Anti-Bullying Week: 10 Celebs Who Overcame Their Bullies
Look where they are now.
Sunday night dread, cold sweats at the school gates, and sickening panic every time your phone vibrates. The trauma of bullying can kill your self-esteem and make you feel completely isolated.
This week is Anti-Bullying Week, and there areloads of tips and advice on how to cope with - and kick bullying’s ass - here. And even though it can feel like the bullying will never end, these celebs prove there is life after bullying, and it’s pretty awesome.
“I focused all my energy on acting and dancing and singing and music so that I felt like I had purpose… and it made it a lot better.”
The mega-talented Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars actor was bullied so badly in high school that he used to stand on the balcony of his family’s high-rise apartments and want to jump.
As well as focusing his mind on his artistic talents, he told Bystander Revolution that he also coped by, “Making another group of friends outside of that group of people who were mean to me so that I had some sort of support system.”
“I changed schools a lot.”
The Hunger Games actress (and all round legend) was forced to move between schools because of bullying. Handing out birthday party invitations for a party she wasn’t invited to was a low point. Not inviting Katniss Everdeen to play hide and seek at your birthday party? #Fail.
“People would write hate petitions [about me] and send them around to be signed.”
Queen bae Demi has been pretty outspoken about being bullied in school and its impact on her mental health. School kids would hold ‘CD-bashing parties’ where they’d slate her demos, stand across the road from her house shouting things, and call her fat - ultimately driving her to anorexia and bulimia.
Demi’s since thrown herself into anti-bullying campaigns. She’s been named ambassador of Mean Stinks – a place where nice prevails and girl-to-girl bullying comes to an end. She’s also spokeswoman for the anti-bullying organisation PACER. Check her out in this vid talking more about her experiences:
“Everything that you get picked on for or feel makes you weird is essentially what’s going to make you sexy as an adult.”
And what better proof of this than JT himself. He told Ellen DeGeneres that as a kid he was often called a sissy for choosing to spend time doing arty stuff over sports. Moral of the story – follow your passions, even if they’re deemed uncool, and you could be the next global superstar to bring sexy back.
“The girls took it beyond normal bullying.”
She's our Wrecking Ball-singing, pasty-wearing, pansexual gal. Miley bared all about bullying in her book. One of her worst moments in high school saw her locked in a toilet by girls much bigger and stronger than her. She banged on the door for so long waiting to be rescued, “Wondering how my life had gotten so messed up.”
Since reaching mega-fame she’s supported a bunch of anti-bullying campaigns and charities, and has spoken out about online trolling and the mental scars it can leave.
“I had the worst high school experience ever. I went to a very mean school and was bullied like crazy.”
The Mad Men star hated life at school. Her advice to anyone in a similar situation? “If I could go back and tell my 14 year old self anything it would be ‘Don’t worry, you’re going to be doing exactly what you want to be doing and those people who are a**holes now are still going to be a**holes in 20 years, so let it go!’” (The Mirror)
“When I was in middle school and high school a bully would tell me ways to kill myself every day.”
One particular bully taunted the Pitch Perfect star about pretty much everything, even dissing her on posters. Tragically, a good friend of hers committed suicide because of the same person. A stark reminder that bullying can have consequences way beyond what someone might intend.
“I was new and it was like that movie Mean Girls.”
Bullying from a clique of girls in her school meant the lead singer of Paramore was eventually home-schooled. Speaking to Cosmopolitan magazine about her experience, she said, “I think its important to check in with yourself and make sure you are being exactly who you want to be.”
“They were literally pulling things up out of puddles and throwing them at me, and I just stood there on my own.”
Ex Spice Girl, fashion designer, and wife of arguably the world’s most perfect human, had a miserable existence at school with very few friends. “People would push me around, say they were going to beat me up after school, chase me,” she told Elle Magazine.
Fast forward ten years and Posh Spice was touring the world with the most popular girl band in history, and absolutely slaying it.
“I think it made me stronger going through that.”
As a teen the Olympic gold-medal swimmer was bullied about this lisp and big ears. Years later and the sports legend finds himself eating in restaurants where his old bullies work, “And I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, why are you trying to talk to me now? You were picking on me then’.” (Yahoo Sports)
No one should have to suffer at the hands of bullies, especially in silence. But if these celebs have proved anything, it’s that negativity from others can fuel ambition towards a life of total win.