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Ariel Winter Will Fight Her Body Shamers: ‘There’s Nothing Bitchy About Standing Up for Yourself’

“If you don’t stand up for yourself, who’s going to stand up for you?” the Modern Family star said

Ariel Winter already candidly explained exactly why her body has changed over the last year — her weight dropped after changing up her antidepressants — but she’s still dealing with body shamers who accuse her of getting plastic surgery.

The Modern Family star, 21, doesn’t owe people a response, but she says that it’s important to her that she defends herself.

“If you don’t stand up for yourself, who’s going to stand up for you?” Winter told PEOPLE exclusively at the Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE Upfronts party in New York on Monday night. “Sometimes I stand up for myself a little too much but I’m doing it.”

Winter said that commenters tends to “feel like they know people” like her because they watch her on TV, and believe that they can pass judgement.

“They don’t know people, they know them as a persona onscreen that they see,” she continued to PEOPLE. “On Instagram, people see a photo every once in a while or they see something that a paparazzi took — they don’t know that person. It can get really frustrating when you see things that are untrue or things that are hurtful or even some things that private things that don’t need to be out there.”

Winter added: “It’s nice for all of the fans and the supporters who are kind and supportive, it’s fantastic, but people are quick to judge things that they see on the small screen, it’s difficult.”

And there is another problem with speaking out — people accuse Winter of being “bitchy,” though she doesn’t mind.

“People think you’re bitchy when you stand up for yourself,” she said. You know what? It’s not bitchy, it’s bossy and it’s my body and I get to be that way and there’s nothing bitchy about standing up for yourself and being real. I have no problem with it. I’m boss bitch, we’re all boss bitches.”