Ariel Winter Wants Plastic Surgery Speculation to Stop
“Modern Family” actor Ariel Winter has been refreshingly outspoken in the media when it comes to body-image issues, shutting down with panache body-shamers who tried to take her to task for an “inappropriate” bikini and underboob-baring graduation dress, and speaking openly about her decision to have breast reduction surgery after enduring years of cruel gossip and sexual objectification — much of which occurred when she was younger than 18.
Winter co-hosted The Talk on Tuesday, where she spoke up in support of Taylor Swift, who has recently been the subject of rumors that she’s has a breast augmentation. The star may have earned herself a squad invitation when she said, “It took me a while to feel that way, you know, accepting myself. I just hope girls can learn to accept themselves, whatever they look like, however big or small their breasts are. And even, I have to say, you know, even if Taylor Swift did get her boobs done, good for her if she felt like she wanted to.”
Swift, Winter and other female celebrities are part of an industry that simultaneously puts a tremendous amount of pressure on them to match a physical ideal, and judges them when they take measures to attain that ideal, whether it’s through extreme dieting, plastic surgery, or Photoshopping their selfies.
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Particularly as they begin to age, women in the public eye start to enter into a realm where they’re resolutely damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They’ll either be ridiculed for looking “old” if they let the aging process happen normally, or ridiculed for looking bizarre if they try to slow it with surgery.
Actress Renée Zellweger famously went through a media-wide public shaming of the “What Happened to Renee Zellweger’s face?” variety after she was photographed at an event in 2014. Most recently, film critic Owen Gleiberman rehashed the controversy in a stunningly sexist op-ed titled, “Renee Zellweger: If She No Longer Looks Like Herself, Has She Become a Different Actress?” Sample line: “You have to realize just how radical it was that this nobody, who looked not so much like the sort of actress who would star in a Tom Cruise movie as the personal assistant to the sort of actress who would star in a Tom Cruise movie, was suddenly … starring in a Tom Cruise movie.” Later, he refers to the “slightly slovenly doughy-cuddly perfection of Renée Zellweger’s face.” Hmm, can’t imagine why the actress might have felt uncomfortable with the way she looks.
Increasingly, young celebs are speaking out against both the extreme beauty standards of Hollywood and the idea that meeting these beauty standards is “effortless.” Not only has Winter been transparent about her breast reduction and the body-shaming that in part led her to go under the knife; she refuses to hide her scars on the red carpet, saying, “They are part of me and I’m not ashamed of them at all.”
Hopefully she’ll help usher in a new era in Hollywood — one where we critique the sexist double standards female celebrities are subjected to, instead of critiquing those women’s bodies and faces.
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