This seemingly innocent pic incited a barrage of haters and lewd remarks, prompting the actress who plays nerdy Alex Dunphy on the hit comedy to remind girls that no clothing can suggest they’re “asking for it”.
“This is for the girls who are constantly bullied whether it be online or at school,” she writes in the caption to her Instagram retort showing the derogatory labels women face at every possible skirt hemline.
“You are not asking for anything because of what you are wearing – you are expressing yourself and don’t ever think you deserve the negativity as the consequence to what you are wearing – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.”
Ariel says she doesn’t normally like to “give power” to mean things said about her on the Internet, but felt compelled to speak out for other girls who have been bullied.
“Celebrate you and don’t let anyone’s comments allow you to think less of yourself. Us girls have to stick together!!!!!!!”
Ariel has always been open about discussing her own body issues and the impact of online bullying.
“We live in a day and age where everything you do is ridiculed,” said Ariel, who underwent breast reduction surgery in August.
“The Internet bullies are awful. I could post a photo where I feel good, and 500 people will comment about how fat I am and that I am disgusting.”
Ariel said the bullying got so bad she felt like all she was known for was her breast size.
“It made me feel really uncomfortable because as women in the industry, we are totally over sexualised and treated like objects.”
After the surgery, Ariel said it relieved her of both emotional and physical pain.
“This is how I was supposed to be,” she said.