Ariel Winter wore a dress, and people aren’t happy.
When the 19-year-old actress appeared on the red carpet for a screening event in Hollywood on Thursday, the headlines followed closely behind.
“What on earth is Ariel Winter wearing?”
“Ariel Winter looks very different from the Modern Family cast.”
“Ariel Winter didn’t get the dress code memo.”
The (apparently) controversial dress is short and sparkly. It has a cut-out section on the chest and left Winter’s shoulders bare.
While words like “flaunt” and “bust” and “cleavage” came up a lot, many commentators tried to veil their judgement with claims that she was “overdressed” or looked “out of place” standing beside her co-stars.
See, the five men chose jeans, the other woman (Julie Bowen) opted for trousers and the final… is a child.
While no one questioned the motivation for their outfit choices, plenty had suggestions about Winter's. Namely scene-stealing, attention-seeking.
People positing that theory must either posses the gift of telepathy, or just feel more comfortable with that neat little explanation than the truth:
That she doesn't need an explanation. And nor does anyone else.
As Winter herself wrote on Instagram in the wake of all the headlines, "Why TF does everyone 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?"
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While female stars routinely post skin-baring photographs on social media or wear "revealing" clothing at public events, Winter's decision to do so has attracted a bizarre amount of attention recently.
Perhaps it's her age. Perhaps we are uncomfortable with someone in their teens embracing their sexuality, feeling comfortable and confident in their own skin. Sadly, there's no denying it's unusual.
Winter knows it, and so do most other women - including her co-stars. Questioned about the teen's self-image at Thursday's event, 47-year-old Bowen told ET she admires her young colleague.
“I'm always like, ‘Why are you showing so much of your body?’ and then she's like, ‘Why not?’” Bowen said. “She knows exactly who she is. She knows exactly. And I've watched so much negativity bounce right off her, and I'm like 'Let me learn from you.'”
What do you think of the reaction to Ariel's outfit? Tell us in the comments below.