Ariel Winters’ Instagram post showcasing her two nieces was likely the last thing she ever expected to stir controversy, but the photo of a bikini-clad Winters with her two nieces has started a social media sensation.
Winters, a 17-year-old actress who recently underwent a breast reduction surgery to relieve back and neck pain, posted the photo (below) with her two nieces. She wrote “#mynieces #lovethem #fbf.”
MTV News also quoted a user identified as “soulman77” as writing, “Look folks, a 17 year old is not a child. Calling a 17 year old sexy isn’t wrong so please get off your high horses.”
In response to the first comment by “imbackvato,” Ariel took the unusual step of responding directly, writing, “Hey @imbackvato there is no need for this kind of energy on my Instagram. This is a photo of me and my nieces- there is no need to turn it into anything else. I am not only standing up for myself but for all other girls out there- when they are dressing a certain way they aren’t ‘asking’ for anything- and for you to insinuate is uncalled for. I pray you find kindness within you somewhere. Nothing but love, Ariel.”
But Ariel Winters’ Instagram didn’t calm down, with a continuous stream of comments both positive and negative being posted on the teenagers’ photo. In the two days, the photo has more than 53,000 likes and hundreds of comments and is now spreading across the Internet.
As a result of the unintentional viral post with her nieces, Winters posted the following to Instagram.
“Who knew that an innocent photo with my nieces would turn into this? The height of a girl’s skirt or whatever she is wearing for that matter, does not imply what she is asking for. It sickens me to think at 17 years old, a photo of myself with my nieces is suggesting that I’m “asking for it”. I typically never give power to the mean things people bravely say behind their computer screens on the Internet, but this is for the girls who are constantly bullied whether it be online or at school.. You are not asking for anything because of what you are wearing- you are expressing yourself and don’t you ever think you deserve the negativity as the consequence to what you are wearing- YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Celebrate you and don’t let anyone’s comments allow you to think less of yourself. Us girls have to stick together!!!!!!”
It remains to be seen whether Winters will continue facing rebuke for simply wearing a swimsuit on a boat, but the conversation about misogyny is bound to continue as a result of this one incident.
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[Images via Screenshots]