As a teenager, growing up isn't easy. The everyday turmoils of being a youth are already stressful enough—imagine growing up in an industry family as well, with a brother and sister both being actors, too.
According to MTV, Ariel Winter has been in the public eye just past seven years of age and has had to navigate her way into adulthood all in front of the camera. First landing a small role in ER, Ariel got her major break in 2009 when the world got to know her as Alex Dunphy on Modern Family. While she walked the red carpet countless times and was praised for her acting beyond compare, Ariel faced criticism from many as she grew up and carved her own sartorial path.
Being badgered by the toughest critics, Ariel remained strong, exploring different looks and styles—just like any young adult would. In the end, she's definitely come out stronger, now becoming a body activist, regularly speaking out and defending herself and other celebrities from online trolls.
Read on to see Ariel's full transformation, from her Alex Dunphy character on Modern Family to strong and free-spirited young woman who isn't afraid to do what's best for her and stand true to her morals all while growing her empire.
20 Fresh-Faced Yet Mature Beyond Her Years, 2009 Was Ariel's 'Modern Family' Debut
2009 saw an 11-year-old Ariel getting her big break playing Alex Dunphy on Modern Family, an intelligent middle child who deals with her family's antics in a relatable and witty manner.
Much like her character, it was already obvious the tween was mature far beyond her years.
In an interview with Blast Magazine, readers could already tell Ariel was a seasoned pro in her industry while she discussed what it was liking being on set for the show. "It's really exciting! It's different. It doesn't take that much time, everything is set, and everybody is like boom-boom-boom, let's get this done right now. It's really different than dramatic stuff where it's like, 'let's take this slow."
19 Finally Beginning To Experiment With Her Looks, Ariel Oozed Confidence Beyond Her Hair And Makeup Choices
A year after her debut on Modern Family, Ariel's star only rose—and with that her confidence as well. She finally felt more comfortable adding pops of color with her makeup and adding subtle highlights in her hair, slowly transitioning into her teens. Along with enjoying her newfound fame, Ariel also realized she could make a difference with it. With her Modern Family co-stars, Ariel starred in a PSA for GLSEN against bullying, raising awareness and telling students they're not alone. According to the ad, Ariel was bullied from kindergarten until second grade for beginning to pursue her acting dreams.
18 2011 Saw Her Debut This Mature Red Carpet Look
At the age of 13, Ariel was officially a teenager and elected to wear this lace blush-pink dress with halter neckline to the Emmys—turning heads the second she made her appearance.
As per Hollywood Life, critics were quick to judge the neckline on the young actress, saying it made her look too mature.
Ariel's thoughts? “I thought it was very youthful, yet mature because it has the flowers and it’s blush pink. I have a sort of body in a way that you can’t really put a dress like this without it looking older and more mature, so it’s kind of not my fault!”
17 2013 Ariel Went From Experimenting To Adopting A More Natural Look
A few years after her Emmy appearance which turned so many heads, Ariel reverted back to a more natural look, announcing to Teen Vogue that she just wants to be normal. In an interview with the magazine, she explains she was homeschooled since the second grade and feels she's missed out on some experiences as a youth. Finally heading back to a public school, she felt excited. "When people ask me where I go to school, I'll finally actually have a school to say, not 'Oh, the online school.'" Along with finally adjusting to being a teen, Ariel was busy balancing her education, along with Modern Family's neverending success.
16 Fangirling Over 50 Cent Back In 2013
As the success of Modern Family was rising, so was Ariel's fanbase. Being nominated at practically every award show in Hollywood meant she was rubbing elbows with celebrity elite.
As she explained to Teen Vogue, her biggest fangirl moment was running into 50 Cent.
"I saw 50 Cent at the Golden Globes, and I almost died. I am obsessed with rap music," she explained. "I took a picture with him. I was like, 'I kind of love you.' And he was like, 'I love you.'" It turns out Ariel and her sister are huge 50 Cent fans, listening to his music on the regular.
15 When Ariel Turned Sixteen, She Debuted This Brigitte Bardot-Inspired Look
Turning sixteen meant really wanting to transition into more mature looks for Ariel. As she explained to People magazine, “It’s interesting, because I’m very young, but I have a more mature body. So it’s a blessing and a curse. I have to find things that are appropriate to wear but also fit my body well, so it still looks good." Declaring her style was edgy and not preppy helped, too. “I like the bodysuits, I love the color black. So the mature style and the more mature body goes with the age that I would like to be.”
