Bullying is recognized as a major problem in American schools, as almost 30 percent of kids in grades six through 12 have reported being bullied at school and 20 percent of children in grades one through six suffer the same fate. Victims of bullying endure a terrible time and believe they have nowhere to turn.
However, a number of famous celebrities have come forward and admitted they were the victims of bullying growing up. It is hoped that hearing tales from successful individuals will provide encouragement to those who are currently being bullied. Below, we look at seven famous people who were once on the receiving end of some rough physical and verbal treatment from their peers.
7 Celebrities Who’ve Been Bullied
The Hollywood actress wasnâ€™t always the pretty girl next door. When she was growing up, Sandra would travel to Europe with her family and come back with a dress sense that was completely different than the other kids at school. In her own words, she looked like â€œa clownâ€ in comparison to the way the â€œcoolerâ€ kids at school dressed.
As a result, she was bullied and even had her butt kicked a few times. Sandra knows first-hand how cruel kids can be, and despite her success, she still remembers the name of every single kid who bullied her. However, she hasnâ€™t allowed her negative childhood experiences with bullies to prevent her from being a huge success.
He may be recognized as one of the sexiest men alive today, but Justin wasnâ€™t quite as popular in school as you might think. Tennessee, the place where he grew up, was filled with kids obsessed with sporting achievements â€” football in particular, he said.
As he was into music and art, he was considered a â€œsissyâ€, which meant he became an outcast. However, Justin believes the things you are bullied for as a kid are often the things that make you sexy as an adult. He brushed off the bullies and has forged an amazing career in music and movies.
Marshall Mathers III may be one of the most respected hip-hop artists of his generation, but he didnâ€™t possess much street cred as a kid. His torment began when he was 9 years of age as a student at Dort Elementary School in Detroit. A bully by the name of DeAngelo Bailey repeatedly beat Eminem up; some of the abuse was so bad that he was knocked unconscious.
Eminemâ€™s mother sued the Detroit school system for failing to protect her son as he suffered a horrendous childhood. However, he had the last laugh by becoming a millionaire rapper known and respected by millions worldwide. He even named Bailey as his bully in a song called â€œBrain Damageâ€, and he now speaks out against bullying whenever he can.
The famous singer is known for her wild-child behavior, but she was very much on the receiving end of poor treatment from her fellow kids at school. In her book, called â€œMiles to Goâ€, Miley outlined what happened to her and said the punishments she received went far beyond normal bullying.
As a small and scrawny child, she was picked on by big, tough girls who would trap her in the school bathroom. Miley would beat the door down until her hands hurt and would be locked there for up to an hour before help came.
The Oscar-winning actress was bullied throughout her childhood, but instead of allowing it to break her, she used the torment to fuel her ambitions and says it helped strengthen her character. When she was in elementary school, Jennifer was forced to switch schools regularly because of bullying.
Although the bullying was less vicious in middle school, there were still some cruel pranks pulled on her, such as the occasion when she was told to hand out invitations to a birthday party she wasnâ€™t invited to. As it happened, Jennifer spat on the invites and tossed them in the trash! She said victims of bullying canâ€™t let it affect them because there will always be people like that in your life.
Eva is now recognized as a sex symbol, but as a kid, she was bullied to the point she felt â€œsmall insideâ€. Eva said she was scared to report the incidents to her parents or school officials because she didnâ€™t want to make the bullying worse; this is still a common reaction to bullying by victims today.
One day, a bully tried to destroy Evaâ€™s new shoes, but the future star finally stood up to the bully, and from that day forward, the girl didnâ€™t bother Eva. Fast forward a few decades and Eva is on top of the world, considered to be one of the worldâ€™s most beautiful women.
The comedian who recently announced he and his wife are divorcing has sold out arenas around the world and starred in a number of movies but claims being the victim of bullying made him the person he is today. While he lived in the Bed-Stuy ghetto, he was bussed to school in a poor, white neighborhood. As well as being a small, skinny kid, he was also the only black child in his grade, which made him an easy target for bullies.
According to Chris, many of the worldâ€™s most successful people have been bullied at one time or another. He ended up making a TV show called â€œEverybody Hates Chrisâ€ based on his childhood experiences.
Don’t Allow Bullying to Happen to You
As you can see, bullying is unfortunately more prevalent than you might imagine. However, it doesnâ€™t last forever, and now there are ways and means to defend yourself. Perhaps you could get involved in a self-defense program and learn some karate skills to keep yourself protected. Bullying is a serious issue, so if you are a victim, donâ€™t hesitate to let someone know, because you donâ€™t have to suffer it alone.