Ariel Winter refuses to be ashamed of her scars. In fact, she's embracing them.
The Modern Family star got breast reduction surgery last June, and faced some criticism for showing her surgical marks while wearing a strapless black Romona Keveza gown at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in February.
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"The funny part is I didn't even notice them. I didn't think to cover them," Winter, who went from a 32F to a 32D, told Good Morning America. "I didn't even think twice. It really astounded me when I was getting a lot of comments from people telling me to put my scars away and that they were gross. And I think that's just so ridiculous considering they're a part of me. They're not going away."
The 18-year-old actress added, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with them. And I think that that's really messed up that a lot of people are saying that we can't be beautiful with scars."
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Winter also defended her decision to go through with the surgery, saying that the size of her breasts gave her "excruciating pain."
"I couldn't sit up straight. It was always super uncomfortable for me to sleep," she recalled. "It was uncomfortable to sit. It was uncomfortable to walk."
The actress also didn't like that her curves were making headlines over her career achievements. "Walking down the red carpet and seeing the photos afterward and having every headline be about my cleavage and -- not about my talent. Not about, 'Oh, if they liked the dress.' Not about what I was really there for or anything that I wanted to be put out there," Winter explained. "And I thought that was really disappointing that everybody nowadays in the media, what we're talking about is the way people look."
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Winter has been making her own decisions for some time now. In May 2015, she was officially emancipated from her mother, Chrisoula 'Crystal' Workman, but disclosed that she hasn't spoken with her mom for three and a half years.
"I did have a really, really hard childhood," Winter admitted. "It wasn't normal. It wasn't what I should have had. It wasn't a supportive, loving home. I had a really tough time."
In 2012, Winter's older sister, Shanelle Gray, was granted temporary custody following allegations that her sibling had "been the victim of ongoing physical abuse (slapping, hitting, pushing) and emotional abuse (vile name calling, personal insults about minor and minor's height, attempts to 'sexualize' minor, deprivation of food, etc.) for an extended period of time by the minor's mother." Workman denies these accusations.
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"It's really hard to have that kind of drama in your life and to be going through that court situation and have an open court case and have everybody look at it and have the media around you trying and paint different pictures," she said, adding, "It's already hard enough for abuse victims, but it's harder in the public eye when everybody has an opinion."
That being said, the actress does say that her father, Glenn Workman, is one of her biggest supporters. "Although my relationship with father was turbulent in my younger years, I'm fortunate that we got through the toughest of times together by bonding over some monumental moments in young life," Winter continued, "And through each obstacle he's been nothing but supportive and loving me unconditionally and for that I'm grateful and we are closer than ever."
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