Bullying is one of the worst experiences anyone can go through and it has led to all sorts of deplorable things, such as self-hate, depression, and in some extreme cases, suicide. Some people tend to make light of bullying, but it’s an absolutely serious issue that needs to be addressed. The general notion of bullying is that it happens in schools. Peers attack kids they deem different or “uncool.” Whether it’s verbal abuse or physical abuse, the victim is always at the losing end here.
But it’s not just limited to schools. With technology being such a major part of our lives, there’s a more pervasive kind of bullying now called cyber bullying. Simply put, this is bullying of the cyber kind, meaning Internet trolls attack people on social media for stating opinions that are different from theirs. It’s so easy for these cowardly trolls to attack because they are hiding behind pseudonyms and computer screens where no one can physically harm them. Laws truly need to be passed to be able to prevent this kind of harassment. Everyone has been a victim of bullying at one time or another, including these celebrities.
16. Zac Efron
He may have been a heartthrob and Mr. Popularity as Troy Bolton in the High School Musical film franchise, but in real life, Zac Efron was anything but. He found his love for musical theatre in high school and this passion made him an easy target for bullies, who didn’t take kindly to theatre geeks. He said he was constantly surrounded by 6’1” dudes with big muscles and beards, making the gawky teenager feel awkward and left out. He went on to say that growing up was hell for him. His bullies must be putting their foot in their mouth now, when they see how far he’s come along. Efron has also appeared in other films like Hairspray, 17 Again, New Year’s Eve, The Lucky One, and the Neighbors films, cementing his status as an A-lister. He’s also a true heartthrob now, with women and men drooling over his six-pack and muscled arms.
15. Kate Winslet
Many actors have never even seen one award in their lifetime and for Kate Winslet to have under her belt an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, four Golden Globe Awards, and a Grammy Award is nothing short of impressive. All she lacks is a Tony Award to make her an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) hall of famer. Winslet was first recognized by the international movie crowd in the 1995 film Sense and Sensibility, then had her breakthrough role in the 1997 epic film Titanic and her career has gone to great heights ever since. Winslet said that she had a tough childhood, as she was bullied for her weight and appearance, with mean peers nicknaming her Blubber. In fact, she bumped into one of her bullies, who was manning a beauty counter in a department store, after her success in Titanic and she went up to the bully, thanking her for being a bi*%$ because it made her a lot stronger.
14. Amy Schumer
When news broke that filmmakers would be developing a live action film about Barbie, people expected that a skinny blonde actress would be cast in the role or at least someone who remotely resembled the model-sized doll. To everyone’s surprise, comedian Amy Schumer was cast in the role. Some were delighted by this break in convention, but there were the usual cynics who expressed disapproval over the choice because let’s face it, Schumer doesn’t look anywhere near Barbie. As a result, she was hurled insults at and fat shamed. But like the outspoken person that she is, she fought back and said she refused to be made to feel bad about her body and that she really felt deserving to play the role of Barbie. Of her haters? She just decided to laugh at them and ignore them, encouraging her supportive fans to follow suit.
13. Sandra Bullock
She gives off that tough as nails attitude, seemingly being capable of biting off the head of anyone who threatens to harm her or anyone she loves. Sandra Bullock has weathered many storms in her personal life and has seemed to have emerged stronger than ever. Perhaps she can attribute this strength to the bullying she had to endure as a child. She said that she had to endure cruel words and comments from her peers at school because of the way she dressed. She would come back after the summer from Europe wearing the bright, colorful European fashion of that time and it was a stark contrast to the American fashion the kids were used to. People would laugh at her for looking like a clown and she said that though it’s been years, she can still remember all those people who were awful to her.
