The lovely Ariel Winter, who plays Alex Dunphy on the ABC hit series Modern Family, recently celebrated her 18th birthday, and with it, the victory of overcoming difficult obstacles in the past few years.
Happy birthday to the best sister in law you could ever have. Like seriously. Like ever. Love you @arielwinter1
— David Gray (@davidbarrygray) January 28, 2016
— Jeff Greenberg (@JeffGreenbergCD) January 28, 2016
In an interview with People, Ariel Winter shares that her childhood was not as happy as it might have been. Her very first television appearance came at the tender age of 4, when Ariel filmed a commercial for Cool Whip. Winter says she enjoys acting, but if given her own choice, she may never have taken that path.
Being a child in the harsh television industry was not always easy. In an attempt to make her “more marketable,” Ariel Winter’s hair was dyed black when she was just 7-years-old. The constant rejection, which is difficult for adults to handle, was near to impossible for the little girl to overcome.
“I was put in the industry when I was 4. People criticize you at an extremely young age. There’s a lot of rejection. I heard no thousands of times. That was hard to cope with.”
Balancing a challenging career at such a tender age was not all that Ariel Winter had to deal with. In 2012, the Huffington Post reported Ariel, then 14-years-old, was removed from the home of her mother, Crystal Workman, on allegations of mental and physical abuse. Winter’s mom was accused of pushing, slapping, and hitting Ariel, as well as calling her names, goading her about her weight, “sexualizing a minor,” and more.
It was then learned that Ariel Winter’s sister, Shanelle Gray, who is 20 years her senior, had endured similar abuse around the same age. Shanelle was also removed from the home and placed in foster care for the remainder of her childhood.
Crystal Workman and Jimmy Workman, Ariel Winter’s brother, deny that any abuse took place with either Winter or her older sister, Shanelle.
Shanelle took guardianship of Ariel upon their mother’s loss of custody, sharing her home and family, which included her husband, David, and two little girls, Skylar and Parker. Although Winter sought and won emancipation last year, she continues to live with her sister and family.
???? family???? pic.twitter.com/W4HmZEk3e2
— Ariel Winter (@arielwinter1) December 25, 2015
Happy 5th birthday to the most special little princess I know, my niece Parker!! I love you so much my beauty!❤️ pic.twitter.com/WcwFKf3IRL
— Ariel Winter (@arielwinter1) January 12, 2016
— Ariel Winter (@arielwinter1) November 16, 2015
“I love living with my sister. She’s my best friend, and I love her husband and their babies. My nieces are my entire life. I’ve found a happy situation for me. So there is not really a reason for me to leave until they kick me out!”
Ariel Winter makes no secret about how much she loves her sister and the family that welcomed her with open arms and made her one of their own.
Not only has Ariel Winter escaped an abusive home environment, but she has also risen above the stigma of being a child star. The line of young celebrities who were once sweet young girls turned crazy upon reaching adulthood is long and includes celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears, to name a few.
It seems Ariel Winter has found the loving home she deserves, as well as a job she loves. What do you think about her ability to fight for a better future?
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]