No surprise, but Ariel Winter’s latest look is getting a lot of attention.
The 21-year-old’s appearance drew comment after comment on a group photo of most of the Modern Family cast that co-star Sarah Hyland shared Wednesday on Instagram. Winter, Hyland, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen and several other actors were promoting the long-running show’s final season at the ABC Upfronts.
It was Winter that people found unrecognizable.
Many of them complimented Winter’s new red hair color and compared her to fellow redheads Bella Thorne (who commented “Love”) and Isla Fisher. (When she debuted it on Instagram earlier this month, it prompted references to Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.)
“I totally thought Sara was announcing Isla Fisher as their newest guest star,” a fan wrote.
After someone else’s comment about Winter, someone else admitted, “OMG! I was wondering who that was!”
“I love it on her,” one person raved.
But in the new cast photo, a few critics also accused Winter of having changed herself too much, presumably with plastic surgery or other procedures.
“Of all ppl Ariel Winter was definitely naturally beautiful. Y on earth she wanted to artificially alter any part of her is beyond me. I am sure she had her reasons but i hope that did not include peer pressure….” one person wrote.
“Gah. bye to Ariel’s lips and nose—no one has any confidence in themselves anymore. Such a waste Social media destroys genuine character,” another said.
“Ariel needs to stop getting her face changed,” a person added.
Winter has been open about her appearance in the past. In addition to often hitting back at her haters, she spoke out about her breast reduction surgery in August 2015.
“I was 15 years old with [size] F [breasts],” Winter told Glamour. “How do you navigate that?”
Winter said she was happier after her decision, which she made after getting unwanted attention and being uncomfortable in her body.
Then in April, she revealed during a QA session with fans on her Instagram Stories, that her recent weight loss was a result of switching antidepressants. (The rumor mill speculated it was a drug addiction or weight-loss surgery.)
“For years, I had been on antidepressants that caused me to gain weight that I couldn’t lose no matter what I did,” Winter said, per People. “It was always frustrating for me because I wanted to be able to get fit and feel like the work I was doing was paying off, but it never felt that way. I had accepted it and moved on. I stayed on those medications for so long because the process is really long and difficult. I wasn’t ready to go through it again so I just accepted feeling eh instead of trying to find something to actually feel better.”
Once she finally decided to make a change, Winter found something that worked for her.
“The change in medication instantly made me drop all of the weight I couldn’t lose before by just giving me back a metabolism,”Winter said. “That was very unexpected.”
Modern Family audiences first met Winter as the precocious, brainy Alex Dunphy when she was just 11 years old.