In Hollywood, she’s considered beautiful and exotic-looking, with her dusky skin, pretty eyes, and lean physique. But back when she was growing up in Barbados, singer and songwriter Rihanna endured a fair amount of bullying. Her peers didn’t think she was beautiful; rather, they found her to be funny-looking, all because her skin was paler than the rest of her people. They didn’t know whether to label her black or white and they even went so far as cursing her out. She says it was something she never understood growing up. Well, looks like she has the last laugh now, what with her astounding success as one of the biggest selling music artists today. Today she is worth around $160 million, has a massive home in Barbados, and embraces her unique beauty with the confidence she never had as a child.
11. Jessie J
Her look is constantly evolving, leaving us wondering what Jesse J looks like at the moment. But her ability to always change her look is what makes her unique in an industry that makes you feel the need to stand out. The English singer and songwriter began her career onstage at the tender age of 11, then moved on to song writing, writing for artists like Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus. Her albums have sold over 3 million albums worldwide and she credits her success to her unconventional music style. She was at one point, bullied online as people made fun of the size of her small breasts, calling her flat chested. She fought back, saying she didn’t care about breast size and that she was proud of her body. She emphasized that all girls should love their bodies, boobs or no boobs.
10. Jessica Alba
Looking at her photos from when she was a child, it’s clear that Jessica Alba has always been beautiful, so we tend to wonder why on earth she got bullied? But looks don’t matter for certain kids and when you’re a target, you’re a target. Alba said she was mainly bullied because of her mixed heritage which, while it makes her look exotically gorgeous today, didn’t sit well with kids in her school who hated anyone who dared to be different. Another reason she was bullied was because her family didn’t have any money. It came to the point that her father had to walk her into the school so she wouldn’t get attacked. She was so ostracized, that she would eat her lunch at the nurses’ office so that she wouldn’t have to endure the taunts of the other girls in her school. For sure, her bullies would never have dreamed that she would grow up into the beautiful, successful A-lister that she is today.
9. Jackie Chan
Anyone who would dare bully a martial arts master like Jackie Chan is asking for a death wish or at the very least, probably runs the risk of getting his limbs broken, but believe it or not, Chan wasn’t the tough guy back then that we know him as today. Back when he was growing up in Hong Kong, he said he was terrified of the bullies in his school. He allowed himself to be picked on, saying he was too scared to fight back and didn’t know how to defend himself. His wake-up call was when he saw a fellow student being bullied. He couldn’t stand in the sidelines any longer and decided to jump in to the hapless student’s defense. This was the start of him learning how to defend himself as well, and eventually led him down the path to martial arts.
Anyone who would have dared bully Madonna had another thing coming for them. But believe it or not, the feisty and fierce pop icon once endured bullying when she was a child. She recounts that the boys at her school used to pick on her because she was quite hairy in the arms, legs, not to mention had bushy eyebrows. She said they called her a “hairy monster.” But in typical Madonna fashion, she didn’t take the abuse sitting down. Rather, she rebelled against her bullies by adamantly refusing to shave her armpits and though it gave them more ammunition to bully her, it was her way of fighting back and showing she couldn’t care less what they said about her. This attitude has proven to make her the unreckonable force that she is today. She expresses herself in the most outlandish ways with nary a care about what other people say about her. That’s part of the reason she has been enjoying success for almost four decades.
7. Leslie Jones
For celebrities, one of the most challenging aspects of choosing to have social media accounts is having to open yourself up to cyber bullies who hide behind their computer screens and spew hate at any celebrity who dares sprout an opinion. One person who was the target of a bad case of online harassment was Leslie Jones. The Saturday Night Live star was the subject of attacks that were misogynistic in nature and she was hurled insults at for her physical appearance, all stemming from criticism for her role in the Ghostbusters film reboot. The attacks escalated because she chose to fight back and this retaliation apparently angered her haters so much that they hacked her personal website, making the incident a national security issue. Needless to say, Jones temporarily signed off Twitter, despite the steps the Twitter bosses took in permanently banning the person who supposedly orchestrated the trolling.
