Nobody’s Teasing Them Now: Celebs Who Were Bullied Before They Were Famous

July 3, 2013  |  
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Bullying has become a huge problem among today’s youth, and with so many new campaigns and advertisements asking people to speak out about and report bullying, more and more stories have come forth. Though many wouldn’t expect it, celebrities have also come forward to talk about their own personal experiences with being bullied. Even though these celebs are rich, famous and well-liked now, before  they were subject to all sorts of harsh words and actions. Here are 14 celebrities who were bullied.


Sandra Bullock

As beautiful and well-dressed as she is now, back when she was younger, Sandra Bullock was teased. When she’d travel to Europe with her family and go back to school, she wasn’t always the most fashionable. Kids would tell her that she looked like a clown and a few of them even beat her up. Sandra says she still remembers every one of the bullies names.

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Chris Rock

Chris Rock can crack jokes about almost anything and make light of all sorts of situations, even bullying. Chris Rock faced all sorts of bullying and other problems when he grew up in a mostly white neighborhood. While it wasn’t funny or laughable at the time, Chris has taken his childhood experiences and put them into a t.v. show, “Everybody Hates Chris.”

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Tiger Woods

While he’s definitely had a fall from grace, Tiger Woods was once golf’s golden boy. But long before he was a famous golfer, Tiger was subjected to all sorts of bullying. In fact, on his first day of school in 1981, he was tied to a tree and called all sorts of racial slurs. The bullies also made fun of his stutter. Nowadays Tiger could probably putt them away.

Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson is a gorgeous woman, but in the past others bullied her about the way she looked. While her figure is amazing today, when she was younger she was a late bloomer. This of course made her subject to all sorts of bullying as she was called a tomboy because of her flat chest. Little did those people know that she would go on to be a famous actress, with curves in all the right places.

Michael Phelps

During his younger years, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was bullied about his big ears as well as his lisp. Though it hurt him back then, now he laughs at the people who used to tease him and suddenly want to talk to him and act like friends. And clearly bullying didn’t hold Phelps back. He’s earned 18 gold Olympic medals and has retired at the age of 27.

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Growing up in Barbados, Rihanna was the victim of bullying because of the color of her skin. Because of her light complexion, she was often teased for being white, and her green eyes didn’t make matters any better for her. She’s now a platinum recording artist and continues to top the charts with her music.

Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake has not only been the lead singer in a boy band, he’s also made an entirely new career as a solo artist. When he was younger, though, JT was made fun of because of his acne and “weird” hair. He was also picked on because of his love for music over football and other sports. He even became a social outcast, but that’s clearly the past. Nowadays JT is as popular and wanted as ever.

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Tyra Banks

Famous supermodel Tyra Banks always had that model look to her, but in the past she was subject to all sorts of bullying. During her younger years she was teased for being way too tall and way too skinny, as well as for having a big forehead. Thankfully Tyra used her unique looks to her benefit. Her height as well as her thin physique made her the perfect model.

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Eminem’s bullying story is definitely one of the most notable. When he was younger, he didn’t have tons of people screaming his name and repeating his raps. Instead, when he was in school, Eminem was bullied and beaten up. His mom pressed charges against the Detroit school system but the lawsuit was dropped. Em didn’t forget one of his bullies; He got back at DeAngelo Bailey in the song Brain Damage.


Christina Aguilera

At a young age, Christina Aguilera was able to experience all sorts of fame, especially after being discovered on the show “Star Search” and becoming a Mouseketeer. However, her growing fame wouldn’t sit well with everyone. Bullies would often go to her singing events and try to sabotage her performances. Some of the bullies even slashed her mom’s tires. The bullying got so bad that she sought therapy.

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Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk is best known for her role on the t.v. series “Smallville,” playing the role of Lana Lang. Nowadays Kristin is a beautiful woman, but she was teased a lot in the past. During school, she was teased about all sorts of things including her ethnicity, her looks, and even the clothes she wore. She’s risen above the hatred and has become more famous than any of her bullies.


Kate Winslet

Well-known actress and now mother Kate Winslet was bullied in the past because of her weight. Weight has always been a battle that Kate has had to fight, but she is no longer stressing or worried over it. In the past, bullies at her school would call her “blubber” and would tell her that she had such a pretty face, but that it wouldn’t matter much because she was fat.


Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is one of the celebs on this list who has actually made it one of her goals to help kids who were bullied. Though she’s well known for her crazy looks yet amazing songs, when she was younger, she was heavily bullied. Kids threw her into a trashcan and called her all sorts of profane and humiliating names. Lady Gaga has since started an anti-bullying foundation.

Kate Middleton

Who’d have ever guessed that even a person of high royalty was a victim of bullying? Though today she’s a duchess as well as the  soon-to-be mom to the next heir of the British throne, in the past she didn’t have such a bright life. She had a hard time fitting in at a boarding school and the girls sometimes put feces in her bed. Nowadays Kate is one of the most admired women in the world.

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  • MissT

    Actually people do get bullied for their complexion I am from Africa and having light skin was kind of a taboo in the past. People would wonder why you are not like them or have different complexion. Rihanna’s story might be true cause I know plenty of people here who have been teased for being lighter. Although light skin is something that many want it can also become the same reason others will become jealous of. That saying people will be rude cause you have something they don’t have and they want. It hurts to be bullied and to be alone. It does hurt I am glad that people are becoming aware of it.

  • R!-Goddamn-Diculous

    I’ve never heard of kids being teased for being lightskinned with green eyes…….i guess that’s a Barbados thing cause most black girls WISH to have those traits……..

  • Evangeline

    I was teased and the whole bit. But as my Grandmother always says….success is the BEST revenge and successfull I will be.

  • Chanda

    Looks like Rihanna is still getting “bullied” to this day. I’m not a fan whatsoever just observing. Most of these comments are about her.


    Rihanna is LYING! They teased her about her 5 head i mean 4 head. Smh

    • WTF

      U are a disgrace to bajans…..hope you notice that AA and Jamaicans never diss their own no matter how ratchet and disgusting their behavior is. I see Bajans still haven’t change still crabs in the barrel mentality . Just remember without ” five head” no one in the world would know that bajans exist. Something to ponder. You is bare c–t. ( its a bajan ting you will understand what i mean)

      • MON3YMAKER

        D@mN u mad? LOL
        First of all AA does diss there own idk what the fawkk! u talkin bout
        mf’ers was just getting on Lil Kim & Nicki Minaj so STFU
        Second Jamaicans does diss their own idiot!
        Don’t b mad cause mi speaking the truth..u sound like Robyn right now LOL
        and idgaf if people know Bajans exist or not WE DONT CARE
        u see ALOT of ppl in Barbados don’t like Rihanna *shrugs* thats our issue why u care so much?? LMAOOOOOOOOO
        Ur funny tho!!!

        • BajeGal

          LMFAOOOOO YA WICKED GAL!! LOL Too funny!!

      • GetAlife

        uh? what dem talk fuh? dem dont kno her at’tall yuh faddah-head b!+ch
        yuh di red leg ppl? lol RiRi a skettel gal

      • MON3YMAKER

        LMAO i love it! dem b the first ones lik Leh we gah dey NOOOOO!! wuh? Baje WICKED! maaaann….gussypa boy! american LMFAO… @fdab646d17a177767511c042cda2f5da:disqus wha gine on?? oh mi didnt tinks so LOL

  • L-Boogie

    Bullying is not something to chuckle at.

  • L-Boogie

    Bullying is not something to chuckle at.

  • Hmm…

    I wonder sometimes if they ever go after them. getting even is quite human.

    • randomtandem

      success is the best revenge.

  • Margaret Amoh

    And since when did Kate Middleton not fit into a school.She was born into wealth and has always been surrounded by wealthy people so why would she “not fit in”

    • randomtandem

      lol@why would she not fit in! there could be a MILLION reasons! kids will make something UP not to like you about! maybe she liked a boy that another girl liked so they bullied her for that! the possibilities are ENDLESS!

      its not always about money and welath! if she was born into money and always surrounded by rich people then most likely she went to a school full of other rich, privileged, douche baggy kids. kids will always find a reason to pick on somebody. maybe she was pretty so a group of girls bullied her because they were jealous of her beauty! or maybe she WASNT pretty so they picked on her because of that! maybe she was smart so they saw her as a nerd! WHO KNOWS!

      no matter WHAT walk of life you come from, kids find SOMETHING to bother you about! Ive seen poor kids getting picked on about their clothes. rich kids being picked on by underprivileged kids.

