert at the craft. Right now, she’s a purple belt, but that’s only a couple notches away from a black belt. In addition to being an actress on the rise in Hollywood, she’s a badass martial artist that haters should think twice about messing with.
10. Her Singing Skills
One of the hardest skills for anyone to come by are those regarding singing. Whereas acting talents can be perfected with years of training, it’s hard and close to impossible to train our vocals to become competent singers. It’s one of those things where you either got it or you don’t and Ariel Winter most certainly has the it-factor of a future singing sensation. She has been singing ever since her childhood and she chooses to showcase her singing talents on her Youtube channel through singing covers of hit singles. Speaking of singles, she’s even produced a couple music singles of her own called “Fallen” and “Banished.” Her singing pipes took her far enough to sing the national anthem during a hockey game between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals on November 22nd, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. She even has her own band called Wicked Sweet which she formed with her best friend. If her acting career doesn’t take off any more than it has, she can easily transition into being a singer.
9. Making it Big By Herself
As previously mentioned, it’s not easy to break into the business of Hollywood. Some aspiring actors go years (even decades) of their lives never catching their big break and so it is incredible to think that Winter was able to do just that. Not only because she did so at a young age, but because she was able to do so by herself when she has famous people in her family. Her brother in law happens to be David Barry Gray who in addition to being a small-time actor is also heir to the Pepsi fortune; his grandfather being one of the founders of Pepsi Cola. Not only that, but Winter’s brother is Jimmy Workman, best known for playing Pugsley Addams in The Addams Family films from the 90s. With these sort of connections, Ariel Winter could have easily made a quick phone call to ensure she’d get a big movie role, but she never did. She clawed and scratched her way up from the bottom of the barrel and considering where she stands now in Hollywood, it all paid off. She never took the easy route to success and instead worked hard for everything she has now.
8. Being a Positive Body Role Model
Ariel Winter has been subjected to a wave of controversy over the years for her body and how she chooses to present it to the world. She never asked to grow into her curvy figure, but she has nonetheless been repeatedly slut-shamed and body shamed by many for the way she dresses, her weight, and more specifically, the size of her chest. Winter not only chooses to take the misogynist comments of haters with a grain of salt, but she also uses her experiences of being body shamed to uplift the spirits of her similarly proportioned young fans. She uses social media to be the voice of people who share her body type and never hesitates to call out detractors of such body types. She uses her level of fame to inspire others. One of the ways she chooses to inspire young girls and increase their self-esteem is by being one of the ambassadors for Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful campaign that just launched last month.
7. Defending Herself Against Body Shamers
Celebrity or not, it’s hard for anyone to defend themselves and their decisions to anybody. Of course, being a celebrity where it feels like the entire world is judging doesn’t make it any easier. Not just because a person would have to defend themselves to a world full of detractors, but celebrities often have to keep a tight lip when criticized about anything from anyone. If they don’t, they run a risk of harming their public image, which could hurt them in terms of how they get marketed as a brand. Ariel Winter does not care though. She has been known to speak her mind against her detractors whenever the moment presents itself, especially on social media. One of her more notorious moments came when numerous people on Twitter criticized Winter’s decision to wear a revealing pink dress for her high school graduation party. She tweeted the following response: “Dear sorry body-shamers, I looked HOT in that dress. And if you hate it, don’t buy it. But please get a hobby. XOXO Ariel #EmbraceYourBody.” Spoken like a true role model.
6. Dealing with the Media
In all honesty, this entry in particular is something we don’t give enough credit towards celebrities in general. It must be an absolutely daunting task having to deal with the media on a daily basis and for a young girl like Winter, it must have been an awfully difficult lifestyle to grow up into. Whether the media arrives in the form of invasive paparazzi or click-baity gossip columns, the pressure is always on. For a teenager already dealing with the angst and social drama that comes with being a teenager, the added stress from the media had to be nightmarish for a young Winter. For many child stars, the pressures of the media are too strenuous to deal with and often, these stars grow up to develop drug addictions or mental breakdowns. All things considered, it seems that Winter is doing well for herself nowadays and we should give her some credit for coming out on the other side of media pressures with a good head on her shoulders.
