TV Watch People Exclusive

Why Modern Family's Ariel Winter Didn't Go Smaller When Getting a Breast Reduction

01/28/2016 AT 09:00 AM EST

When Ariel Winter decided to get a breast reduction, she considered her options very carefully.

"They were way too big, originally," the Modern Family star says of her bust. "But I didn't want to be disproportionate."

Why Modern Family's Ariel Winter Didn't Go Smaller When Getting a Breast Reduction| Modern Family, People Picks, TV News, Ariel Winter

Ariel Winter

Ari Michelson

So when Winter – who is featured in the current issue of PEOPLE – decided to go under the knife last summer after years of suffering through "excruciating pain," she ultimately chose to go from a size 32F to a 34D.

"I had the option to go even smaller," says the 18-year-old. "But I'm a curvy girl, and I didn’t want to change that. I love being a curvy girl."



Why Modern Family's Ariel Winter Didn't Go Smaller When Getting a Breast Reduction| Modern Family, People Picks, TV News, Ariel Winter


For more from Winter – including her plans for after Modern Family – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

RELATED VIDEO: Sofia Vergara & Julie Bowen Go Retro Glam


Why Modern Family's Ariel Winter Didn't Go Smaller When Getting a Breast Reduction| Modern Family, People Picks, TV News, Ariel Winter

Ariel Winter before and after her breast reduction

MACGYVER / Splash News; Scott Downie / CelebrityPhoto

Winter believes this will be the only [cosmetic surgery] she'll have done, but she's "extremely happy" with the decision she made and she wants her young fans to be empowered to voice their concerns if they are going through similar issues.

"I had the surgery because it bettered my life," she says. "It's important to talk about it because there are young girls suffering like I did – and there shouldn't be a stigma about it."
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