      Paris Jackson gets picked on and bullied at school! She is rich and famous! That probably makes it worse! Kids dont care about money! If a rich kid had money and went to a poor kid’s school theyd get picked on for THAT! if a poor kid went to a rich kid school, theyd get picked on for THAT! a poor kid will get picked on in a POOR school and a rich kid will get picked on in a rich school!

      Bullying doesnt really have a face or a type or a location! it happens EVERYWHERE for different reasons.

      • Andrani

        amen. preach.

  • randomtandem

    that explains why Rihanna acts the way she does and goes off on anyone who tries to diss her on social media. she was bullied and took ridicule without doing anything about it and now she is fed up. Clearly the kids were jealous of her skin tone and her eyes. Especially considering how popular skin bleaching is these days in a lot of caribbean countries.

    • Really

      Skin bleaching is an African and Jamaican thing. I dont know of any other island that is bleach obsess. If you have the time look up family of bleachers on youtube, it tells how prevalent bleaching is in Jamaica.

      • iain’tthe1togossipbut

        India, Philippines, Samoa, Latin countries etc… Anywhere dark skin is they do not want to be labeled as Black. Demons are Black, evil is Black, and Black is depressing, angry and etc.

    • Andrani

      Agree. Even the most patient people have breaking points.

  • CMG

    I always find it amazing that certain light complexioned celebrities complain about being bullied about skin tone and eye color or hair when most black communities and families prize that. Are they confusing childhood “playing the dozens” with bullying because there is a difference. It just sounds too much like the “tragic mulatto” syndrome or something to add to their uninteresting backgrounds. Also, isn’t it ironic that Rihanna (and other celebs) complain about being bullied in the past then turn around become celebrity bullies (Rihanna and Tran twitter beef, Rihanna and everyone beefing on twitter? Just observing.

    • nitrodrip

      Hurt people,hurt people.

    • randomtandem

      I am light skinned and no they are not confusing it with playing the dozens. Theres a difference between cracking jokes back and forth with friends and being hated on and teased because of your complexion, hair etc. You can tell when a joke is coming from a place of malice, or if its a friendly jab. Lucky for me I didn’t get bullied for long because I stood up for myself and nipped it in the bud early. Being bullied is not a good feeling. The best feeling is shutting the bully DOWN! Even though it might be scary or uncomfortable at the time, it pays off and feels good in the end!

      And yeah a lot of times people get bullied as kids and are mad that they never stood up for themselves so they grow up to be more aggressive adults. Its bad if they become bullies themselves but its ok to defend yourself.

      its a vicious cycle.

    • Margaret Amoh

      I agree with you.I dont buy the Rihanna story.Carribeans and Africans LOVE light skinned complexions and consider them beautiful or desirable.Dark skinned people are the ones that are teased or bullied.

      • Really

        Girl you can speak for Zumunda but please don’t be a spokesperson for Barbados….Rihanna is right, people who are white bajans or light skin are or should I say were referred to as Ecky Beckys or Red Leggs ………I can tell you that being white there is no huge privilege. Know your facts before you run that mouth.

      • Really

        Girl you can speak for Zumunda but please don’t be a spokesperson for Barbados….Rihanna is right, people who are white bajans or light skin are or should I say were referred to as Ecky Beckys or Red Leggs ………I can tell you that being white there is no huge privilege. Know your facts before you run that mouth.

      • Trisha_B

        How can a country or island full of dark skin people bully the majority? Doesn’t even make sense. Unless you’ve been to all the islands in the Caribbean & been thru all of Africa dont speak on it. There are reggae songs praising the brown skin women, there are even songs making fun of people who bleach to make themselves light skin.

        • Margaret Amoh

          it makes perfect sense. the same way that pale skinned whites are bullied in european countries etc.if dark skinned girls were not teased you wouldn’t see so many dark women desperately bleaching themselves to be lighter. i have seen loads of jamaicans and carribeans do it including some of your stars tommy lee sparta, vybz kartel etc

        • Margaret Amoh

          I spent my early years growing up in Ghana,West Africa where majority of the people are relatively dark.I can remember very clearly being teased and bullied for being as “black as charcoal” whilst lighter skinned people were heralded as the epitome’s of beauty or superior to “darkies”. I’m not sure why this concept seems foreign to you because this mentality is still rife in the African American community

          • randomtandem

            it all depends on circumstances and the people around you. just because light skinned werent picked on where you were doesnt mean it wasnt happening in other places.

