Ariel Winter’s Breast Reduction Surgery Sheds Light On Over-Sexualization Of Women

150814071734-01-ariel-winter-file-exlarge-169At 17, Modern Family star Ariel Winter has made the decision to have breast reduction surgery. The reason? Among other things, Winter said she just got waaaay too much offensive attention from the media treating her like an object.

Ariel Winter was 15 when she suddenly grew into a 32F bust size, and she says it made her extremely uncomfortable as a young teenager. The size of her chest affected her back, she says, but it also had an extremely negative effect on her self-esteem:

“Every article that has to do with me on a red carpet always had to do with ‘Ariel Winter’s Crazy Cleavage!’ Or ‘Ariel Winter Shows Huge Boobs At An Event!’ That’s all people would recognize me by, not, “Oh, she does great work on ‘Modern Family.’ “

At 15 and 16 years old, being known only for your chest size and not for precocious talent is absolutely harmful. She said she had to fake confidence on every red carpet, and that she never, ever felt comfortable in her own body because of all this over-sexualization of her body.

Winter has now undergone breast reduction surgery and is now a smaller and more manageable 34D. Winter said the change in her psyche and happiness has been dramatic: “I can’t even really put it into words about how amazing it feels to really feel right.”

Winter is definitely mature for her age, as her recent battle with emancipation proves, but the fact that she had to deal with the over-sexualization of her body at such a young age is indicative of a much larger social problem.

In a world where young girls in middle and high school are constantly told that their bodies are evil and distracting to boys, and in which they’re subjected to double standards in dress codes, it’s undeniable that most women are taught that our bodies are shameful. We’re over-sexualized at a young age, and then taught that it’s our fault for looking seductive.

Ariel Winter’s problem is only exacerbated because of her fame, but her struggle with self-esteem speaks volumes for all young girls with changing bodies who find themselves suddenly the object of much attention, simply for having a certain body type.

It’s not the women’s fault that other people treat us as objects. If you’re treating a 15-year-old girl with a changing body like a sexual object for something she can’t control, you’re the problem, not her.

I applaud Ariel Winter for having the maturity to recognize she wasn’t comfortable with her body, and for making a circumspect choice for her happiness, but unfortunately, over-sexualizing young women probably won’t stop overnight. It’s sad that a young girl as talented and strong as Winter was still made to feel small and objectified, and that her self-esteem suffered as a result.

About The Author
Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.