Celebrities are sometimes going to see stories about them that just aren’t true. It goes with the territory.
But every now and then, they see a headline so outrageous or insulting that they can’t keep quiet.
Ariel Winter saw one recently about boyfriend Levi Meaden and she absolutely had to speak out.
Levi is less well-known as an actor than his girlfriend, but he’s not, like, a kept boy. And Ariel is making sure that everybody knows it.
"I have a BOYFRIEND and a PERSONAL ASSISTANT who are NOT the same person."
"I would NEVER pay my boyfriend ANY sort of allowance, nor would he EVER accept if I offered."
The vehement statement that Ariel Winter doesn’t pay Levi Meaden came on Instagram, in response to a Star Magazine headline.
"He BUYS his own stuff whether it’s for me for himself, and he more than pulls his weight for our life."
Honestly, we wouldn’t be judgy about things if she were the one who always paid for dinner or whatever.
Everybody buys food for the ones they love when they can.
"I HATE fake news, but I guess that’s what our world has come to. Get your s–t straight," the Modern Family beauty continued.
"I don’t support anyone, and I don’t need anyone to support me. He’s got a full career (including something huge that’s new) and works hard for it."
Fake news is bad, but not as bad as the trend since November of certain people yelling "fake news" at news stories that they don’t like instead of at total fabrications.
But Ariel’s using the term appropriately.
She finishes it off with a he’s-a-real-person-with-real-feelings line.
"He’s not just someone’s boyfriend. So if you don’t know us, don’t comment. Xoxo."
Honestly, we feel like those sorts of rumors come from two places.
The first is just people trying to read more into a situation than there really is.
And we can all fall into that trap.
They look at Ariel Winter and Levi Meaden moving in together, they do some math, and they jump to the conclusion that Ariel is treating Levi to whatever he wants.
The other place of origin is personal fantasy.
Plenty of people would enjoy being young, beautiful, rich, and famous … and having some hot young thing at their beck and call.
It’s a thing that really happens, but usually terms like "sugar daddy" or "sugar momma" get thrown around.
So it might be easy for them to look at this couple and project their own fantasy dynamic onto the two of them.
Hell, some people would prefer to be the kept boy in that scenario, you know?
Especially with a benefactor as gorgeous as Ariel Winter.
But people need to separate fantasy from reality, or they’re going to have skewed perceptions of the world.
Another factor behind this particular rumor about Ariel and Levi?
Because, though they’re not married, of the two of them, Ariel’s definitely the one who reads as the "breadwinner."
Some people can’t imagine a healthy relationship where the woman’s in the lead.
All that they can imagine is some sort of woman-dominated household where Levi brings Ariel her slippers or whatever.
What’s that quote about how men fear women’s equality because they fear that women in positions of power will do to them what they’ve done to women?
The news that Levi is the one who does the cooking must have sent these people through the roof, you know?
(In fairness, that caught me off guard, not because of gender roles but because they’re Millennials and I’m a Millennial and I thought "wait, our generation has time to cook?" But maybe they just have that much free time)
Most relationships are all about balance.
Levi Meaden is 10 years older than Ariel Winter.
But Ariel’s an adult, so this isn’t like when Kylie started dating Tyga by any stretch of the imagination.
Ariel’s more successful.
It looks like it all works out, because these two are clearly in love.
Honestly, our biggest takeaway from this is surprise that this particular story got under Ariel’s skin more than all of the others.
But sometimes it’s easier to brush off stories about yourself.
Water off a duck’s back and all that.
It’s another thing to listen to people insult someone you love.
Not for nothing, but we’re excited to hear that Levi Meaden’s working on something big and new.
Unlike The Expanse and The Magicians and Dark Matter, etc, Aftermath (on which Levi was a star) wasn’t one of Syfy’s success stories in their big de-rebranding.
The issue wasn’t the casting — they had a great cast, actually, including an actress from Deadpool, Wayne Brady, and Levi himself — but probably had more to do with storytelling choices and the general "feel" of the show.
So we’ll be eagerly looking forward to news of that.
And hopefully Ariel will find a way to grin and bear it when misinformation about her boyfriend and their relationship circulates.
Because that’s the kind of thing that just happens, unfortunately.