          • iain’tthe1togossipbut

            It’s because of the ugliness. Not the color, just so happen darker people are usually ugly and look like gorillas. Not to be mean, but it’s the brutal truth. Then they have an inferiority complex with a bad attitude because the are unattractive. Don’t hate the Competition, hate the way it is.

      • randomtandem

        light skinned kids often get teased and bullied by dark skinned kids. i noticed a lot in school that the dark skinned girls with short hair used to pick on the light skinned girls with long hair! they were jealous haters.

        • Margaret Amoh

          i can see how jealousy can make people act that way. however, i can never explain why dark skinned people are picked on..its certainly not out of jealousy

          • iain’tthe1togossipbut

            It certainly isn’t because it’s our of jealousy, we detest dark women for being evil toward us for no reason other than being jealous of us. We don’t receive special treatment, we’re still Black.

          • randomtandem

            Because some people are so insecure, that the only way they can feel better about themselves is to find someone they feel is less fortunate in some way than them. They like to deflect the attention off their own misfortunes and point out other people’s misfortunes! even if they don’t have SHYT!

            they will find the ONLY thing they have going for them, and find someone who doesn’t have that and put them down! so they could be light skinned but ugly as shyt or poor as shyt or dumb as shyt…and they will find someone dark skinned to pick on because thats all they have to work with.

            Its still jealousy…theyre jealous of people who have more than them but they cant pick on them so they find someone weaker to pick on than themselves.

        • Andrani

          This happened to me so I believe Rihanna. I went to a private Caribbean elementary school in Brooklyn. We all had Caribbean parents and all the staff was Caribbean. The girls teased me because I had longer, softer hair and lighter skin. On top of that I was much taller and slimmer than they were and on top of that very shy and quiet. They considered me less black and would make comments about it. have an inferiority complex because of the horrible white standards of beauty put in place by white ppl. It’s jealousy. Jealousy is the root of a lot of bullying. Some bullies bully because the person has something they wish they had.

          • randomtandem

            yup! jealousy and insecurity. and some people pick on another just to fit in! so they see someone picking on someone, and they join in because as long as theyre on the side of that person, they can try to stay under their radar and not get picked on themselves.

        • rainydaze80

          I just assumed that Rihanna got teased for being light-skinned because she grew up in Barbados, but it happens in the States too. I used to get teased all the time as a kid for being light-skinned and even as an adult, I get treated as an outsider by dark-skinned people.

          • randomtandem

            theyre just haters! later for them. you need to find some mature dark skinned friends.

      • randomtandem

        they might LOVE light skinned complexions on themselves..but if they dont have it, some insecure types will pick on someone who does. In the words of Janet Jackson – dont act like you dont know the truth.

    • Ms kai

      15 celebs featured and the only person you can discredit is Rihanna……yall really need to curb the hate and jealousy. Its not healthy. Geesh

    • Ms kai

      15 celebs featured and the only person you can discredit is Rihanna……yall really need to curb the hate and jealousy. Its not healthy. Geesh

      • randomtandem

        good ole self hate at its finest!

        • iain’tthe1togossipbut


    • Rch

      To be honest I could imagine this sort of thing in Barbados, it’s the one country in the Caribbean I’ve had problems so it doesn’t sound too far-fetched.


      That’s because Rihanna is lying. we went to the same school as Rihanna but we know her as Robyn and we went to Combermere High School and Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School she was never tease she was quite and rarely talked to anyone who wasn’t in her “clique” She had to work after school sometimes plus their is alot of light skin woman in Barbados smh people will believe anything

    • Phil Edgar Jones

      Having worked in the media it is just PR and trying to get the public on side – celebrities want to give everyone a hard luck story that is the reason people cry on reality shows and drag out sob stories – some are genuine but most are bullshit. And you also notice that all these celebrities never go into great detail about their bullying – they say they were bullied give a reason and the story ends. That is not how real life is – they would have in depth tales of woe rather than a bunch of generalised cliches.