14 She Finally Became Emancipated in 2015, With Her Maturity Translating Into Her New Look
After being estranged from her mother since 2012, Ariel finally succeeded in emancipating herself in 2015, after years of family turmoil.
She took to Twitter to express her excitement about the decision.
The young star exclaimed, "I am now officially emancipated!!! I'm really lucky I have an amazing support system and lovely people in my life who have given me the support and guidance to have been given this wonderful opportunity."
With her maturing into a young woman, Ariel decided to experiment with her hair, going from bright red to her natural blonde locks later in the year, then back to her signature black mane.
13 Ariel Credits Her Co-Star Sofia Vergara As Major Style Inspiration
As Ariel grew older, she finally embraced her curves, having the beautiful Sofia Vergara as her co-worker and role model. As she told The Cut, "Working with Sofia Vergara and growing up with her was great, because she was, you know, a really amazing, curvy role model for me. She helped me learn to accept the way I looked and love it and dress for it, and feel good about myself." Through her positive experience with the actress, she learned to spend less time pleasing others and more time on herself. "Focusing on things that make you happy and finding time for things you enjoy doing."
12 Ariel Dresses With A Preppy Flair In 2015 As She Applies To Many Different Colleges
While applying for colleges, Ariel definitely took the preppy style to heart, seen sporting plaid skirts and cozy sweaters on numerous occasions. Still maintaining her edgy flair, she made sure to pair her schoolgirl outfit with a pair of black converse. Although she was still riding the fame of Modern Family, Ariel maintained she wanted a proper education while she acted.
According to E! Online, she planned to apply to 15 schools in 2015.
She went on to explain, "I would love to continue acting but it's definitely important, I think, to go and do something else as well. "You never know if something's not going to work out. You gotta have something else you can do. I've always been interested in law so I think it'll definitely be something that I'll love to do and also go to school for."
11 Ariel Started Working Out With Longtime Kardashian Trainer, Gunnar Peterson
Slaying in her athleisure outfits on the regular, Ariel definitely showcased a newfound appreciation for health and fitness. According to The Cut, she actually began working out with longtime Kardashian trainer, Gunnar Peterson. " He’s amazing. I’m not the biggest fan of working out, so it’s really nice to work out with him because he makes working out fun and keeps me entertained, so I’m constantly forgetting the fact that I’m squatting. You will never see me on a treadmill; it just won’t happen. It just won’t. I like to try out all these new machines that he has that are super cool."
10 The Kardashians Began To Be Style Inspo For The 'Modern Family' Star
Besides Sofia Vergara, it turns out that the Kardashians were a major source of style inspiration for the Modern Family star, as she began being spotted in extremely similar styles to the famous celebrity family.
Complete with the long braids, a bodycon set consisting of top, skirt, and choker, the above photo of Ariel can certainly make fans do a double take!
Kim Kardashian certainly popularized the bodycon and neutral tones trends, while Kylie Jenner was seen wearing something almost identical to Ariel in a beige tone, herself! It's not the first time the Jenner sister and Ariel have been seen matching, as the girls definitely have the same sense of style.
9 Ariel Wore This Art Deco-Inspired Dress To The 2016 Emmys
Continuing to twin with the KarJenners—especially Kylie in particular—Ariel wore the above art-deco inspired outfit to the 2016 Emmys, the same dress that the famous Jenner wore a week prior. Although the Yousef AlJasmi dress was nearly identical, Ariel decided to glam hers up further for the red carpet by making it floor length and adding a high slit on one side of her legs. Both celebrities decided to throw their hair up, making the beautiful piece take center stage. Ariel told E! on her choice to wear the dress, "This was actually the quickest decision. I saw it, tried it on, and I was like, 'This is what I want to wear,' and that's that."
8 Being A Hair Chameleon, Ariel Briefly Decided To Get Thick Bangs
Looking perfect with her edgy black eyeliner look, Ariel briefly got thick bangs back in 2016, proving yet again she's a hair chameleon.
According to Glamour, she rocked the thick, long, and choppy bangs to the red carpet at the 2016 Critics' Choice Awards, turning heads as people barely recognized her.
