Marie Lodi
June 21, 2016 12:35 pm
Instagram / Ariel Winter

Ariel Winter just graduated high school and her family was kind enough to throw her a big bash. The 18-year-old actress posted a photo of herself in front of her celebratory spread, decorated with balloons, snacks, and a beautiful cake all done up in a black, white, and gold theme. Unfortunately, some Instagram commenters and even media outlets took it upon themselves to slut-shame the Modern Family star for her outfit, which was a light pink bodycon dress — similar to the one she wore to her graduation ceremony.  

Ariel looked happy and gorgeous, as any recent graduate and future college student should. In the caption, she expressed love and gratitude to each member of her family, including her sister who is her “absolute best friend and my everything,” and her father for “always being there to support and love me as well and always put a smile on my face no matter what.” It was a truly touching note and we are sure her family couldn’t be more proud.

While many of Ariel’s fans sent their congratulations, other commenters focused on her dress, questioning whether or not it was an appropriate choice for a graduation party. “Who goes out in public like that!!,” wrote one commenter, while another said, “Gosh I hate to say it but do 18 years olds really dress like this? Lovely dress and body but it doesn’t give anything to the imagination.”

Twitter users were also critical.

Still, there were many who defended Ariel, applauding her confidence and body positivity.

On Instagram, a commenter wrote, “She’s entitled to dress however she wants. Every woman should have the right to wear whatever they want, with no discrimination or oppression.”

We couldn’t agree more. The notion that a woman should always dress “modestly” in order to be perceived as “classy” is a harmful, outdated, oppressing opinion that contributes to many of the problems associated with rape culture. The sad truth of the matter is, women are prone to sexual harassment and unfair judgment no matter WHAT they are wearing. Why should ANYONE have to adhere to another person’s perspective especially when it comes to something that is such a personal choice like fashion. Why should it matter to anyone else?

Unfortunately, Ariel is no stranger to trolls who have tried policing her clothing in the past. Last fall, she wrote a note on Instagram addressing this exact issue. “I typically never give power to the mean things people bravely say behind their computer screens on the Internet, but this is for the girls who are constantly bullied whether it be online or at school,” Ariel stated. “You are not asking for anything because of what you are wearing- you are expressing yourself and don’t you ever think you deserve the negativity as the consequence to what you are wearing — YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Celebrate you and don’t let anyone’s comments allow you to think less of yourself.Us girls have to stick together!!!!!!”

Those words couldn’t be more true now. Ariel will attend UCLA in the fall, and we’ll sure she’ll be kicking ass while wearing whatever she wants there, too.

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