5. Being Brave Enough to Go Under the Knife
In June 2015, Ariel Winter made a bold decision to go along with a breast reduction surgery. The biggest reasons why she wanted the surgery so badly was because the size of her breasts hindered her ability to get acting roles and they were a painful weight to carry. When it comes to her acting career, casting agencies deemed that her chest size made her look too old to play a girl her age. Her only other option was to go after 18 year old parts, but being under the legal adult age of 18, obviously casting agents weren’t going to go that route. She expected that making her surgical decision would warrant some negative responses from critics, but she doesn’t care. In her post-surgery life, she has no regrets and she’s happier now than she’s ever been. She hopes that she can instill the sort of confidence in teenagers that she has for herself now. It’s commendable that she’s able to own up to such a big decision in hopes of inspiring fans who may be going through similar struggles.
4. Getting into UCLA
Whenever an actor ends up making it big in Hollywood, they find little to no time to focus on anything but their acting career, yet alone a college education. Some big stars cease to see the value in an education after they hit the big time. Not Ariel Winter. This past April, she was accepted into the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Winter understands that there is a chance that her acting career won’t last forever and if that is the case, she’ll need something else to fall back on. She decided to study law at UCLA. Not to mention that UCLA isn’t a college that just anybody can get into. Given that the school is the 12th ranked college in North America by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Winter has to be pretty smart to get into such a prestigious university. She planned to start her first semester this fall, but because of prior acting commitments must postpone her college pursuits until next fall. We wish Winter the best of luck in her college ambitions.
3. Her Charity Work
Most of Ariel Winter’s fans are familiar with what she does in front of the camera, but not many are familiar with the acts of kindness she has done behind the camera. Behind the camera, Winter has committed herself to contributing her own money to charities like the Children’s Defense Fund, Habitat for Humanity, and Milk + Bookies. She has also supported organizations dedicated to causes like homelessness, literacy, and challenges for the mentally and physically handicapped. Most recently, she attended the A Brighter Future for Children Charity Gala in March 2016 and helped the benefit gala raise $20,000 for The Dream Builders Project. It’s easy for a celebrity to blow all their money on swanky luxuries, but Ariel Winter chooses to dedicate her time, energy, and wealth to worthy causes and charities. We can only admire Winter in her efforts to support these causes and hope it inspires others to do the same.
2. Escaping an Abusive Childhood
One of the burdens of being a child star is that the young star’s parent can often be overbearing in their child’s Hollywood pursuits. This was an unfortunate case for Ariel Winter as her mother’s attempts at exploiting her daughter’s fame led to both physical and emotional abuse. This included Winter being slapped, hit, and pushed by her mother, Chrisoula Workman. Workman also would frequently insult Winter’s weight, starve her daughter from eating to maintain her image, and even went as far as trying to sexualize Winter when she was a minor. This would culminate in years worth of court cases until Workman’s guardianship of Winter was terminated and transferred to Winter’s sister, Shanelle, in 2014. Winter was finally emancipated in 2015. Not a lot of people can say they were able to escape an abusive upbringing and it’s inspiring to know that Winter was able to do just that.
1. Accepting/Loving Her Body
At a young age, it’s hard for any developing youth to learn to fully accept themselves, especially when it comes to their body. We should give Winter props for learning to love her body at age 18, though it wasn’t an easy road to acceptance for her. In a recent interview with New York Magazine, she admits that when her curves started to develop at an early age, she liked it until she started getting rude comments online that called her everything from fat to ugly to slut, etc. These nasty words hit Winter hard as she desperately tried to change the way she looked through crash diets and a more reserved dress sense just so people would like her. Luckily, her Modern Family co-star, Sofia Vergara swooped in like a mother hen to help Winter embrace her curves. She taught Winter how to dress her curvy body and to love her curves no matter what anybody says. Being around such a positive role model morphed Winter into a role model herself. Not only is she now comfortable enough to present herself to the world as she is, she can inspire youths dealing with her same insecurities to love themselves as she does now.
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