Becoming a major television star can be a real double-edged sword. And the blade of that sword is that much sharper when the celebrity is a child.
That’s something that Modern Family star Ariel Winter, 23, knows all too well. The amazing success of her TV show helped launch this young star’s career and turned her into a household name. At the same time, being thrust in the spotlight like this made issues ranging family drama to dealing with creepy men that much more difficult.
Ultimately, despite being a star in a high-profile comedy, Ariel Winter’s life turned into a major tragedy. And over time, that tragedy just got sadder. If you don’t believe it, here are all the sad details.
Dealing with creepy sexualization
Modern Family was on the air for a staggering 11 seasons. Interestingly, Ariel was only 11 when the show first started. Over time, this meant that audiences basically got to watch her grow up onscreen.
This meant that her body changed, and that would have been scary for any teenager. But in her case, these changes affected both her weight and her breast size. Subsequently, she was constantly sexualized, and she found this very traumatic.
When she appeared on Red Table Talk: The Estefans, Ariel confessed that “I got called a ‘fat slut’ when I was 13. That was rough. Because I gained weight and my body changed, I had to wear different outfits, and I wore a dress that had a cutout here [points at her chest] — and the headlines were dark.”
Eventually, this constant body shaming made her feel like she had to change her appearance. “And so then I was like, ‘They hate this about me. I need to work on it. I need to be thinner. I need to change my hair here. My cheeks look weird. If I change these things about me, the things they hate about me, I’m not going to get that anymore. I’m going to get praised.'”
Unfortunately, no change was ever enough to keep the online trolls at bay.
Getting hate over her sick cousin
Previously, we touched on the fact that fame and celebrity can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have countless fans who adore just about everything you say or do. On the other hand, you have critics waiting in the wings to pounce on the smallest perceived misstep.
For Ariel, one such misstep occurred after her cousin Tino was rushed to the Emergency Room. One of her cousin’s friends set up a GoFundMe account to help cover the medical cost. And Ariel, being a good cousin, decided to use her Twitter platform to encourage people to donate to the GoFundMe.
Sounds simple, right? But as The Wrap reports, critics hurled constant insults at her over this, mostly because of the perception that, as a wealthy celebrity, Ariel could have simply taken care of the bill. She eventually went back on Twitter and wrote, “I’m shocked at how many people have sent me hate tweets about my cousin instead of a simple, kind message showing him some love and support. Nothing else needed to be done aside from that.” Continuing, she wrote that, “I re-posted a gofundme that my cousin’s friend made just as anyone else would. Hurtful.”
Drama with her mama
Child stars often have contentious relationships with their parents. But even compared to the average child star, Ariel has a very tragic relationship with her mother Crystal Workman.
Shortly after Modern Family debuted, Ariel accused her mother of both physical and emotional abuse. This created instant family drama when her older brother Jimmy Workman, best known playing Pugsley in the Addams Family films, took their mother’s side.
Things got so bad between Ariel and her mom that she lived with her older sister Shanelle Workman, now 43, who was granted guardianship over her from the ages of 14 to 17. As the New York Daily News reports, Ariel loves her big sister. “She’s been the best part of my life. She really is my best friend. She’s the most important thing to me,” the star said. “She’s been there for me through absolutely everything. And I just love her so much. I count on her more than anything.”
In 2015, Ariel became legally emancipated from her mother at age 17. To this day, she and her mother remain estranged.
Slicing off part of her thumb
Ever wish you had something in common with a major celebrity? Well, if you’ve ever injured yourself while cooking, you may have something in common with Ariel Winter!
While self-isolating due to COVID-19, the star tried her hand at cooking some Greek cuisine. Things took a horrific turn, though, when she managed to chop the tip of her thumb off. After that, she had to be rushed to the hospital.
As People reports, Ariel and her boyfriend, Luke Benward, couldn’t believe what happened. “I was so shocked … it was more like I was hyperventilating. I was like I should be crying but I just can’t believe it.” Eventually, she found out that she had “apparently sliced an artery.” Fortunately, her boyfriend remembered to bring the tip of her thumb to the hospital!
Issues regarding breast reduction
Part of what makes Ariel Winter’s life so tragic is that she sometimes can’t catch a break. And the best example of this is what happened after the celeb got breast reduction surgery.
The surgery took her from a bra size of 32F to a bra size of 32D. She hoped that the surgery would reduce the amount of media attention on her breast size, but she also simply wanted some pain relief. As ABC News reports, she said, “I couldn’t sit up straight. It was always super uncomfortable for me to sleep. It was uncomfortable to sit. It was uncomfortable to walk.”
Ariel got the pain relief she wanted, and she seems much more comfortable in her body. But the discourse surrounding her body didn’t change that much. She was shocked when people began fixating on her surgical scars, saying, “It really astounded me when I was getting a lot of comments from people telling me to put my scars away and that they were gross. And I think that’s just so ridiculous considering they’re a part of me. They’re not going away.”
On top of that, even those who support body modification kept speculating that she got surgery to shut the online trolls up. In this way, the breast reduction surgery did little to reduce how much people focused on the young star’s bust.