Modern Family is a critically acclaimed ABC TV series that premiered on the 23rd of September in 2009 and won a Golden Globe award in 2012 for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy. It has an IMDb rating of 8.5/10. Former First Lady Obama even praised the show Modern Family saying it was her favorite.
Ariel Winter is doing very well as a teenage actress. Not only has she played the nerdy innocent middle child for Modern Family, Alex Dunphy, she’s also played even more innocent roles, acting for Disney Jr. in the series Sophia the First. She voiced Penny Peterson’s character in Mr Peabody & Sherman and plays a role in the movie Safelight (2015). She’s only 19 years old and career-wise, she’s doing very well. So what makes Ariel Winter so fascinating? She plays an innocent role in her acting but in reality, she and her family are outrageous. Read on to hear about all the juicy secrets of Ariel Winter's life including crazy family relationships, salary fights, going under the knife, some questionable outfits (bum hanging out, anyone?), and loads more.
15 Her "Reduction"
She went from a 32F to a 32D. She’d actually wanted a breast reduction ever since she had developed. She said that it was excruciatingly painful for her because of the weight she was carrying. She couldn’t sit up straight and it even hurt to sleep. She remembered breaking down crying in the dressing room, struggling to find things that would actually fit her in the breast area, especially bathing suits. She says getting breast reduction surgery was the best change she had ever made in her life.
This obviously left scarring around the breast area. She was shocked when she was getting numerous comments from people telling her to hide and put away her scars. She says she hadn’t really noticed them or even thought of covering them up. They were never going away and she had embraced them as part of who she was.
14 Abuse From Her Mum
According to Radar Online, “Teenage Ariel Winter, Alex Dunphy on the show, went through a vicious legal battle to become emancipated from her parents. Winter told the court she was physically and emotionally abused by her mother and that she wanted to live with her older sister, Shanelle Grey. Her mom strongly denied the charges, but a judge granted her request. Still, the battle over her finances raged on for years, with a judge ultimately ordering her mother to turn over thousands of dollars in residual checks to the teen actress.” Apparently, the father claimed in court that Ariel was actually the abusive one. We think he was just trying to protect her mom.
Ariel found it really difficult when her mom went to every media outlet to spread personal information about their relationship around the world. Ariel believes this was private family stuff and shouldn’t have been shared with everyone. Ariel personally doesn’t like talking about it, because it hurts too much.
13 Ariel Was Called Fat And Trashy
Ariel Winter has so many random nationalities thrown at her, but she cleared the air to all the speculation by letting us know that she’s actually Greek. She doesn’t think that this makes much a difference to her acting on show. She just likes feta cheese more than the other actors. For school, she’s always gotten straight A’s up into high school. She legally has to do three hours of school on set every day. The amount of time she spends on set each day is never the same. She could be there from ten hours a day to three hours.
Ariel speaks out strongly against body shaming and bullying. She’s pretty over it. She said, “I was called every name in the book—fat, a slut, trashy, ugly. Right after I started developing, I automatically started getting all this hate and as I got older, it only seemed to get worse.” In her passion to fight body shaming in general, Ariel teamed up with Dove’s Self Esteem Project.
12 Ariel’s Mom Just Tried To Make Herself Look Good
Ariel explained in an interview with Ellen that emancipation is basically just being your own entity. She said, "nobody controls you." You handle your own business affairs, your own living arrangements, and your money is “sort of” in your own hands.
From fourteen to seventeen, she was in a legal custody battle. Her sister had temporary custody of her at first. Then, when she was seventeen, her sister was granted permanent custody. She then helped her get emancipated so she could handle her own affairs. She said her sister has been the best part of her life.
She doesn’t like talking about her family affairs or why she wanted to be emancipated from her parents, particularly her mom. She wants to give her mom the respect that her mom didn’t give to her. She found it very unhelpful when she went on Dr. Phil and tried to make herself look better to the world. She believed that her mom didn’t try to fix anything. She just tried to make herself look good. This didn’t help Ariel’s relationship with her mom at all.
