Modern Family actress Ariel Winter has spent practically her whole life in front of the camera.

Now 19 years old, the star has opened up in a candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter about her complicated past, including her abusive mother and details of her emancipation.

For such a young woman, Winter has been through so much, and it's inspiring to witness how strong she continues to be in the face of such adversity.

Ariel Winter has been in the spotlight since the age of 4.

via: Getty Images

She was young Harmony Faith Lane in Kiss Kiss Bang BangYoung Trixie in Speed Racer, and had a recurring role on ER all before 2010.

But her big break came when she landed the role of Alex on Modern Family.

via: Getty Images

Winter has grown up on screen in primetime right before our eyes. And she's definitely not a little girl anymore.

Now 19, Winter has made headlines for reasons other than her acting.

Winter posted the above picture on her Instagram account on Memorial Day and set off a deluge of criticism and outrage. People took issue with the fact that she seemed to be showing off her body on a day meant to memorialize those who've lost their lives in war.

She's was also famously emancipated from her mother.

When she was still a minor, Winter was legally emancipated from her mother, Chrisoula Workman. The reasons cited were physical and emotional abuse. Winter has clearly been through a whole lot in her life so far.

And she just laid it all out on the table in a revealing new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

In "Growing Up 'Modern': Ariel Winter on Family Turmoil, Online Shaming and a New Life in College," Winter bares everything about her mother's abuses, growing up in the spotlight, and what lies ahead. Read on to see what she says...

We knew that Winter was placed into temporary custody of her sister at the age of 14.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Winter's allegations against her mother included both physical ('slapping, hitting, pushing,' according to court documents) and emotional abuse."

Recently, her mother has found ways to attack her publicly even though they're estranged.

Workman appeared on Dr. Phil and has given interviews to publications like In Touch attacking the actress. And while Winter is cautious about talking about her mother, she was upfront about her childhood in The Hollywood Reporter interview.

"She wasn't allowed to make friends with girls, she says, 'because females are competition — that's how some people see it.'"

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Pressure to land jobs was intense. 'You don't get to mess up when you have somebody around you who is constantly watching.' Food was 'very, very restricted' from the time she began acting, and her education was neglected."

"From age 7, Winter recalls, she was sexualized — dressed in 'the smallest miniskirts, sailor suits, low-cut things, the shortest dresses you've ever seen.'"

"People thought I was 24 when I was 12," she said. "If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand percent said yes."

Those that Winter worked with on Modern Family often noticed the mistreatment.

Sharon Sacks, her on-set teacher, said, "I would order a couple lunches in my name so Ariel could eat one of them. I could tell she was hungry." But that wasn't the extent of the hardship she faced growing up...

As Winter grew older, she dealt with constant online hate, and eventually, it took its toll.

"I was like, 'Maybe I'm going to lose some weight, dye my hair, change how I dress. ... Maybe I'm doing something wrong.'" But she got more and more hate with every change she tried to make. "Pointing to a semicolon tattoo behind her right ear, a symbol of support for suicide awareness and prevention, she says, 'I went through a really rough period, a really bad chapter.'"

But once she was emancipated from her mother, things turned around for the actress.

She now sees a therapist, takes medication for her depression, and is headed to college. After studying hard with tutors, Winter was accepted to Yale and Princeton but ultimately decided to attend UCLA, where she'll start classes in the fall of 2017. She lives with her boyfriend and their three dogs, and her sister and father live nearby. Winter is interested in studying politics, law, and social justice — she wants to someday start a charity for abused children and adults and help those with mental illnesses.

"Even though I wish I had a better childhood," she told The Hollywood Reporter, "I wouldn't trade it, because it made me who I am today."


This strong, awesome young woman now uses her platform to promote body positivity and show others that they can live full and happy lives, no matter what they've been through. "People call me stupid because I post photos of my butt when the real thing is, I love my butt," she said. "I love butts! Why stifle yourself because other people can't handle it?"