The world was first introduced to Ariel Winter when she was just 11 years old, and since then, she's become an amazing role model for young women everywhere. From fighting back against body shaming on multiple occasions to praising feminism, she's totally inspirational — and it's hard to believe she's only 18. Now, the Modern Family star has shared some exciting news — Ariel Winter has been accepted to UCLA and she's thrilled to officially be a Bruin.
"It's an AMAZING DAY! I'm going to UCLA," she enthusiastically captioned an Instagram photo of her acceptance letter. She added, "[t]hank you to everyone who has been there for me on this journey! #bruinsbaby." It's really no surprise that Winter will attend one of the most prestigious and competitive schools in the country — and her obvious dedication to academics despite her busy schedule is admirable. Winter's personal struggles have played out in the public eye, but she has remained a grounded young woman despite it all.
Last winter, Winter refused to let body-shaming get her down and instead used the opportunity to promote body positivity. When she posted this adorable photo with her nieces, Instagram users bombarded her with disgusting comments that she was "asking for it" simply because she was clad in a bikini. (Which, you know, is pretty common attire when you're spending the afternoon on a boat.)
Instead of giving into the trolls and deleting the photo, Winter responded by posting this:
Her message was so important because she wasn't just standing up for herself — she was standing up for all girls and young women who are ridiculed because of what they're wearing or what they look like. Her caption included these inspirational words:
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.. 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.
Winter is aware that young women look up to her and it's wonderful that she consistently uses her celebrity status to promote body positivity and self-acceptance. And, it's awesome that she focuses on academics, proving she has more in common with her Modern Family character than viewers may have thought. She's been focused on her college and law school goals for a long time — in May 2015, Winter told E! that she plans to become a lawyer. At the time, she was a junior in high school and she told that outlet that she was touring colleges in both California and the East Coast — so she clearly put a great deal of thought, time, and effort into her decision.
Academics will surely take up a great deal of her time, but will Winter continue acting? We (thankfully) haven't seen the last of her on our TV screens. In the same interview, she told E! that she'd love to continue acting, but she thinks it's important to try other things:
"You never know if something's not going to work out, if one day acting is like, 'No, we don't like you anymore!' 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."
She has an incredibly successful career going for her, but it's awesome that Winter isn't simply resting on her laurels and is eager to work towards other goals as well. From body positivity to education, Winter is one inspirational, hard-working young woman who deserves major credit for all she has accomplished at such a young age. Congratulations, Ariel! UCLA is lucky to have you.