It shouldn’t be this way, but for far too many people, grades K-12 are kind of traumatizing. School is meant to be a safe and happy place, yet oftentimes it’s instead filled with teasing and torment. If you’ve ever dealt with mean girls, you’re not alone: When they were younger, A-listers including Kendall Jenner, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez all turned to homeschooling in order to escape bullies. Tons of stars have taken a stand against bullying, whether it’s because they experienced it personally or because they’ve seen its effects on others.
Verbal insults and threats are awful enough, but sometimes bullies actually cross the line into real physical abuse. W… T… F??? Some of your favorite actresses and singers were left bruised and bleeding after face-offs with school bullies. But instead of being bummed out, take inspiration from these stars — they survived the pain, rose above all the BS and worked hard to get where they are today. Scroll through to see for yourself:
Rihanna's the most bad-a$$ b*tch in Hollywood, but as a kid, she was bullied relentlessly. She's spoken out a number of times about the abuse she faced through her childhood. She was targeted by classmates for having lighter skin than everyone else and, toward high school, was teased about her breast size. In an interview with Allure, RiRi said that the bullying sometimes turned into full-on fist fights.
Miley wrote about her awful encounters with bullies in her 2009 memoir, Miles to Go. A group of girls banded against her to form the "Anti-Miley Club." Seriously?! According to Miley, "These were big, tough girls. I was scrawny and short. They were fully capable of doing me bodily harm." Among other terrifying incidents, the girls once shoved Miley around and then locked her in a bathroom.
Jess didn't have an easy childhood. As a kid, her family moved around a lot, so she was constantly attending new schools. She's said that she was bullied and beat up so badly by other students that her dad would have to walk her into school each day. She usually ate lunch alone in the nurse's office.
It's hard to imagine anyone pushing Victoria around — just one glare from her could make anyone run and hide. But that wasn't the case back when she was younger: "I was mentally and physically bullied in school," she has said. "Secondary school was hell. Children picking things up out of the puddles and throwing them at me. I just stood there, on my own. I didn't have any friends... People would push me around, say they were going to beat me up."
Sandra often traveled back and forth from Europe with her mom, so as a kid, she didn't really have a grasp on normal American fashion. This made her an easy target for bullies. "I would get my a** whooped," she's said. She still remembers the names of the kids who used to beat her up.
Winona's revenge against her bullies might be the greatest retaliation of all time. During middle school, a group of kids cornered her, slammed her head against a bathroom door and proceeded to kick and punch her. It was so bad that she needed stitches afterward. Years later, one of the kids from that same group approached her and asked for an autograph. Winona asked, "Do you remember beating up a kid in the seventh grade?" The bully responded, "Kind of." Winona said, "That was me. Go f*** yourself."