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Smalewitz: Ariel Winter deserves nothing but support and respect

While online on my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even on the news, one name has been popping up a lot recently: Ariel Winter, better known for her TV name Alex Dunphey from “Modern Family.” Winter came to fame for portraying a middle child who is the “brainiac” of her family full of eclectic characters.

For a young woman who just recently turned 18 years old, Winter has been faced with some challenging decisions, include emancipating from her family and her most recent decision to get a breast reduction that has been stirring up some controversy in the media.


In the last couple of seasons of “Modern Family,” I noticed Winter was being put in t-shirts trying to hide her enlarged breasts that started growing at a rapid rate. Consumers of the television show started bullying Winter online about the rapid growth of her large breasts and telling her that the clothing she wore in public was “inappropriate.” Winter was being ridiculed for something she could not control.

At just 17 years old, Winter decided it was time to take a step in a healthier direction and she had a breast reduction surgery. An article from Glamour Magazine that details an interview with Winters, said “there was an emotional and physical battle that she struggled with deeply inside … Winter often found herself hunched over on set.”

To endure such pain at such a young age does not sound like fun and everyone has their own right to make themselves a happier and healthier person.

Recently, Winter has been highly prevalent in the media because of a strapless dress that revealed her breast reduction scars at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards, which took place in January of 2016. First, her breasts are too big and now, after addressing that in the way she thought was best, she has scars and they should not be shown in public. Why is it okay for Miley Cyrus to post naked breast pictures of herself online, Beyonce (“Queen Bey”) to be seen in a revealing crop-top showing her under-breast, and Jennifer Lopez (“J-Lo”) to show her breasts in online photos, but someone like Ariel Winter, who got a breast reduction for personal health reasons, gets predominantly negative media attention because she wore a strapless dress in Hollywood revealing her scars?

In my opinion, Winter should be cheered on for making herself a healthier and happier person. No one should tell her to cover up her scars in public — some people cannot control where they have scars. First the media and public say that Winter’s breasts are too large and that she does not know how to dress, but then when Winter does something about it she gets negative comments about how it is. For Winter, this surgery has allowed her to not hunch over while filming and be bullied for having large breasts. Now she can focus on furthering her career without being in pain while filming and can take on even more roles. Winter can also enjoy her newfound freedom without being criticized for having huge breasts while out and about in Hollywood or any other part of the world.

Winter took to Twitter after the SAG awards, tweeting, “Guys there is a reason I didn’t make an effort to cover up my scars! They are part of me and I’m not ashamed of them at all. :)”

So to the media and individuals who are giving Ariel Winter backlash for wearing a strapless dress, that likely no other actress would get backlash for, I ask: What if you were in her position? You go. Ariel Winter deserves nothing but positive feedback, especially now that she is a happier and healthier person who is capable of making the tough decisions on her own.

Collegian Columnist Tamra Smalewitz can be reached at or on Twitter @tamrasmalewitz.

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