Ariel Winter Responds to Her Fashion Critics: 'Why Do I Have to Be Like Everyone Else?'

Ariel Winter doesn’t shy away from wearing revealing clothing — and her latest outfit shows that she’s proud to show off her curves anytime and anywhere.

Winter dressed for a Modern Family Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event May 3 in a very mini dress with a cold-shoulder silhouette and sheer cutouts. While the supertextured look, finished with bronze sequins and beading, evokes just the body-positive (and sexy) suit of armor that the 19-year-old has been stepping out in lately, it did seem like she’d missed the dress-code memo.

From left, Nolan Gould, Steven Levitan, Ariel Winter, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ty Burrell attend the Modern Family ATAS event. (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

While Winter was dressed for a night out on the town, her co-stars were dressed for business meetings or a Sunday brunch.

However, Winter worked it anyway — and paid no attention to her critics. “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? Why can’t people just let other people feel good about themselves and do what they want?” she wrote in an Instagram post. She continued, “WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT PEOPLE! As long as you feel good about yourself that’s what matters. I know I did. Don’t ever let anyone stifle who you are and how you express yourself.”

Judging by her most recent public appearances, short and sparkly appears to be her new go-to look, one that she seems to feel great in. At the premiere of Smurfs: The Lost Village, the actress opted for a strapless purple and pink number that featured sheer panels along the sides.

She also wore a New Year’s Eve-worthy version of the same silhouette on a recent Conan appearance, spicing up the all-black ensemble with electric-blue nails.

Winter has often discussed her feelings about showing off some skin, whether in public or on social media. “When we try to be free and post what we want, it’s like, look at that slut on social media. That’s not what it is,” she recently told Yahoo Style. “We’re proud of our bodies. We’re proud of who we are. We’re made the way we are. Why do we care? If I take a picture and I think it looks good — if it’s a little revealing, whatever.”

While she may have been glammed up for the red carpet Wednesday night, Winter’s goal is to feel confident when a hair and makeup team aren’t involved. “I try and feel confident all the time. It’s hard to. I’m still a teenage girl, and being a teenage girl is hard. I try my best to feel confident regardless. I had a great role model in my sister. She never not feels confident. She tried to teach me to have that confidence in myself at all times, not just when I get my hair and makeup done,” she said.

Whether confidence means choosing her favorite cutout dress for industry events or posing at home in jeans that bare a little butt cleavage, Winter is ready for it. After all, as she’s written herself, “We all deserve to be happy and live our own lives the way we want with the people we want to!”

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