Ariel Winter says it was "hard" being heavily criticised as a young girl.

Ariel Winter

Ariel Winter

The 'Modern Family' star found it difficult being slated by the public when she rose to fame as part of the cast of the hit television show but credits the programme and her castmates for helping her get through the tough times.

She shared: "We were criticised a lot. And I was criticised especially being the youngest girl out of the cast. And it was definitely hard ...

"The show helped me a lot. I was surrounded by so many great people that were really supportive of me and really, you know, wanted me to thrive. And told me all the time that they believed in me and thought I should be confident and all those things."

And the 19-year-old actress urged other young girls to focus on making themselves happy and not trying to please others.

Asked what advice she would give young women who feeling less than confident about themselves, she added: "Well, first of all, the way we are is beautiful. I mean, that's who we're supposed to be, you know? And also, at the end of the day, the only person you should be trying to make happy is yourself and not other people.

"And I think that that's the most important lesson we've all had to learn throughout the years. It's definitely that pleasing yourself is most important before anybody else."

Meanwhile, Ariel's co-star Julie Bowen praised the actress for her self-confidence.

She said: "I'm always like, 'Why are you showing so much of your body?' and then she's like, 'Why not?' She knows exactly who she is. She knows exactly, and I've watched so much negativity bounce right off her, and I'm like let me learn from you."

Whilst Sofia Vergara - who also stars on the show - added to Entertainment Tonight: "She's great. She's a great actress, she's super professional. We love her on set. She has never given us a reason to be upset. It's fantastic, actually, all the kids on the set are like amazing role model to all kids because they behave really nice."