6. Justin Timberlake
He’s always had that fresh boy-next-door image, far removed from the bad boy look that many of his contemporaries have. This makes it easy to believe, though sad as it may sound, that Justin Timberlake was once bullied as a child. The Memphis, Tennessee native recounts that he once used to be teased because of his love for the arts because where he grew up, you had to love football or else you were a sissy. He had insults slung at him constantly for being into music and was widely regarded as an outcast. Perhaps to the chagrin of his bullies, Timberlake’s passion for music is what catapulted him to fame and success as not only a solo artist, but a songwriter, music producer, and a pretty good actor as well. He surprised everyone when he appeared to have a flair for comedy in films like The Love Guru, Bad Teacher, and Friends With Benefits.
She’s only 28 years old and British singer-songwriter Adele has already accomplished much in such short a time in the music industry, not just in her home country, but across the pond, as well. She released her debut album, entitled 19 in 2008 to rave reviews and astounding commercial success, having been certified three times platinum in the US. Her second and third albums were just as or even more successful, cementing her status as a music great in modern times. When she and her partner Simon Konecki had a baby boy in 2012, they were beyond ecstatic and didn’t hesitate to share the news on social media. But they received some hate from nasty Twitter haters, who tweeted horrible messages about the birth, like “Is it [the baby] fat and handicapped lol?” and “Adele was pregnant? I thought she was fat.” And sadly, these messages were retweeted hundreds of times.
4. Winona Ryder
She was one of the biggest stars in the 1990s with one of the most beautiful faces to grace the screens. Winona Ryder is best known for her roles in the films Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, The Age of Innocence (for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress), Little Women, Reality Bites, and Girl, Interrupted. After running into some trouble with the law and battling some personal issues, her star waned a bit, until recently, when she started appearing in the hit Netflix TV show, Stranger Things. With nominations for her role in the show, Ryder’s career seems to be making a comeback. She said it wasn’t easy being a child star though, as she was badly bullied back when she was in junior high. In fact, she ran into her bully in a cafe when she was already famous and the bully had the gall to ask for an autograph. Ryder’s response? “Go f*%$ yourself.”
3. Cindy Crawford
Even at almost 51 years old, Cindy Crawford is still considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. She was at the top of the fashion world back in the 1990s, having graced the world’s biggest magazine covers multiple times. She was admired for her good looks and great body, but it was the mole on her face that truly set her apart from the rest, as it made a body part considered abnormal unique to her as a person. But as a teenager, she was subject to nasty remarks about her mole and it got so bad that she reached a point where she wanted to have it surgically removed. It was her mother who dissuaded her from doing so and it was a good thing too. Crawford became so well-known for the mole that at one point, women everywhere went so far as to draw fake moles onto their faces to emulate her.
2. Chris Rock
One of the worst things to get bullied about is for something that you have absolutely no control over, like the color of your skin. Chris Brown was just one of many persons who had to endure getting taunted and teased merely for being black. What made it tough for him as a boy was that he was the only black boy in his New York school, making him a very easy target for racial slurs. Rock revealed that kids in his school went so far as kicking his ass, spitting in his face, and kicking him down the stairs. Fortunately, he came out of that period in his life stronger and looks at it as a defining moment for who he is as a person today. And he has certainly come a long way from those difficult days, as he’s now a successful actor comedian, writer, producer, and director.
1. Robert Pattinson
Being bullied for something that you’ve taken an interest in because it’s your passion is one of the worst things anyone can endure. Robert Pattinson was a victim to this circumstance back when he was studying at The Harrodian School in west London. He may be a heartthrob and one of the biggest movie stars today, but back in his youth, he was unpopular because of his “luvvie” (or softie) attitude. He liked acting and never tried to hide the fact that he wanted to be an actor. This provoked his peers to assault and hit him, as they viewed acting as a profession for losers. Fast forward to years later and we tend to wonder what his tormentors are saying and doing now that their victim is a huge, sought-after star. He’s best known for his work in the smash hit film franchise Twilight, which brought him worldwide fame and made him one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors today.