11 Ariel Is One Rich Kid
The adults on Modern Family all negotiated higher salaries for themselves acting on the show. According to Radar Online, “Even the kids reportedly negotiated higher salaries! They originally were all paid $15,000 to $20,000 per episode, but upped that to $70,000 with a $10,000 per season raise.” If you’re wondering how much money Ariel has, in 2013, when Ariel was only 15 years old, she agreed upon a $6-million contract with Modern Family. We genuinely wonder how much this has escalated now that she’s 19 years old.
Even though Ariel is making a lot of money in her current field of work and is excellent at what she does, she has other plans for her life. Last year, she revealed that she was actually applying to Colleges because it’s her dream to become a social justice lawyer. She believes that the drama with her family has shaped who she is as a person and what she’s passionate about in a good way.
10 She Dated An Older Man
In November of 2016, Ariel was caught making out with her older boyfriend Levi Meaden, 29 years old! He’s from Aftermath, Olympus, The Killing, and The 100. He’s heading to Australia to film Pacific Rim: Maelstrom. He loves watching old films and calls himself a ‘movie nerd’. He was originally employed as a cook so now he loves cooking. He finds that it calms him down.
He likes fostering dogs for about a month when his work load will allow it. Ariel and Levi sound like the perfect pair as Ariel already has three dogs that she’s named Hercules, Peebles, and Cher.
This wasn’t Ariel’s first outrageous relationship. Apparently, when she was only 14 years old her mom caught her in bed with Cameron Palatas, an 18-year-old actor. Although, Ariel claims that she’s smart when it comes to boys, she said “I’m pretty smart with boys. I know how to handle them and I know what to do around them.”
9 Is Ariel Really The Nerd We Know And Love?
If you get to know Alex Dunphy, you almost start to believe that Ariel is naturally a smart, innocent-looking nerd, but how well is Ariel acting for us?
Well, it turns out she’s acting very well and she has been for a long time. If you search the name Ariel Winter, you'll find numerous posts about Ariel’s provocative outfits, news articles on her pink hair for a musical festival, and her cheeky shorts with her butt cheeks exposed, articles on her cleavage, and her crazy outfits. Ariel gave a good response to all of these stupid articles when she said, “Dear sorry body-shamers, I looked hot in that dress, and if you hate it, don’t buy it. But please get a hobby.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
You would be surprised to know that Ariel actually does have a freaky smart side to her. Apparently, she began to read at the age of one! She still loves to read, especially books from the 15th and 16th Century, mostly because she’s a feminist and likes to read about times when women completely lacked power.
8 Outrageous Behavior
So you hear numerous stories about how Ariel is partying it up, wearing inappropriate clothing for her age, how terrible of a role model she is, about her taking drugs and flashing in public, and being outrageous with her sister. Then you think, so what, she can do whatever she wants, right? Well, it turns out Ariel wants to be a good influence for children and already thinks that she is. She personally said, “My life has definitely changed since Modern Family (2009). The Show has made me more responsible. I really want to be a good role model for all kids so I have to think about what I say and do and how it looks to other kids!”
So she thinks since 2009, she’s become more careful about her behavior? Imagine what she must have been like as a child.
7 How Did Ariel Start Off?
Ariel wanted to be an actress from an extremely young age. When she was watching Dora the Explorer, she was desperate to dive into the TV and explore with Dora. She started acting when she was only four years old with her first job being for a Cool Whip commercial.
According to IMDb, she began “her film career at age seven in director Shane Black’s hit cult film, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005),” starring Val Kilmer, Robert Downey, Jr., and Michelle Monaghan. She started acting for Modern Family when she was only 11 years old. Rico Rodriguez and Ariel are actually childhood acting friends. Before the big success of Modern Family, they both worked together in the movie Opposite Day (2009).
IMDb goes on to say more about Ariel, letting us know that she’s actually “an avid singer and young activist. She is involved in several charities and organizations such as the Creative Coalition, the Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry, WWE’s anti-bullying campaign Be A Star and GLSEN.”
6 Aril Wasn’t Prepared To Be In The Spotlight
Ariel said she doesn’t think anyone is ever really prepared to be in the spotlight at such an early age. You can never really be prepared.
