LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Ariel Winter says she's much happier since having breast reduction surgery in June.
The 18-year-old Modern Family star discussed her choice in an essay on Motto, explaining she underwent surgery for herself and not because of what anyone else thought.
"I was just over 5 feet tall and was an F-cup," the actress recalled. "Women are already over-sexualized, and I grew into my body so young. I was 13, 14 years old and I looked 19. Suddenly, people didn't want to talk about my job -- they just wanted to talk about my cleavage."
"People may find it hard to believe, but when I got my breast reduction surgery last year, it wasn't because of the mean comments online," she revealed. "Having so much weight on my frame was affecting me psychologically. I was uncomfortable and unhappy."
"Afterward, I automatically felt so much happier and just better physically," she shared. "My surgery got a lot of criticism from some people, but I'm happier for it. In the end, I think it's all about how you feel -- not what other people think."
Winter didn't attempt to hide her surgery scars at the SAG Awards this month, telling fans, "they are a part of me and I'm not ashamed of them at all." She previously told People she underwent surgery to relieve physical symptoms, although she admitted to being "hurt" by online comments.
"Being a 5-ft.-tall girl and having extremely large breasts is really ostracizing and excruciatingly painful," the actress said. "It's important to talk about it because there are young girls suffering like I did, but there shouldn't be a stigma about it."
Winter is best known for playing Alex Dunphy on ABC sitcom Modern Family, which airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET. The actress celebrated her 18th birthday with her co-stars in January, and celebrated again at a Moroccan-themed party.