Ariel Winter may only be 19-years-old, but her role as someone who many young women and girls look up to is one she takes quite seriously.
The 19-year-old actress spoke to reporters at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, April 22 about this while promoting her new film, Dog Years. When asked about what it was like to be a role model, she spoke candidly, saying that she thought the term was great. She added a caveat, adding that there’s a lot of pressure on role models to be perfect when a role model should be allowed to make mistakes.
Ariel, best known for playing Alex Dunphy on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, added, “You know people throw around the term role model a lot. I love the term, I think it’s great. But I think people put too much pressure on people to be perfect and to portray that image.”
Ariel Winter continued, telling reporters, “Really, what we should be aspiring to, is having role models that are just themselves because people make mistakes, they are human.”
“I think that’s really important and that’s what I aim to be, is just me and leave that out there.”
Ariel continues to make a splash due to her racy Instagram posts. Since turning 18, the actress has embraced her body and self-confidence, but she shared that this wasn’t always the case. She admitted that she has struggled for many years with her confidence and discovered it was a long journey. Now that she has it, she hopes to use her status as a role model to help other young men and women find their own sense of empowerment.
She was on the ABC talk show The View on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, and spoke with the hosts. She shared what it meant to grow up in the spotlight, with everyone judging her.
“I struggled for many years with my own confidence with myself. It was a really long journey to find that confidence, and I think it’s really important because there are tons of young girls, young boys, people that are older than me, that don’t really have a lot of people to look up to that are outspoken about things like that.”
The young actress expounded on the topic, explaining how she dealt with criticism at a young age.
“I went through so much at a young age, I was criticized for everything — the way I looked, the way I dressed, what I said. And I thought for a while that if I changed the way I was that people would accept me. I tried, and they still didn’t.”
This experience taught her that she shouldn’t try to make others happy, but rather, it was more important for her to focus on what made her happy. And that is the message that she hopes to pass on to those who look up to her as a role model.
“That’s what I try and tell people is, ‘Do what makes you happy,’ and that is ultimately going to be the best thing for you.”
About the negative feedback she receives for this message, she only had this to say.
“I just feel like regardless of the negative comments I’ll get for speaking out, it matters so much more to me the positive feedback that I get, that I’ll take those negative comments and it doesn’t matter. I’m just happy to help.”
Ariel wasn’t always in this positive place, especially when her body seemed to bloom overnight when she was 12, changing in the public’s eye while she starred on Modern Family. She credits co-star Sofia Vergara for helping her come to grips and accept her body transformation. When it comes to some of the risque selfies she shares on Instagram, she laughs off the criticism she gets.
“Everybody is so hyped up on the fact that I post photos where my butt’s out. It’s a butt. Everyone has a butt…Let me live! I’m enjoying my life, you’re enjoying your life, you should be posting your butt if you like it, too!”
[Featured Image by Willy Sanjuan/AP Images]