Ariel Winter Channels Pop Culture’s Iconic Mean Girls for ‘Cosmo’
Ariel Winter has been a vocal proponent of kindness, often posting online about her disdain for bullying. She confronts her critics head-on, calls out body shamers and heavily promotes self-acceptance to her legions of Twitter followers. So what better way to reflect her core beliefs than to embody some of the most recognizable and iconic mean girls in pop cultural history?(????)
Winter posed as five TV and movie characters -- Mean Girls’ Regina George, The Craft’s Nancy Downs, Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf, Clueless’s Amber and Heathers’ Heather Chandlers -- in a new spread for Cosmopolitan, along with a video where she recites their most iconic lines. But the accompanying interview at least sees Winter work through these characters’ wide appeal, while still refusing to endorse their mean girl tactics.
“You have to admire their honesty,” Winter says. “They’re pretty unabashed about the things that they feel. But at the same time, I don't really admire somebody who deliberately goes out of her way to hurt other people. Being mean to people is not cool."
It may seem strange to see someone with such a strong anti-bullying stance portray characters known for being straight-up cruel, but Winter says it makes sense to her.
"...Why I found it so awesome to do this shoot and play these characters is that I'm right now trying to speak out against bullying and people tearing others down, and I love that I got to play these characters and trump them in a sense," she told the magazine. "I got to overtake them. What they do is not right — and I'm above it."
Winter also maintains that the Regina Georges of movies and TV are a necessary evil: "...It was a little alarming to think about how everybody idolizes them. They are so mean. At the same time, they are [characters in] movies, and it's good to show that mean side, because it gives everybody a wake-up call of like, 'Oh, wow, that's horrible to see somebody say those things.'"
Check out the video above to see Winter deliver each character's most iconic phrases, and head over to Cosmopolitan to read the full interview.