Ariel Winter admitted being confident about her body wasn’t always easy.
“I went through a lot of hate online, so I tried to change myself for a really long time,” the 19-year-old actress told Refinery29.com. “I decided that instead of pleasing these other people, I’ll just spend that time pleasing myself. Those people are going to be rude to me regardless of what I do, so I should just try and be happy with what I am.”
However the “Modern Family” star, who experienced puberty on-camera, revealed she still sometimes struggles to accept herself for who she is.
“It’s hard to be positive about your body all the time,” said Winter. “I know because I’m honest about my insecurities that people think I’m 100% positive about my body all the time, but I’m not. I get really uncomfortable, too. But I just remind myself that this is the body I was given. This is who I am.”
Winter underwent breast reduction surgery in 2015 to alleviate the physical strain and body-image issues she experienced with her then-size-32F chest.
“Before then, I didn’t feel like myself, and everyone was so focused on my cleavage, so when I got the breast reduction it helped me feel so much better about my body,” she explained. “I used to have full-scale meltdowns in bathing suit shops because there was nothing I could find to wear. I always felt like crap about myself. It’s gotten a little better, but it’s still definitely hard.”
Winter even called out the media over the double standard she faced.
“My best friend, she’s super tall and skinny and she’ll wear the same bathing suit as me, but people will automatically look at me and call me out as a slut or write headlines about ‘Ariel Winter’s cleavage,’” she said. “Meanwhile they look at her, like ‘Oh she looks so cute!’ But I’ve learned to not care about that as much I’m comfortable in a bathing suit, scars and all.”
These days, Winter is hoping other women will learn to embrace their bodies at any size. Winter told the fashion news site she’s been critical of the current administration and how it may impact women.
“Our leadership is really anti-women now,” she said. “Thanks to Donald Trump, we’re being objectified and made to feel bad about ourselves, so I think it’s really important for women to stick together and do the opposite of that; to let their bodies be seen and be heard, and to empower each other; to remind each other that what they look like is not the only thing that’s important when it comes to who they are.”