Ariel Winter leaked and naked
Every time Ariel Winter stepped onto a red carpet, she knew what was coming: the stares, the whispers, the rumors. But for the 17-year-old star of Modern Family, she had a job to do—act. Act, and pretend she didn’t notice. But even though from the outside it looked like the attention didn’t bother her, there was an emotional and physical battle that she struggled with deeply inside. At 5’1, the petite star was dealing with more than an awkward growth spurt. “It really did happen overnight,” Winter says of her breast development. “I remember being in my sister’s wedding and being so flat and thinking, ‘I just wish I would grow boobs!’ and then overnight I did. But then they kept growing and growing and growing and it didn’t seem like they were going to stop.” It’s hard enough being a teenager in life, but being on one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed sitcoms drew heightened interest. “I was 15 years old with [size] F [breasts],” recounts Winter. “It’s like, ‘How do you navigate that?’”
And yet, navigate she did—at least to the best of her ability. Finding bras and clothes that fit was more than difficult emotionally but nothing that compared with the physical pain she endured on a daily basis. Noting that standing up straight for hours at a time proved difficult, Winter often found herself hunched over on set. “It started to hurt so bad that I couldn’t take the pain,” admits the young star. Noting that the female side of her family has a “history of large breasts,” several family members were not shocked when Winter confided her thoughts about eventually undergoing breast reduction surgery. “A few of my cousins have had breast reductions, so it wasn’t a shock when I decided to get one.” Still, Winter stresses that the decision was entirely her own and not the result of online bullying. “I got it for myself. I can’t even really put it into words about how amazing it feels to really feel right.”
On the morning of June 4—a little more than two months ago—Winter woke up ready to put the physical and emotional pain behind her. Having only told a select few family and friends, the Modern Family star underwent breast reduction surgery to reduce the size of her chest from a 32 F to a 34 D. The result for Winter was noticeable right away. Throughout the course of our exclusive sit-down interview, she mentions frequently that she “feels like a new person.” Winter knows the physical difference is what everyone will be talking about, but it’s the emotional change that’s most evident.
Having interviewed Winter many times over the course of her young career, it becomes evident that the star has never been so happy or at ease. “It’s amazing to finally feel right,” she shares exclusively with Glamour. “This is how I was supposed to be.” Here’s her story:
Glamour: When did you decide to have breast reduction surgery?
Ariel Winter: I went to a swimsuit store with my cousin a few months ago and couldn’t find a bathing suit that fit me. I really felt bad about myself. I didn’t feel happy. I just kept saying, “What am I going to wear? There’s nothing for me to wear at the beach, at the pool.” I can’t go to a party with my friends and wear the same thing as them. I have to be completely covered up otherwise I’ll look a certain way that I’m not intending to look.
Glamour: On red carpets, you appeared very confident and self-assured with your curves and breast size. Did you feel confident?
Ariel: Definitely not. We live in a day and age where everything you do is ridiculed. 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. On [red carpets], I just said to myself, “You have to do your best to look confident and stand up tall, and make yourself look as good as you can in these photos,” because everyone is going to see them. I definitely seemed confident; I’m an actress, that’s what we do. But on the inside, I wasn’t feeling so happy.
Glamour: You wear a lot of formfitting designs at award shows. How difficult was it to dress for formal events?
Ariel: It was really hard. There was so little that I could wear that was age-appropriate. I’d have to wear the dress that was super tight and formfitted everywhere because if I didn’t, it didn’t look good. I didn’t really have an option other than to wear fitted clothes. Everyone would [say], “Why is she dressing so mature? That’s so inappropriate for her age!” I understood what they were saying. It’s not like I wanted to pick out those inappropriate dresses, it’s just that I didn’t really have another choice, or I was going to get ridiculed. It’s hard when you’re a teenage girl and you already have a lot of ridicule and then you pile on more, and it’s kind of…it just gets too much.
Glamour: How often would you read what people were saying about you? It wasn’t just message boards—well-known outlets were writing about your cleavage in their headlines.
Ariel: That’s pretty much all I was known for and that upset me. It made me feel really uncomfortable because as women in the industry, we are totally over sexualized and treated like objects. Every article that has to do with me on a red carpet always had to do with ‘Ariel Winter’s Crazy Cleavage!’ Or ‘Ariel Winter Shows Huge Boobs At An Event!’ That’s all people would recognize me by, not, “Oh, she does great work on Modern Family.”
Glamour: Did you have a lot of physical pain due to your large breasts?
Ariel: It was so painful. I had a lot of back problems. I really couldn’t stand up straight for a long period of time. It started to hurt so bad that I couldn’t take the pain. My neck was hurting so bad and I actually had some problems with my spine. I had been discussing my chest with doctors for many years, but when I finally said, “I’m thinking of doing this,” he said, “Your back is going to thank you so much.”