She claims that when she was born, her fate was already decided. She didn’t have much choice about becoming an actress. Instead, she was pushed into the industry. She still loves and is very passionate about her career, but it sounds as though she wouldn't have gotten into acting at such a young age if she hadn’t been pushed so hard.
She especially found it difficult hitting the spotlight at such a young age when she began to be cyber-bullied. She found it challenging to have a good body image when she was only a teenager and after walking down the red carpet, she would find numerous articles and comments coming out about her breasts or her body. Ariel found this frustrating because she didn’t want to be known for her body. She wanted to be recognized for her talent.
5 Ariel’s Stage Mom
So there were rumors that Ariel had what you call a ‘stage mom’. Ariel confirmed these speculations in an interview saying that she definitely felt like she had a stage mom. She said that her mom worked very hard to get her into the industry. Pushing was definitely involved, and if Ariel decided that she didn’t want that sort of life, that wasn’t really an option. Ariel's mom often spent more time pushing for her career than she spent listening to what the teenager actually wanted. She says she found this very hard, but she had much bigger issues to face than just dealing with a ‘stage mom’. Her legal battles with her mom over her physical and emotional abuse included much more than just an over-the-top mom that was desperate for a celebrity child.
4 Was Ariel Telling Lies To Further Her Career
Her dad claimed in court that everything Ariel said about her mother was completely false. In fact, he actually said that if anyone was abusive, it would have been Ariel herself.
Ariel’s mother also denied all claims, telling ABC News, “To further her career, Ariel is conjuring up stories, and I deny all of Ariel’s accusations.”
Judging from what Ariel revealed about her mom being a "stage mom" and pushing her into the industry, if her mother genuinely thought a family saga would increase Ariel’s fame, then perhaps she actually schemed with Ariel the whole plot of family drama to increase her fame. Or maybe, Ariel’s claims about her mother’s abuse were true, but her mother acted in such a twisted way only to help her daughter become famous.
Ariel doesn’t have a relationship with her mother at all now, she revealed that they hadn’t spoken in three and a half years.
3 Ariel’s Relationship With The Crew
So how does Ariel really get along with the Modern Family crew? She said that when she first started on the show, everybody was super nice to her and they always treated her like a child. However, on her 16th birthday when they were filming, Eric Stonestreet whispered from across the room “F**k you” and stuck his finger up at her. She said that at first, she was really worried. She was trying to work out what she had done to upset him and he came over and said it again. Later, he said something like “you’re sixteen now, you’re an adult, so I can treat you like one.” She said she definitely noticed a shift in behavior towards her as she aged on the show. She actually loved this! She finally felt respected and treated like a grownup.
2 More Of Ariel’s Juicy Family Life
After The Department of Children and Family Services claimed that Ariel’s mom was abusing her emotionally, she went to the care of her sister, Shanelle. Apparently, she didn’t have a relationship with her dad that's strong enough for her to stay under his care.
Ariel found it really difficult with the court case being open and the media looking in to her family and giving every opinion. She thinks it’s hard enough for abuse victims going through what they go through and facing court, let alone going through something with the whole world watching.
On a lighter note, have you ever wondered if Ariel was actually named after The Little Mermaid? Well, she answered this by sharing, “My mother wanted to name me Jackie or Jacqueline but she got to name my sister and my brother, so my dad and my brother insisted on naming me. And they were big fans of The Little Mermaid.” She insists that she really loves her name.
1 Was Ariel Cyberbullied?
Cyberbullying is one of this generations greatest hates, and also a growing problem. Ariel has experienced this herself numerous times. She said, “I've been cyberbullied for just about everything that I could possibly be cyberbullied for. Now, when I see negativity online towards young girls, it makes me feel to do something about it, to change that conversation so it can be more positive so young girls don't have to feel that way.” Ariel believes people have the power to change this, that they don’t have to take cyberbullying or be a part of it. She says, “I think the most important thing for young girls to do if they see cyberbullying is to step in and to be that person that is the change, the voice of reason, the voice of positivity. To step in and say 'This is not necessary and this is not what I'm going to stand for'. You can be that change!"