Sofia Vergara Mentored Ariel Winter Through Body Changes

PHOTO: Ariel Winter and Sofia Vergara attend the Weinstein Company & Netflixs 2014 SAG after party, Jan. 18, 2014, in West Hollywood, California. PlayAlberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company
WATCH Exclusive: Ariel Winter Reveals How Breast Reduction Changed Her Life

Modern Family” star Ariel Winter has been very open about the physical struggles with her body, which eventually led to breast reduction surgery in 2015.

Winter, 18, said that after she went public with having the procedure, the reaction from fans and co-stars was mostly supportive. She had battled neck and spine problems and said she wanted to reduce her breast size from an F cup to a D cup for her physical and mental health.

In a new interview with Self magazine, Winter talks about being so young in the public eye. She was 10 years old when the show started in 2009.

“I had a hard time finding confidence within myself. When I started, I had a completely different body than what happened overnight at 12 years old. I was stick thin ... then automatically, overnight, my body changed drastically. I was a D cup and had a bigger butt, and my waist was expanding. Everything was getting bigger. I automatically got this hate and judgment online,” she told the magazine.

One “Modern Family” co-star stepped up as a mentor for her, Winter said.

“I had a great role model in Sofia [Vergara] growing up, with her being a curvy woman that was superproud of who she was and what she looked like,” Winter explained.

She continued, “She could see that I was struggling a little bit with how to deal with my body and was always trying to give me advice, like, ‘Here are some brands that would look good on our body type’ or ‘Wear whatever you want and feel good about yourself.’”

Having the reduction surgery, she said, was “honestly, the greatest choice I made.”

“It was that quick and painless ... The first night, I could have gone home. I woke up, I felt great. I was sitting there ordering a bunch of new clothes for myself because I was so excited about it,” she continued.

She’s now comfortable in her own skin and makes efforts to “stand up and make it a point to fight back against” online commenters who continue to body-shame her and other women.

“I think people make a lot of judgments about me based on what I wear and all the things that I do. They kind of glorify and objectify a lot of the things that I do, and I wish people would just see me as the normal 18-year-old that I am,” she said.