The cut is definitely wispy and close to her eyelids, almost giving her a mod nod to the 1960s. She completed her look with a topknot updo, giving it that red carpet glamor, but could easily wear her hair down for a vintage-inspired, laid-back look.
7 Rocking Her Inner Kim Kardashian in 2017
Kim who? Fans had to do a double take in 2017 when Ariel decided to take a page from the famous Kardashian's book and rocked a latex dress, very similar to the ones Kim popularized. According to Brit + Co, it turns out Ariel is a massive fan of the latex trend and has the same dress both in white and black that she wore in the same week! Her go-to brand for this trend is House of CB, but affordable online retailer Fashion Nova also has similar styles for a fraction of the price, considering they have an entire section devoted to Kim Kardashian-inspired pieces.
6 Ariel Becomes More And More Interested In Tattoos
As time goes on, Ariel definitely grew her love for tattoos, ringing in at eight dainty pieces by 2017.
According to Elite Daily, she said she loves getting them as a way of expressing herself and will only get a tattoo if she finds it meaningful to her.
"I love getting tattoos. I think it's a super fun way of expressing yourself. I only get tattoos that are really meaningful to me and I love it." One of her more poignant ones is the tiger on her back. She goes on to explain, "I've always felt like I am a protector for other people and I've always had these amazing protectors in my life."
5 2017 Saw Ariel Debut A Fantastically Playful Look For Coachella
Look out Kylie Jenner, there's another neon-hair aficionado in town. 2017 was the year Ariel went back to experimenting with her hair, this time donning a bright pink mane for Coachella. While Kylie herself decided to go highlighter yellow with her locks, Ariel went pink—and made sure she 'grammed every second of it. Disney star Dove Cameron also decided to go pink, adding baby pink streaks to her light blonde hair. Whatever shade the stars decided, it's for certain that bubblegum colors were trending and the way to go for 2017.
4 An Adorable Off-Duty Look, Ariel Looks Phenomenal Here
Keeping up with the current makeup trends of putting the focus on brows and lips, Ariel selfied for her IG page, showcasing this adorable off-duty look.
Opting for a glossy lip maintains a natural look while adding some blush and heavy eye makeup glams it up for need be.
As for the effortless brows? There's a reason why Glossier's Boy Brow has been touted as the best eyebrow product for years now. Inspired by traditional hair pomades, it'll make your brows look perfect, while its ingredients help keep your brows moisturized, such as olive oil and beeswax.
3 Channeling Her Inner Ariana Grande
Looking like an Ariana Grande double, Ariel elected to put her black locks in a high pony and keep her makeup fresh-faced. As per Hello Giggles, the Modern Family star's beauty team revealed that they used Tom Ford Beauty, Marc Jacobs Beauty, and Louboutin Beaute to create the look, which features a smoky eye, rosy cheeks, natural-looking highlighter, and a peachy-nude lipstick. A transitional look, Ariel picked it for a Vanity Fair shoot in New York, followed by an appearance on Good Morning America, where she wore a head-to-toe off-white ensemble, paired with white pumps and cute peek-a-boo socks.
2 Ariel Shows Off Her Fresh Makeup For The Winter
Just this past November, Ariel stepped out as a young adult, throwing her hair up in a high bun and showing her fresh makeup for the winter.
According to Hollywood Life, Ariel definitely didn't let the chilly winter air affect her in New York City as she made her way into ABC Studios, wearing a light pink dress and a pair of white pups.
Not electing to wear a jacket, we hope this was only due to the fact that she was running from her car to her interview! This year will be bittersweet for Ariel, as it's reportedly the final season of Modern Family, after being on air since 2009.
1 Ariel Stepped Out Looking Fabulous In Skinny Black Jeans
Showing off all her hard work at the gym over the past few years, Ariel stepped out just last week looking fabulous in skinny black jeans, a plain crew neck tee, and a leather motorcycle jacket. The Modern Family star has recently been documenting all her workout sessions on her IG page, offering her fans her own tips and tricks on how to keep up with a healthy lifestyle. According to Hollywood Life, she stepped out in this all-black ensemble as she left Madeo Italian Restaurant in Beverly Hills with boyfriend Levi Meaden, looking absolutely fabulous and all-around cool.
Sources: MTV, E! Online, YouTube, Hollywood Life, Teen Vogue