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17-Year-Old 'Modern Family' Star Reveals Why She Had Breast Reduction Surgery

"It was so painful," Winter said of her life before the surgery.

17-year-old "Modern Family" star Ariel Winter often finds herself in the spotlight, but she wasn't being recognized for what she wanted to be known for. Instead of focusing on her acting on the Emmy-winning sitcom, Winter felt she was singled out for her size 32F breasts.

In an interview with Glamour Winter revealed the life-changing breast reduction surgery she underwent in early June, bringing her chest size down to a 34D.

"It was really hard," Winter said of dressing for the red carpet. "There was so little that I could wear that was age-appropriate. I’d have to wear the dress that was super tight and form-fitted 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."

And what teenager -- or anyone, really -- enjoys being ridiculed?

Not only was Winter in emotional pain from her reputation in the press, but her naturally voluptuous body, which runs in her family and has led several cousins to undergo the same surgery, she said, was causing her immense physical pain as well.

"I had a lot of back problems," Winter said. "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.'"

It's been a year of changes for Winter, having been officially emancipated from her mother in May after a three-year custody battle. She said that she's now living with her sister, building a support system, attending therapy and taking her life into her own hands. Post-surgery, she said, she feels like a new person.

"It’s something that I did to better my life and better my health and I think that that can benefit a lot of young girls," she said of her decision to be open about her surgery. "I have felt more happy with myself than I ever have."