Society

Ariel Winter Responds To Controversy Over Dress (Photo)

| by Michael Doherty

Actress Ariel Winter has defended herself from those who criticized her from wearing a gold mini dress with a cutout neckline to a "Modern Family" screening on May 3.

Winter, 19, responded to criticisms of her look in a heated Instagram post and defended her choice of outfit, People reports.

"Why TF does anyone care that I didn't dress casual like everyone else for the panel? Why do I have to be like everyone else?" wrote Winter. "Why can't people just let other people feel good about themselves and do what they want? WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT PEOPLE!"

"As long as you feel good about yourself that's what matters," she continued. "I know I did. Don't ever let anyone stifle who are and how you express yourself. Rant over. :)"

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The dress, which Winter wore to a screening in Pasadena, California, for "Modern Family's" season eight finale, showed off Winter's midriff and cleavage with a plunging cutout in the middle, along with an ornate pattern of beads around the dress. The dress also showed off part of Winter's thighs.

Others in the cast dressed more conservatively for the screening, with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell and Nolan Gould wearing simple pants and button-down shirt ensembles. Julie Bowen wore a plain green camisole, and Sofia Vergara wore a calf-length navy dress with white lace details.

"Mi Familia Moderna," wrote Vergara in a caption for a social media photo of the cast.

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Winter is no stranger to online body shaming, and has previously responded to those who criticized her appearance on social media after she had breast reduction surgery in 2015, according to CNN.

"I got it for myself," Winter said of the surgery, which reduced her breast size from a 32F to a 34D. "I can't even really put it into words about how amazing it feels to really feel right."

According to Winter, her breasts were causing her pain and kept her from standing up straight.

"It started to hurt so bad that I couldn't take the pain," said the actress. "My neck was hurting so bad, and I actually had some problems with my spine. I had been discussing my chest with doctors for many years, but when I finally said, 'I'm thinking of doing this,' he said, 'Your back is going to thank you so much.'"

Winter has responded to those who criticized or made jokes about her appearance, stressing the importance of positive self-image.

"Every time someone bullies me online it gives me a chance to re-emphasize to my fans, and even myself, how important self-acceptance is," wrote Winter in a September 2016 Instagram post. "Those who say such harsh things on my Instagram, thank you for this opportunity - but the question I ask myself each time I read the mean comments is if this is how you talk to a stranger online, I can only imagine how cruelly you speak to yourself."

"Stop the hate," Winter continued. "Accept all that you are and know your flaws are what make you the PERFECT you. I love my fans and I love my bullies for they truly NEED is love."

"Take the high road," Winter concluded. "There is less traffic."

Sources: People, CNN (2) / Photo credit: Jdeeringdavis/Flickr, AP via USA Today

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