Bullying is something that happened in the shadows for a very long time. More recently, the issue has received more attention as efforts to stop bullying have taken hold in schools and workplaces. With so much more attention on bullying, a number of celebrities have gone public with their stories of being bullied when they were kids. It may surprise you to find out that a number of very famous people had to endure being bullied at some point in their lives.
1. Jennifer Lawrence
Yes, the strong, independent star of The Hunger Games was herself bullied as a kid. Elementary school was particularly tough for Lawrence, and she changed schools a number of times because of other girls who were picking on her. Now an idol for millions of young girls, Jennifer Lawrence has certainly come a long way.
2. Justin Timberlake
This pop superstar didn’t always have girls swooning over him and asking him for dates. Growing up in Tennessee, Timberlake revealed that he had bad acne and “weird hair,” which apparently made him a target for other boys who thought he was a “sissy” because he was into art and music instead of football.
Growing up in her native Barbados, her unique looks were not always well received by her peers. Rihanna says that she was bullied because her light complexion and green eyes made her look different than the other kids.
4. Kate Winslet
As the youngest person to ever receive six Academy Award nominations, there’s no doubt about Kate Winslet’s place among Hollywood’s top actors. What’s not as well known is that Winslet was bullied during childhood because she was chubby, and was sometimes called “Blubber.”
5. Miley Cyrus
These days Miley Cyrus is about as “in your face” as a pop star can be. One would not expect that a performer with the confidence she obviously has was bullied in school. Writing in her book, Miles to Go, she relates an incident where she was once trapped in a school bathroom with a group of girls who bullied her and prevented her from leaving.
6. Tyra Banks
Here’s evidence that backs up the old fable about the ugly duckling that grows up to be a beautiful swan. Supermodel Tyra Banks wasn’t always as beautiful as she is today. She describes herself as a lanky kid with a big forehead that kids teased her about. How things change.
7. Christian Bale
In this actor’s case, it was actually the start of his acting career that seemed to have triggered the bullying he was forced to endure. At the age of 13, Bale starred in Empire of The Sun. Although one might expect that being a movie star would be well-received by his peers, the opposite happened. He was regularly punched and kicked by other kids who were most likely jealous of his success.
8. Jessica Alba
Considered by many as one of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses, it’s surprising to learn that Jessica Alba was not always the object of everyone’s affection. She was bullied so badly in school that her father often walked her to school to prevent her from being beat up. She also ate lunch in the nurse’s office on numerous occasions for the same reason.
9. Robert Pattinson
The star of the wildly popular Twilight series of movies suffered through his share of bullying during his school years. He says he was often beat up because of his passion for acting, which probably did not seem “normal” to other kids, who may have been more interested in things like sports.
10. Jackie Chan
Who would have expected this martial arts expert and action movie star to show up on a list like this? Chan wasn’t always the expert martial artist, and he was too scared to stand up to the kids who bullied him when he attended Peking Opera School. Chan eventually learned to stand up for himself after he had the courage to defend another student who was being bullied.
11. Michael Phelps
How do you go from being bullied to being the most-decorated Olympic athlete of all time? Ask Michael Phelps, long before he earned 22 Olympic medals, he was bullied by other kids in his Baltimore, Maryland neighborhood due to his lisp and “big ears.”