Some of them were bullied due to their racial background, while some others got awful treatment from their same-aged friends due to their appearance and differing interest.
- May 16, 2021
Stars that we know today may be loved by people, but apparently some of them used to have to deal with bullying when they were young. Sharing their painful experiences, these celebrities opened up about how they used to be the victims of bullying and how they dealt with it.
Some of them shared that the bullying happened due to their racial background. Some were getting awful treatment from their same-aged friends due to their appearance, while one stated that her sexual orientation led others to bully her.
Find out our beloved stars who had to put up with bullying as kids.
1. Joanna Gaines
Joanna Gaines‘ racial background gave her a painful experience when she was in school. In an interview with Darling magazine, the “Fixer Upper” star, whose mom is full Korean and dad is Caucasian, shared, “Kids in kindergarten would make fun of me for being Asian and when you’re that age you don’t know really how to process that; the way you take that is, ‘Who I am isn’t good enough.’ ”
She went on to say, “I literally walked in the lunchroom and walked out and went into the bathroom. My fear and my insecurities just took over and I felt like I’d way rather sit in the stall than get rejected.” The bullying, however, gave her a valuable lesson as she told her kids “to look for that kid on the playground who’s not playing with anybody, to go reach out, ask them their name, to look for the kid in the lunchroom who isn’t sitting by anybody, be their friend. That experience grounded me in that I want to look for the lonely, the sad, the people who aren’t confident, because that’s not where they’re supposed to stay.”
2. Kim Petras
Kim Petras made a huge decision to undergo gender-confirmation surgery when she was 16 and that led to her tough school experience. “Just being transgender and going to school is tough. [I learned] people will not like you or people will like you, that’s just a reality of life,” she admitted. “You cannot please everybody, and a lot of people bully people because they’re jealous or because they have their own personal issue that they project on you. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to do with you, sometimes people are just bored.”
During the awful period of times, the pop star said that she relied on music the most. “[Pop music] means everything to me. When I was a kid, I used to not really have friends in school. I hated going to school – I got bullied pretty bad,” Kim shared. “I used to run home from school and watch music videos, and I felt like I could escape my problems with that.”
3. Priyanka Chopra
When she was a child, Priyanka Chopra was forced to move back to India from the U.S. due to a traumatic experience at her school. “There was this girl who was a major bully. I think she didn’t like me because her boyfriend liked me, or some high school dynamic,” the wife of Nick Jonas recalled in an interview with PEOPLE. “She made my life hell. She used to call me names and would push me against the locker.”
“Maybe I, being on the platform that I am, can say this louder than the kid who has to get on the subway and go to school: You don’t need to be afraid of who you are,” she said, adding, “I don’t want any kid to feel the way I felt in school. I was afraid of my bully. It made me feel like I’m less – in my skin, in my identity, in my culture.” In a separate interview, the “Quantico” star that she was called “Brownie,” “Curry” and “[told to] ‘go back on the elephant you came on,’ ” when she was a kid and it hugely affected her self-esteem.
4. Lady GaGa
Lady GaGa apparently could relate to her character Ally in her award-winning movie “A Star is Born“. “Well, what’s different between Ally and [myself] is that when I decided I was going to go for it as a singer and songwriter, I just hit the ground running,” the “Monster” hitmaker said. “I really believed in myself. Ally is not this way. My character in this film, she doesn’t believe in herself at all. She’s very jaded by the music industry and she’s given up on herself.”
“What I had to do was go back further into my childhood, into my high school years, when I was bullied and made fun of for having big dreams,” she went on to say. “That’s where I went.”
5. Padma Lakshmi
Little Padma Lakshmi had difficulty to fit in as she had to go back-and-forth between India and New York. The “Top Chef” host revealed that she fell victim to bullying when she was a kid and that were moments that she could not forget easily. “I can even remember their names – when I was in seventh grade it was Sylvia, when I was in eighth grade it was Patty,” she recalled.
The TV personality then added that her bullies didn’t only bully her verbally, but also physically attacked her. “One time somebody crushed an egg on my head and punched [me] in the face — it was horrible. I used to be called giraffe and it just makes you feel so, so alone and so scared,” she opened up.
6. Tom Ford
People now would kill to have a fashion item from designer and film director Tom Ford‘s high-end brand. While fashion is the thing that brought Tom to fame and successful life, it was also the thing that made him bullied when he was young. “As a kid in the ’60s, I wasn’t great at football, I was not great at team sports, I wasn’t great with my BB gun, which in Texas soon turns into a .410 shotgun and then turns into something else,” Tom shared to PEOPLE. “I wasn’t interested in those things and so I was teased a lot.”
The bullying apparently affected him greatly that he still feels insecure every time he sees a group of kids now. “Still to this day if I walk past a group of kids, they can be 8 years old playing soccer, and that ball comes towards me, I panic because, ‘My God, I have to kick that ball and they’re all going to laugh because I’m not great at soccer.’ It’s a sort of instant panic,” he said.
7. Kate Winslet
Even Kate Winslet isn’t off-limits to bullies. Recalling her awful past experience, the “Titanic” star said to Bear Grylls during her appearance on “Running Wild“, “I was chubby, always had big feet, the wrong shoes, bad hair.” She added, “When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life.”
Fortunately, the mom of three managed to turn the bullying into a valuable lesson as she tried to teach her kids about having a strong sense of self-worth. “I stand in front of the mirror and say to Mia, ‘We are so lucky we have a shape. We’re so lucky we’re curvy. We’re so lucky that we’ve got good bums,’ ” said “The Reader” actress.
8. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba is also among stars who fell victim to bullying when she was a kid. “I was bullied so badly my dad used to have to walk me into school so I didn’t get attacked,” she told the Mirror.
It was so bad that the “Fantastic Four” star would “eat my lunch in the nurse’s office so I didn’t have to sit with the other girls.” Explaining the tough experience, Jessica said, “Apart from my being mixed race, my parents didn’t have money so I never had the cute clothes or the cool backpack.”
9. Rumer Willis
When she was young, Rumer Willis had to put up with bullies who always criticized her for her looks. During her appearance on “Dancing with the Stars“, the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore shared that she was bullied by people as they would compare her to her “masculine father.” It was bad enough that the teen Rumer considered plastic surgery.
“I thought … ‘If I change my face or get really skinny, that will be it. That will be the answer,’ ” Rumer said through tears in the episode. She, however, realized that “it’s not” the answer.
10. Demi Lovato
Having found fame since she was young wasn’t always a good thing for Demi Lovato. In an interview with PEOPLE, the “Sober” singer revealed that when she was a kid, “people would write ‘hate petitions’ [about me] and send them around to be signed. They’d have CD-bashing parties of my demos.”
The bullies even took the bullying to the whole another level. “They’d come to my house, stand across the street and yell things. It was a very emotional time for me, and all I wanted to do was get away,” Demi shared.
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