Ariel Winter has been fighting back against accusations that she’s had “extensive” plastic surgery. In fact, the 23-year-old Modern Family star denies having any facial surgery at all.
But that hasn’t stopped her fans—especially on Instagram—from asking about her changing looks whenever she posts.
On one photo (that has since been deleted), a follower commented: “How many surgeries have you had on your body and face now? Two breast reductions, that’s obvious, cheek bone and chin shaving and lip fillers. Pretty obvious, she looks so different #Truth.”
Ariel fired back: “I wasn't going to reply but I HAVE to ask… what the f— is cheek bone and chin shaving???? You’re also wrong about all of it by the way 🙂 one breast reduction and I lost weight but you do you boo.”
Clearly, it’s a sore subject. We know that Ariel has no problem with openly discussing the breast reduction surgery she underwent in 2015, at age 17. But her facial features are seemingly off-limits—and I’m not sure I buy that they’ve changed solely on account of “weight loss.”
If you feel the same way, join me in taking a look at Ariel’s beauty transformation from 2008 until now.
From 2008-2010: Ariel as a Child
At the 2008 Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Speed Racer’
Alright, our first pic is of a 10-year-old Ariel on the red carpet. (Did you know she’s been working since the age of four?) She was such a cute kid! This was pre-braces, so her teeth have a few gaps, and her hair was a natural sun-kissed brown instead of the black shade she later became known for. Also notice her nose and lips, and how she was already tweezing her brows into a skinnier shape.
At the 2009 Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Hannah Montana: The Movie’
By age 11, she was sporting a deeper, cool-toned shade of brown hair, but I don’t think this was a natural progression. Since Modern Family premiered later that year, I’m guessing the producers wanted it this way for her role as Alex Dunphy. That’s not unusual in Hollywood—Ariel revealed to People that she started dyeing her hair starting at age seven to have a better chance at winning parts!
At the 2010 Los Angeles Premiere of ‘The Spy Next Door’
She kept up with the dark brown hair throughout the following year, worn here in piecey ringlets that haven’t been brushed out. Not the best hairstyle, but I think we’ve all been there (or at least I have!).
From 2011-2013: The Awkward Teen Years
At the 2011 Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Cars 2’
Then, Ariel got braces, and even she wasn’t able to escape the typical awkward phase that most 13-year-olds go through. (The crimped waves and over-accessorizing probably don’t help!) It looks like her hair colour had faded a bit, with the sun bringing out its underlying reddish tones, and her tweezed brows were starting to grow. Remember, 2011 is when bold brows began trending!
At the 2012 ‘Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane Block Party
By 2012, the braces were off, and she started experimenting with slightly more grown-up hairstyles and makeup. (She always did love a false lash, even here at 14!) Obviously, this is very much her original nose, but also, this is the original colour of her teeth. Although she doesn’t show them much now, I believe she had some subtle brightening the following year.
At the 2013 Golden Globes
On the cusp of 15, Ariel hadn’t lost her baby-faced look, although that’s partly because of her red carpet style at the time. I can’t picture her wearing this cutesy headband, ballerina bun and pastel dress today! Now, take a good look at her nose, because I suspect she tweaked it shortly after this photo was taken.
From 2014-2015: A New Nose?
At the 2014 Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’
See what I mean? Her nasal tip has retained the same overall shape, but now it appears smaller and not as prominent in relation to her other features. This was also the year that Ariel adopted her signature black hair colour. I have to say, she wears it so well that it didn’t even occur to me that wasn’t her own. (Brows are so important in that respect, and she always kept hers a close match.)
At the 2014 Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’
During a break from filming, Ariel had a stint with red hair (one that she would later repeat in 2019 and again in 2020!). Even though it’s far from a natural colour, it looks amazing with her skin tone. On that note, I’ve always thought she had the most beautiful complexion.
At the 2015 Courage in Journalism Awards
Okay, this shot of Ariel at age 17 is obviously a little different from her previous red carpet appearances. Like I said, she has attributed her facial changes to “weight loss,” and seeing this, I’ll buy that—partially. It does seem like she was heavier here, which gives her already round face an even fuller look. The extra weight also makes her new nose less apparent... for now!
From 2016-2018: Embracing the Instagram Aesthetic
At the 2016 Vanity Fair, L’Oréal Paris and Hailee Steinfeld DJ Night
A year later, Ariel looked radically different, and I’m not just talking about the jet-black wavy hairstyle and dramatic eye makeup. I’m guessing she lost the weight that she gained in 2015, and having her hair covering the sides of her face makes it look even slimmer. But did she get something else done, maybe in the lip area? I think we can settle the debate with the next pic... are you ready?
At the 2017 New York City Premiere of ‘Dog Years’
Well, well, well! Ariel (who was 19 at this point) showed off what looks like new lips and a more oval face shape to go with her button nose. The lip fillers are especially obvious—the obliteration of the Cupid’s bow is such a “tell.” Between the procedures and the styling, she looks like the brunette replica of Dove Cameron!
At the 2018 Los Angeles Premiere of ‘The Last Movie Star’
Twelve months later, Ariel was a little heavier again, and she recently explained why in a Q&A on her Instagram. “For years I had been on antidepressants that caused me to gain weight that I couldn’t lose no matter what I did. It was always frustrating for me because I wanted to get fit and feel like the work I was doing was paying off, but it never felt that way.”
At the 2018 American Humane Hero Dog Awards
Throughout 2018, she apparently continued to dabble with lip fillers—notice the “keyhole pout”—along with some very Instagram-inspired makeup techniques. If you told me this was Kylie Jenner, I wouldn’t blink an eye. Are you even surprised that her fans were speaking out? I guess we’re not supposed to notice these things!
From 2019-2021: Hair Colour Chameleon
At the 2019 HBO Golden Globes After-Party
But what a turnaround, right?! I have to say, I love Ariel’s fresher look here. Although the keyhole lip fillers are still there, her brows are natural, and her skin, hair and makeup are clean and pretty. The question is... how did her face shape change so much? Well, that could be from a “change in medication” that “instantly made me drop all of the weight I couldn’t lose before just giving me back a metabolism,” as she explained on Instagram.
At the 2020 InStyle and Warner Bros. Golden Globes After-Party
That brings us to one of Ariel’s last red carpet appearances before closing the chapter on Modern Family for good. Just like in 2019, she’s rocking a lighter touch on the makeup, and her lips aren’t so conspicuously plumped. But while her hair was still black for this red carpet, it’s not anymore....
On Instagram in 2020
After posting “bye bye dark hair... I don’t think I'll miss you,” she revealed a new strawberry shade on Instagram. With her practically bare face, it’s hard to believe this is the same person. Looking at her lips here, you’d never know she’d been dabbling with injections.