Some people say the only way to stop online harassment is to stop going online. Well, we aren't going anywhere. Reclaim Your Domain is Refinery29's campaign to make the internet (and the world of outside it) a safer space for everyone — especially women.
Ariel Winter makes no apologies for her Instagram feed. Her body positive message resonates with a lot of people. She has over 3 million followers on the site. That positive reality comes with, unfortunately, another much darker reality. The Modern Family actress gets unwanted attention in the form of DMs from male strangers. Winter told Maxim about the online harassment in an exclusive interview with the magazine.
"I only read DMs from people I follow—because of the amount of gross DMs I got. I would look at them and be like, this is nasty…I’m not gonna reply to this," she said in the interview. She admits that she can be a vulgar person, but she doesn't respond to the vulgarity coming into her inbox.
Online harassment is a genuine concern for celebrities like Winter. Every time she posts a swimsuit photo from a vacation or a picture of herself in a cropped top and short shorts comment sections explode with both support and criticism. For example, when Winter shared a photo of her Coachella look, one commenter wrote: "It doesn't matter what a woman dresses like she still deserves the same amount of respect." Another wrote, "I did have respect for her, but over the last few months that has sadly gone now." This issue will only increase with the release of Winter's new movie, Dog Years, where she plays a character different in every way from her Alex Dunphy, Modern Family persona.
Rashida Jones, who is a producer of the Netflix series Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, spoke to Refinery 29 about her comfort level with sharing on social media. She likens it to the old saying about comparing your insides to someone else's outsides. She sees a generational difference between her and some of her younger peers. "But I will say that millennials are more at ease with transitioning back and forth from their public persona to their private life. I feel kind of sweaty when I'm trying to present myself on social media," Jones said. Jones's producing partner, Jill Bauer said, in the same interview, "I just can't even imagine growing up now as a young woman and feeling all the pressures of social media. You’re bombarded and surrounded by it."
From outward appearances, Winter seems to have her social media, and the responses from it, both the good and the "gross" under control. "If I take a good picture of my butt, it’s gonna go on the Internet. And you can enjoy it, or don’t," she told Maxim.