Ariel Winter was one of the breakout stars of the hit ABC sitcom, “Modern Family.” Fans of the show watched Ariel’s Alex Dumphy character grow up from a nerdy pre-teen to a full-grown woman before their eyes. During the show’s 11-year run, she was one of the lynchpins of the incredibly talented ensemble cast.

Unfortunately, with fame comes the scrutiny of an unrelenting public. Winter recently talked about how she was fat-shamed and trolled when she was just 13 years old, according to People. Fortunately, through therapy and self-care, the actress is coping much better now.

“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. And the headlines were dark. ‘Fat slut’ was rough for me, and it continued. It was the fans, some of them — we have lovely, lovely fans, but some of them were also hard on me in the way they loved Alex Dunphy.

And because I wasn’t Alex Dunphy and didn’t look like Alex, I didn’t want to dress like Alex… I was just different in that way. I’m not my character. From them, they’re like, ‘How did you go from Alex Dunphy to being, like, a whore? You’re trying to be sexy, you’re 13, you’re a horrible role model. What are you showing people? You got so fat on TV, now you look so fat.’

I got on antidepressants. I gained 30 lbs. It was rough going to school, it was rough online, on my Instagram it was like, flooding comments, flooding comments. 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.’ I’m definitely still on a journey. I’ve been in therapy twice a week for years. I love my therapist. I love my time in therapy.”

Ariel Winter ultimately had the last laugh. She’s taking care of herself and has learned to deal with the hate. This kind of online trolling is one of the great costs of being famous in the digital age. Kudos to Ariel for overcoming it.

What do you think of the way fans treated Ariel Winter as a teenager? Let us know in the comments!

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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