Ariel Winter Open's Up About How Her Food Was Restricted As A Child Star

The body-positive actress reveals the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother


Ariel Winter is a body-positive hero.

Wearing whatever she wants, wherever she wants and speaking openly about her breast reduction, as well as the pressure of going through puberty in the public eye, the 19 year-old is wiser than her years.

Winter has now opened up to the Hollywood Reporter about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother prior to her emancipation.

Ariel Winter

For years, Winter kept relatively tight-lipped, wanting to afford her mother, Crystal Workman, more privacy than was given to her.

Workman appeared on multiple American shows, like Dr. Phil, to claim that her daughter was fabricating these stories to further her career. But Winter now details in the profile with HR how her mother treated her.

She details not being allowed to be friends with other girls, 'because females are competition — that's how some people see it.'

Ariel Winter in 2009

She alleges that she was overly sexualised by her mother from as young as 7-years-old. She was being 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. If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand percent said yes.'

As well as this alleged mental abuse, there was reportedly physical abuse too.

Court documents at the time claimed there was, 'slapping, hitting, pushing.'

Winter now also states that her food intake was, 'very, very restricted.'

In fact, her on-set teacher (Winter also takes umbrage with the lack of education she was afforded) Sacks, saw the abusive behaviour and told the magazine, 'I would order a couple lunches in my name so Ariel could eat one of them. I could tell she was hungry. Boiled chicken and cucumbers isn't going to do it for a growing kid.'

Alongside the food, she noticed sleep deprivation, 'Her mother kept her out late at night at these ridiculous parties. She was 12 and 13 years old and had to be on set at 6:30, 7.'

In fact Sacks is the one who reported her mother eventually, with the nod from Winter, 'Ariel told me she was ready,' Sacks recalls. 'She was very scared. … She knew the consequences.'

Thankfully, after a long struggle and therapy, court and long nights catching up with her tuition (and the realisation that her mother had put her finances in a precarious position) Winter is heading to UCLA this autumn (she got accepted into Yale and Princeton too, nerd, woot woot).

Ariel Winter

She concludes her interview with some mature positivity, saying, 'Even though I wish I had a better childhood, I wouldn't trade it, because it made me who I am today.'

What an amazing perspective to have at the age on 19.

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