Ariel Winter attended a cousin’s wedding this weekend, and made sure to show the world how beautiful and confident she has become.
The photo, which Winter posted to Instagram earlier today, shows her in a white fitted dress with thin straps and her boyfriend of two years, Laurent Claude Gaudette, with his arm around Winter’s waist. The photo was posted after Winter had posted a sweet snap of the bride and groom dancing their first dance.
Winter revealed in an August interview with Glamour that on June 4, the 17-year-old Modern Family star had undergone breast reduction surgery. Ever since the surgery, Winter has turned her fashion choices around, since her worries over the stares and whispers are over.
“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.”
Winter, who stands at a petite 5′ 1″, stated that she started researching the breast reduction when her size 32F breasts were causing her to have severe back pain. Several of Winter’s cousins had gotten breast reductions as well, so she discussed it with her family and doctor, and after the surgery, is now a 34D. The back pain, however, was the least of the pain that Winter’s too-large breasts were causing her: Winter had become a target for online bullies.
“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,” Winter explained in her Glamour interview.
Winter also stated that the media outlets focused more on “Ariel Winter’s Crazy Cleavage!” than they did her acting skills on Modern Family.
Like every young girl, Winter wished for breasts, and said the growth spurt really did happen “overnight.”
“I remember being in my sister’s wedding and being so flat and thinking, ‘I just wish I could 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.”
Since the surgery, Winter has become a role model for teenage girls who want to have the surgery but feel uncomfortable speaking to their parents about it, or girls who understand the humiliation of having to wear something that is too large because the things their friends were wearing were “inappropriate.” Winter calls it “moving” to be an inspiration for the girls who are now going to make a change based on Winter’s decision.
Winter has definitely had support from her older sister Shanelle and Gaudette, who were both present during the surgery and afterward.
Gaudette recalled to People how the two started dating after meeting Winter in high school.
“I received a text from her. That’s the first interaction I remember with her and I send very short responses, and her first thing that she sent to me was a giant, long, paragraph.”
Winter added that the paragraph was an introduction about her and called Gaudette her best friend.
Winter has also been considering another big change lately: college. Winter is applying to 15 schools in November, but states that she still wants to keep her role as Alex on Modern Family.
[Featured Image by Jason Kempin for Getty Images]