As a child and teenager, one of the most difficult aspects of life is having to deal with the relentless and excessive bullying by other kids. Bullying is repeated acts of aggression with the intention to hurt an individual, either mentally, emotionally or physically. This can be done with the use of physical violence, cyber bullying, emotional and verbal abuse. In recent years, there have been many cases of bullying ending very tragically. It’s very common for victims of bullying to become depressed, violent themselves, anxious and suicidal. Bullying can be very traumatic and often can leave long term damage. There are many reasons why a person might become a target for a bully, such as, appearance, personality, gender, race, sexual orientation, behaviour and social class.
Nobody is safe from a bully, even the world’s most famous celebrities were bullied. Celebrities have been teased, bullied, picked on and beat up. Some of them had broken bones, stitches and emotional scars. Many of them have endured the same harassment and abuse as kids do today. They too felt alone and scared. They reacted like anyone else and often suffered from depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. Here is a look at 20 celebrities who were bullied as kids.
20) Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is an actress and singer/songwriter. As a child, she was the star of the Disney series, Hannah Montana. Later, she would develop a more mature and sexy image. Her hit singles include, “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball”. In her book Miles to Go, she notes that she was short and scrawny and was bullied by big, tough mean girls. She feels that they took it beyond normal bullying. In one situation, they even locked her in the girls washroom. She admitted that she was trapped in there for an hour and pounded on the door until her fists hurt. She has gone on to become one of the most famous celebrities in Hollywood.
19) Howard Stern
Howard Stern is a radio host and personality. He has dubbed himself, “The King of all media”. He is known for his controversial personality. He had his own radio show from 1986 to 2005, that aired nationally in syndication. He wrote two best selling books, Private Parts released in 1993 and Miss America, released in 1995. Private Parts was turned into a movie in 1997, starring Howard as himself. Currently, he has his own show on Sirius Satellite radio. In Private Parts, he discusses being bullied as a child. He was picked on by a local bully who would blow his nose into his Italian Ices and eat it. Stern was picked on and beat up by the bully so much that his parents made him take judo lessons.
18) Megan Fox
Megan Fox is a one of the hottest and most beautiful sex symbols of all time. She is known for appearing in films such as, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Transformers and Jennifer’s Body. She has been featured in magazines such as, FHM, Maxim and GQ. During high school, she was bullied and picked on a lot. She has stated that she spent most of her time in the bathroom, so she could avoid having ketchup packs thrown at her. She has stated that because she has always gotten along better with boys, that it “rubbed” people the wrong way. She noted that she was hated in high school and not popular. However, she has recognized that often bullies have their own insecurities that they need to deal with.
17) Jason Segel
Jason Segel is well known for his television roles on hit series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared. He is perhaps best known for his role on the hit sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. He also appeared in films such as, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Despicable Me and The 5 Year Engagement. Growing up, he was always a very tall child. By the time he was in high school, he was 6’4. In an interview he gave, he noted that one of his worst memories as a child was when all the kids would make a circle around him and chant, “ride the oaf! ride the oaf!”. That would be traumatic for any kid, no matter how tall they are.
16) Eva Mendes
Eva Mendes is best known for her roles in films such as, Training Day, Ghost Rider, Hitch and The Other Guys. She is also a model and has appeared in several ad campaigns, including, Cartier, Reebok, Calvin Klein and more. She once described herself as a teenager as being, “a gawky, skinny girl with big teeth.” This made her the target of two bullies who she said, “tortured me all the way through junior high.” Too bad for those bullies, Eva Mendes is considered to be one of the most beautiful celebrities alive. She is constantly listed on Maxim’s Top Hot 100. In 2012, People magazine named her one of the most beautiful people at any age.
15) Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps is a swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, winning 22 medals. He has also won 18 Gold Medals, which is a record. As a child, he was bullied and picked on because of his big ears and lisp. He stated in a interview with Yahoo Sports, that he goes back around to were he grew up and still sees those same bullies. He said about the bullies, “They’re still around busing tables or whatever, probably still acting the same way. They’ll try to talk to me now and I’m thinking, ‘Why are you talking to me now? You were picking on me then’”.
14) Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba is an actress known for roles in films such as, Into The Blue, Honey, Sin City and Fantastic Four. She had her big breakthrough with her role in the TV series, Dark Angel. As a child, her family moved frequently and she suffered from numerous illnesses. This kept her isolated from the other kids and made it difficult for her to make friends. She was bullied, picked on and beat up so badly that her father would have to walk her into school. Also, she would eat her lunch in the nurses office. In an interview, she acknowledged other factors, such as being mixed race and not wearing the “cutest” clothes. She is now considered a sex symbol and one of the most beautiful celebrities of all time.
13) Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan is an actor and martial artist. He is one of the most famous martial artists. He is known for his incredible skills, acrobatic fight style and his comedic timing. As a child, Jackie Chan wasn’t the hilarious, butt-kicking superstar he is now. When he was younger, he would get picked on and bullied. He stated that he was too scared to defend himself. One day, a new student was being bullied and Jackie stood up for the new student and in the process, learned to stand up for himself. He has appeared in a number of great films such as, The Rush Hour series, Drunken Master, Rumble In The Bronx and The Forbidden Kingdom.
Eminem is considered to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. He is also one of the best selling artists of all time. He’s released several successful albums including, The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP, Encore and more. He has referenced being bullied in his music several times. As a young child, he was a loner and was constantly bullied and beaten up. While living in Missouri, he was beaten up so badly once, that he was hospitalized for a head injury and blindness. He and his mother then moved to a predominately African-American neighborhood in Detroit. They were one of three white families living there. He was beaten up and bullied on a regular basis while living there. Of course, he was able to take all of this pain and work it into his music.
11) Chris Rock
Chris Rock is considered by many to be one of the greatest stand up comedians and comedic actors of all time. He appeared in films such as, Dogma, The Longest Yard and Down To Earth. He was also a member of Saturday Night Live and released several successful HBO stand up comedy specials. As a child, his parents sent him to a predominately white high school. Here he was bullied relentlessly by the white students. When he got older, it got so bad that his parents pulled him from the school. Eventually, he dropped out. Many feel that he may have developed his sense of humor and comedic timing as a way to deal with the bullies. He had his own TV series, Everybody Hates Chris, which was based on his time attending the predominately white schools.
10) Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks is best known for her role as Joan Harris on the massively successful series, Mad Men. She has received universal praise for her role. She has also been considered the ideal female role model because of her hourglass-like figure. Although, she would rather people focused on her talent and performance in Mad Men. She told the UK Mirror that she went to a “very mean school” and was bullied like “crazy”. She said that if she could tell her 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******* are still going to be a******* in 20 years. So let it go.”
9) Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham is a singer, model and fashion designer. She is best remembered as a member of the massively popular all-girl group, Spice Girls. She comes from a wealthy family and tried to hide it from her classmates because they would pick on her because of it. She has stated that she never had any friends and just kept to herself. She was bullied constantly. During an interview with Elle Magazine, she noted that bullies would pick up things from puddles and throw them at her. Often, they would threaten her that they would beat her up. She stated that her whole school life was “miserable” and that she “didn’t fit in”. Of course, she has become one of the biggest celebrities in the world. She is widely considered to be a fashion and style icon.
8) Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato is an actress and singer/songwriter. Her albums have included, Don’t Forget, Here We Go Again, Unbroken and Demi. She also appeared in films, Camp Rock and Princess Protection Program. Her early fame brought on bullying from other kids during middle school. She told People Magazine about her tough time in school. Kids would start “hate petitions” about her and send them around to be signed. They would also have CD bashing parties of her demos. She told Ellen in an interview, that it got so bad she ended up receiving homeschooling. She is now a spokesperson for anti-bullying organization, PACER.
7) Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is a actor and singer/songwriter. His hit singles include, “Sexy Back”. “My Love” and “Mirrors”. He’s also appeared in films, Bad Teacher, In Time and The Social Network. He rose to fame as a member of the boy bad, NSYNC. He grew up in Tennessee and the state is known for its love of football. In an interview on Ellen, he stated that he received several slurs for not playing football and because he was far more interested in arts and music. He has gone on the become one of the best selling and most popular artists of all time. He said “…but everything that you get picked on for or you feel makes you weird is essentially what’s going to make you sexy as an adult.”
6) Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock is an Academy Award winning actress known for her roles in films such as Speed, Mrs. Congeniality, Crash, The Blind Side and Gravity. As a child, she would travel with her mother to Europe. When she would return, she was teased for the way she would dress, which was influenced by the European style. She stated in an interview that when she would come back, she would look like a “clown” compared to the “cool” kids. She noted that she would “get her ass whooped” and that she still remembers the names of each kid that would bully and beat her up. Of course, she grew up to become one of the most beautiful and most famous celebrities of all time.
5) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence is best known for her roles in Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games series, The X-Men Series and American Hustle. She won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. She told Sun Magazine, that while in elementary school, she was bullied so much by some of the other girls that she changed schools several times. In middle school, a girl had Jennifer help her hand out birthday invitations to a party that Jennifer was not invited to. That girl undoubtedly regrets not having invited Jennifer to her birthday party now.
4) Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is one of the best selling musicians of all time. She is known for her flamboyant stage persona, her unique sense of fashion and elaborate music videos. As a teenager, she was repeatedly bullied while attending an all girls private school. She has stated that she was teased and picked on for either being “too provocative” or “too eccentric”. During an interview on Ellen, Lady Gaga stated that she “wanted to be like Boy George but felt like a freak”. She also noted that it took her a long time to be “okay” with herself. She has gone on to become one of the most famous musicians. She has released several massively successful singles including, “Poker Face”, “Bad Romance”, “Telephone” and “Applause”. She’s won five Grammy Awards. Time magazine named her one of the most influential people of 2010.
Rihanna is one of the most successful and popular artists of all time. She is also one of the most beautiful and sexiest celebrities of all time. She has released a number of hit singles, such as, “Umbrella”, “Take A Bow”, “Love The Way You Lie” and “Monster”. She may be one of the biggest stars in the world but as a child, she was bullied and teased relentlessly. She told Allure magazine, that she was teased to the point of fist fights because of having “paler skin” compared to other kids. She said, “I was cultured in a very ‘black’ way. But when I got to school I’m being called ‘white’”. She went on the say that they would curse her out and she didn’t understand why.
2) Christian Bale
Christian Bale is a world renowned actor who is best known for his role as the caped crusader, Batman/billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. At the age of 13, he starred in Steven Spielberg’s The Empire of The Sun. As an adult, he’s appeared in, American Psycho, The Prestige, Public Enemies, I’m Not There, The Fighter and American Hustle. In an interview with People magazine, he stated that he was bullied by several local kids. He said, “They put me through hell, punching and kicking me all the time.” Those boys probably regret their choice to bully…Batman.
1) Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder has appeared in a number of films, such as, Beetlejuice, Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Dracula, Reality Bites, Little Women, Mr. Deeds and The Age Of Innocence. In an interview with the Huffington Post, she talked about being bullied. In one incident, she was wearing a salvation army boy suit. As she went to the bathroom, she was attacked by a group of bullies. They slammed her head into the door. She fell to the ground and the bullies perceived to kick and beat her. The beating was so severe that she required stitches. She was kicked out of school instead of the bullies. Later, after Winona had become a huge success and a major Hollywood star, one of the bullies saw her at a coffee shop. The bully asked for her autograph. Winona asked if they remembered beating up a kid in the 7th grade. The bully said, “Kind of” and Winona responded, “That was me. Go F*** Yourself.”