Ariel WinterModern Family‘s Ariel Winter may only be turning 18 years old today, but she has already proven herself on numerous occasions to be a great role model for young girls and women. Growing up definitely isn’t painless and the situation can become even more intense when you are doing it in Hollywood. We have seen many a teen star suffer, but Ariel has kept herself in check and handled it with grace, even during difficult situations.

(Related: Ariel Winter, Effortlessly Wonderful Human, Shut Down Body Shamers on Instagram)

Take a look at the reasons Ariel Winter proved she is a great role model:

1. She opened up about the challenges of dressing her “mature” body.

When we look at red carpet photos, it is easy to think that celebrities are flawless and that they never have any issues getting dressed. It was refreshing when Ariel admitted to People that she struggled to find the perfect outfit for her body too. She explained:

“It’s interesting, because I’m very young, but I have a more mature body. So it’s a blessing and a curse. I have to find things that are appropriate to wear but also fit my body well, so it still looks good.”

2. She proudly showed off her curves.Ariel Winter red dress

Ariel may said decided to later get breast reduction surgery, but she never tried to cover up her body on the red carpet, even if she struggled to find the right clothes. She showed off her curves in form-fitting silhouettes and always looked confident.

3. Ariel has big dreams.

Ariel is on one of the most successful comedies in recent TV history, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to explore other interests. At 17 years old, Ariel was already thinking about attending law school. She stated:

“I would love to continue acting but it’s definitely important, I think, to go and do something else as well. You never know if something’s not going to work out. If one day acting is like, ‘No, we don’t like you anymore,’ you gotta have something else you can do. I’ve always been interested in law, so I think it’ll definitely be something that I’ll love to do, and also go to school for.”

4. She shut down body shamers on Instagram.ariel winter

(Photo: Instagram/ArielWinter)

Sometimes the internet can be an awful place full of shamers and haters. Ariel was subject to abuse after she posted a photo of herself wearing a bikini posing next to her nieces. Normally she does not respond to negative comments, but this time she put the trolls in their place. She wrote:

“Who knew that an innocent photo with my nieces would turn into this? The height of a girl’s skirt or whatever she is wearing for that matter, does not imply what she is asking for. It sickens me to think at 17 years old, a photo of myself with my nieces is suggesting that I’m “asking for it”. I typically never give power to the mean things people bravely say behind their computer screens on the Internet, but this is for the girls who are constantly bullied whether it be online or at school.. You are not asking for anything because of what you are wearing- you are expressing yourself and don’t you ever think you deserve the negativity as the consequence to what you are wearing- YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Celebrate you and don’t let anyone’s comments allow you to think less of yourself. Us girls have to stick together!!!!!!”

5. She attended regular school.Ariel Winter Formal

(Photo: Instagram/ArielWinter)

Ariel has been acting since she was a child so attending school like everyone else wasn’t possible. She was privately tutored but made the decision in 2013 to attend a private high school. She got to experience regular student life and she even attended her school’s dances and prom.

6. Ariel worked through her family drama.

Ariel may have been on a successful television show but her life wasn’t without drama. There were allegations that her mother was emotionally abusing her and Ariel ended up going to live with her sister. She won the battle for emancipation in 2015 after three years, but she never let the issue effect her work during that time.

7. She opened up about her breast reduction surgery.

Surgery is not a topic a lot of celebrities feel comfortable talking about, even if it is for health-related issues as opposed to cosmetic ones. However, Ariel was candid about having breast reduction surgery. In August 2015, she explained to Glamour her reason to go public with the surgery:

“I didn’t want to not tell anybody and then have another million stories [say], “What happened to Ariel? She looks so different.” And I also think there’s some good that can come from [telling] my story. It’s something that I did to better my life and better my health and I think that that can benefit a lot of young girls. I have felt more happy with myself than I ever have. I am living a dream that a lot of girls my age would love to be living, and I’m aware of that. I’m really grateful that I’m able to do that and have a voice that I’m able to speak to teenagers. I don’t want to do anything to mess that up.”

(Photos: Getty Images, unless otherwise noted)