"I’m definitely a makeup at the beach person, and I don’t care if people think I look ridiculous — it’s my beach day," Winter told Refinery29 in a new interview. "Whether I want to go natural or with makeup or in sweatpants, that’s up to me. People are so stressed out about how they’re going to look in their bathing suits that they forget to go to the beach because they want to go to the beach, which defeats the whole purpose. The beach should be a safe space."
The "Modern Family" star, whose been in the public eye since she was 11 and has grown up into a curvy young woman, said "the hate online" she has received for bikini photos, or this dress that highlighted her cleavage, is nothing new.
“I tried to change myself for a really long time. But people just kept hating on me no matter what I did," the actress said. And now she's just trying to embrace her figure - but she admitted it's not easy.
"It’s hard to be positive about your body all the time," Winter said. "I know because I’m honest about my insecurities that people think I’m 100 percent positive about my body all the time, but I’m not. I get really uncomfortable, too. But I just remind myself that this is the body I was given. This is who I am."
Winter underwent a breast reduction procedure to help her feel more comfortable in her own skin. "Everyone was so focused on my cleavage," she said, noting the difficulty she had finding a bathing suit, a task that once triggered "full-scale meltdowns."
And she called the reaction to her beach body unfair.
"It’s gotten a little better, but it’s still definitely hard," she said. "Like, my best friend, she’s super tall and skinny and she’ll wear the same bathing suit as me, but people will automatically look at me and call me out as a slut or write headlines about ‘Ariel Winter’s cleavage.’ Meanwhile they look at her like, ‘Oh she looks so cute!’ But I’ve learned to not care about that as much. I’m comfortable in a bathing suit, scars and all."
The interview touches on a few other topics, as well, including finding happiness by living with her 29-year-old boyfriend and her thoughts on Donald Trump, but she took to Instagram on Wednesday to scold the media for not focusing on the "REAL point" from the article.
"The point was to take back the beach and help people understand that the beach should be a safe space to go as you please and feel good about yourself no matter what," she wrote. Read her entire "rant" below.
Y'all I love you but PLEASE pay attention and post my REAL point from my @refinery29 interview!!! Not that I'm "defending living with my 29 year old boyfriend" or that I'm "firing back at Trump" because first of all I don't need to defend anything I'm super happy and in love, and I'm not firing at anyone just sharing an opinion after being ASKED! The point was to take back the beach and help people understand that the beach should be a safe space to go as you please and feel good about yourself no matter what! Makeup on, makeup off, heels, sandals, covered up, exposed, do you and feel HAPPY about who you are and YOUR choices, not the ones society wants us to choose. It's also HARD to be 100% confident- I'm still not- but I'm on a journey and I want other people to know they're not alone. We all struggle but through our struggle we get stronger and closer to our goals. Body positivity is important- not that I live with my boyfriend. Press- please read the article and take it for what it is- not what will give you more readers! Let's all be real and represent people how they want to be represented through what they actually say. Rant over. Love yourselves, love others, be yourselves, and be happy. Xo