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How Modern Family's Sarah Hyland and Ariel Winter Supported Each Other Against Bodyshaming Trolls

Imagine having braces in front of millions of people

Megan Vick

Modern Family has been making people laugh for over a decade. It's been such a staple of the broadcast comedy landscape that it's hard to remember what it was like before the show first premiered. However, the cast and series co-creator Steve Levitan gathered in Pasadena on Wednesday at ABC's Television Critics Association winter press tour to toast to Modern Family's final season, and the show's younger stars revealed just how vivid their memories of that time are -- and what it was like to have to go through puberty in front of millions of people.

Ariel Winter was only 11-years old when she filmed the pilot and had to grow up on camera and remembered, "I especially hated the year I had braces. I do have to say it was a really awkward year for me, because I also went through puberty that summer so it was braces and then over the summer once we wrapped, I had other things."

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"I definitely think it's really difficult to grow up in front of people who have an opinion on everything you do and are allowed to say it at any point, or keyboard troll," she added, referring to the internet commentary Winter received after developing breasts. The actress eventually got a breast reduction surgery in 2015. "It's definitely difficult but yeah, we have great support in each other."

Part of Winter's support system on the show was co-star Sarah Hyland, who was at 18 years old at the start of Modern Family but had her own difficulties dealing with body changes while in front of the camera.

"I have cringeworthy season, not because of puberty, but because of health things, so I cannot stand I think it's like Season 4 or 5, because I had very bad stretches on face and I gained like 30 pounds," Hyland revealed, referring to the ime period she was battling kidney dysplasia. "That, for me, was something that Ariel and I were going through around the same time ... People really love to show the love to attack women, especially, and I think Ariel is such an amazing woman ... I think between the two of us, we really have gone and tackled them with all of our fighting with our might and wit."

We have to say we agree.

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on ABC.

PHOTOS: See the cast of Modern Family -- Then and Now


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