Ariel Winter’s family drama continues to play out in the public sphere, with the Modern Family star’s sister now stepping into the ring.
Winter’s fashion choices have been a topic of discussion for years. The young actress often posts selfies on Instagram wearing clothing that shows off some skin, which some argue is body positive, while others say it’s too revealing. Winter’s own mother, Chrystal Workman, is one of those critics who wishes she would dress more conservatively, telling In Touch Magazine that her daughter needs to “grow up.”
Now, Winter’s sister, Shanelle Gray, is getting involved and defending against her mother’s words.
“It’s just the expectation,” Gray told PageSix recently. “My mother has always been dreaming of the spotlight, which is why she had two daughters … I think this is her way of keeping her name in the headlines.”
She admitted that she was “not surprised” by Workman’s public comments about Winter, and revealed that her sister “has no interest in our birth mother.”
Winter emancipated from her mother in 2015, and Gray, 38, assumed legal guardianship, after Workman was accused of being physically and emotionally abusive towards Winter. Workman was freed from responsibility of Winter, and said at the time that “the family has moved beyond the conflict.”
“I would tell her to dress properly, be the beautiful person she is,” Workman said in her 2017 InTouch interview. “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.”
In response to her mother’s public comments, Winter took to Twitter to call her mother “toxic.” The actress tweeted, “What’s sad is that you lie consistently. Also, why is it that you only choose to talk to me through the press? I’m doing just fine.”
Meanwhile, Gray suggested that Winter is doing just fine without their mother.
“Ariel is wonderful and doing amazing,” Gray said, adding that her sister is her best friend. “I’m not concerned at all. She’s one of the smartest people I know.”
Gray added that Winter has stayed “amazingly grounded,” despite everything she has been through at such a young age.
“She is a classy, smart, beautiful woman inside and out and is a great, positive role model for women everywhere — especially to my daughters,” said Gray, who has two children.
Winter has frequently taken to Instagram over the past few months to argue that she can wear whatever she wants, despite the negative feedback she often receives. She posted a lengthy note in early May after creating another firestorm by showing up to a Modern Family Emmy For Your Consideration event in a risque outfit, compared to her more casually-dressed co-stars.
“Why TF does anyone care that I didn’t dress casual like everyone else for the panel? Why do I have to be like everyone else? Why can’t people just let other people feel good about themselves and do what they want? WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT PEOPLE! As long as you feel good about yourself that’s what matters. I know I did. Don’t let anyone stifle who you are and how you express yourself. Rant over.”
While she had many credits on film and TV beforehand, Winter rose to fame as Alex Dunphy when Modern Family premiered in 2009. Winter was just 11 years old at the time, and she has gone on to win four Screen Actors Guild Awards, as part of the cast of Modern Family. She will be attending college at UCLA for the upcoming fall semester.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]