'It was rough': Ariel Winter opens up about being shamed by fans at 13

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 06: Actress Ariel Winter attends the Wags & Walks 10th Annual Gala at the Taglyan Complex on November 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter is opening up about being shamed by fans at a young age. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Ariel Winter is opening up about being body-shamed and slut-shamed by when she was just 13.

On the latest episode of "Red Table Talk: The Estefans," the actress, now 23, revealed that she faced harsh criticism of her image as a teenager.

She said that as her body began to change, so did the public's comments on her image.

“I got called a fat slut when I was 13. That was rough,” she said.

“Because I gained weight and my body changed, I had to wear different outfits and I wore a dress that had a cutout," she continued. “And the headlines were dark. Fat slut was rough for me, and it continued.”

Winter believes that the criticism came from those who associated her too closely with her "Modern Family" character, Alex Dunphy.

“It was the fans, some of them," she said. "We have lovely, lovely fans, but some of them were also hard on me in the way they loved Alex Dunphy. And because I wasn’t Alex Dunphy and didn’t look like Alex, I didn’t want to dress like Alex."

"I was just different in that way. I’m not my character."

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Actress Ariel Winter attends the TrevorLIVE Los Angeles 2016 fundraiser at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 4, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
Ariel Winter said some of the shaming she was subject to mayy have been because fans of "Modern Family" associated her too closely with her character on the show. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

The 23-year-old recalled fans saying: “How did you go from Alex Dunphy to being, like, a whore? You’re trying to be sexy, you’re 13. You’re a horrible role model. What are you showing people? You got so fat on TV, now you look so fat.”

Winter explained that her weight gain at the time was caused by the side effects of a medication she was taking to treat depression.

“I gained 30 pounds. It was rough going to school. It was rough online,” she said. “On my Instagram, it was flooding comments, flooding comments. And so then I was like, ‘They hate this about me, I need to work on it.’”

The actress first opened up about her struggle to lose weight n 2019.

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"For years I had been on antidepressants that caused me to gain weight that I couldn't lose no matter what I did," she wrote on Instagram at the time. "It was always frustrating for me because I wanted to be able to get fit and feel like the work I was doing was paying off, but it never felt that way."

In a subsequent post, she explained that after routinely going to therapy and taking her medication, she started to feel like it was time to try a different antidepressant.

"I wasn't ready to go through it again so I just accepted feeling eh instead of trying to find something to actually feel better," she wrote, adding that she was "sick of feeling eh."

"It had nothing to do with weight...I was able to find a great combination of medication that works for me."

"[It] made me drop all of the weight I couldn't lose before by just giving me back a metabolism," she went on. "That was very unexpected."

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