You likely know the story all too well. Social media can be a fun place to chat with your friends and connect with your favorite celebrities, but it can also be a dark world where mean people find exceptional boldness and say awful things about one another. TWIST caught up with actress Ariel Winter at Dove's recent #SpeakBeautiful panel, and she told us all about how she navigates the tricky waters of the online world – and how she's learned to embrace her own insecurities. Check out our exclusive Q & A below.
TWIST: You've always been so open with your fans about your personal journey, especially recently dealing with body-shamers online. Is there anything specific you do to not let these comments get to you?
Ariel Winter: I finally stopped looking at the negative comments on my Instagram, and on my Twitter, and I started looking at the positive ones – And really moving forward in that mindset and appreciating what I have and appreciating the people that support me on my social media platforms.
TWIST: Why do you think it's important for girls to use social media in a positive way?
AW: Social media has been really wonderful in some ways and also very negative. I’m hoping that we can push forth the message that social media should be a positive experience and that everyone on social media should be positive.
TWIST: Any tips on how to avoid being sucked into the negativity that tends to surface on social media?
AW: I think the biggest thing I would ask for people to do on social media is to think before they post. Because I think a lot of people don’t necessarily take the time to understand how they affect other people. And what we say is really powerful.
TWIST: What's an insecurity you had when you were younger that you completely embrace now?
AW: I was always insecure about my thighs. I wanted a thigh gap so bad, until I realized I actually didn't want one. I love all body types – thigh gap, no thigh gap – all beautiful – but I'm happy with the way I look now and I love my thighs.
TWIST: What advice would you give your younger self?
AW: I would tell myself to not conform to what anybody said to me and to not take any of the comments on my Instagram to heart. Because I think for many years I read what people were saying about me and I tried to change the way I looked, changed the way I felt about myself and it really was more damaging to me than helping. As I got older, I really just started to trust myself and view my opinion as worthy and view myself as worthy.
Reporting credit: Jennifer Maldonado