13 Celebrities Who Were Body Shamed Or Bullied For Their Looks When They Were SO Young, And It's Very Gross
Content warning: This post contains mentions of eating disorders and suicide.
1.Raven-Symoné once shared on The View that she started getting body shamed from as early as seven years old on the set of The Cosby Show. "I remember not being able to have the bagel or anything at...crafty. And I remember people would be like, 'You can’t eat that. You’re getting fat!' I’m like, 'I’m 7! I’m hungry!'"
That sentiment only continued to grow as she got older in the industry. “[They said] I was too big to be doing an hour and a half concert," she told People. "'I don’t know how she can dance being that big.' And I was like, 'I still did it!' I was on tour forever because it’s not about your size, it’s about what you have to say, if you can sing or dance, and performing. It’s not about your size.” Raven recently shared that she had two breast reductions and liposuction before she turned 18 as a result of her childhood body shaming.
2.Madison De La Garza says she was cyberbullied about her weight when she starred in Desperate Housewives when she was only six years old. "The reactions that I got to my character on Desperate Housewives, I mean, it was just shocking," she said on the Heart of the Matterpodcast. "A lot of people came at it in a way that they were quote-unquote 'concerned for my health.' I personally believe that that’s just not true. That it was a cover-up so that they could just judge a six-year-old."
"They said things like they wanted me to die because of what I looked [like]. It was just horrible, like, 'ugly fat cow,' and 'I hope you get cancer and die because you’re so fat.' Just horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible things and this was when I was 6, 7, 8 years old," she continued. "Reading comments like that definitely affected my mental health and ultimately played into me developing an eating disorder at a very young age."
3.Sophie Turner said that she was subject to cruel cyberbullying and body shaming during the height of her Game of Thrones fame. "I think it only went downhill when I started to hit puberty at like 17 and my metabolism was slowing down massively, I was gaining weight and then there was the social media scrutiny," she said on Dr. Phil's Phil In the Blankspodcast. "You see ten great comments and you ignore them but one negative comment and it just throws you off. People used to write, 'Damn Sansa gained 10 pounds' or 'Sansa needs to lose 10 pounds.' Or I would have spotty skin because I was a teenager, and that's normal. I used to get a lot of comments about my skin, my weight, and how I wasn't a good actress. I would just believe it. I would say, yeah I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress. I just believed it."
Sophie also explained how the bullying impacted her ability to do her job and also made her depressed. "I just got very very self-conscious...it would affect me creatively and I couldn't be true to the character because I was so worried about Sophie. I had no motivation to do anything or go out."
4.Jenna Ortega recently revealed that she still shaves her arms every day because she was teased for being hairy when she was in school. "I have dark hair," she said on the Podcrushedpodcast. "I'm Latina. I remember I was insecure about my leg hair but my arm hair more. There was a girl who I was 'friends' with who told me that I had gorilla arms. It's what she would call them because I just had really long arm hair."
"It was just such a deep insecurity of mine and nobody ever addressed it again but, still to this day, every single day, I shave my arms. If there's even stubble, if there's anything, I get really insecure about it."
5.Tamera Mowry opened up about how she grew up thinking she was the "ugly twin" because of a piece of "fan" mail she had received. "My sister [Tia] and I used to read every fan mail because we just love our fans that much," she said on The Real when she was a host. "So I can remember reading this stupid letter when this person called me ugly and said I was the 'ugly and goofy twin.' And for years, I made an agreement with that stupid statement. And I carried it around with me for years. I thought I was ugly and I thought I was goofy."
"So, to this day, when I read negative comments like that, I say, 'I do not have to make an agreement with that. Your words and you — who I don't even know... I'm not going to give you power over who I am. I know who I am and you don't define me. I define me."
6.Chloë Grace Moretz revealed to Variety that when she was 15 years old, she was once body-shamed by a costar on set. "This guy that was my love interest was like, 'I’d never date you in a real life,' and I was like, 'What?' And he was like, 'Yeah, you’re too big for me' — as in my size."
Chloë didn't reveal who the costar was but said he was "22, 23, 24" at the time. "I had to pick it up and go back on set and pretend he was a love interest, and it was really hard…It just makes you realize that there are some really bad people out there and for some reason, he felt the need to say that to me. You have to kind of forgive and not forget really, but it was just like wow. It was jarring. I look back on it and I was 15, which is really, really dark."
7.Mara Wilson opened up about growing up onscreen as a "cute" child actor and the emotional toll it took on her. "It affected me for a very long time because I had this Hollywood idea that if you’re not cute anymore, if you’re not beautiful, then you are worthless," she told The Guardian. "Because I directly tied that to the demise of my career. Even though I was sort of burned out on it, and Hollywood was burned out on me, it still doesn’t feel good to be rejected. For a long time, I had this kind of dysmorphia about the way that I looked and I obsessed about it too much."
She shared that her mental health really struggled when the thoughts she was having about herself were actually being published. "You think, 'I’m ugly, I’m fat' – and there were actual websites and newspapers and movie reviewers saying that about me. It got to the point where I became much more guarded, more anxious and depressed and cynical, and when you’re like that, it’s very hard to land a role, because in an audition, you have to be open and honest. It took a toll on me."
8.Lonnie Chavis, who played Young Randall on This Is Us, responded to cruel bullying about his appearance when he was only 10 years old. "To all the trolls who have been trolling in my comments, talking about my gap, I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?" he wrote on Instagram.
"There are kids out there killing themselves just because of y’all hating and trolling and doing just crazy stuff," he continued. "It hurts people. People kill themselves, and you’re the one who’s making them do it. Fix your heart, though. For real."
9.Christy Carlson Romano recounted being bullied in high school in a video on her YouTube channel. "I got bullied by a lot of kids. Some of them were famous. In fact, one of my biggest bullies is a really huge star. Kind of weird to see them doing huge franchise movies," she said. "A lot of people are like, 'What do you mean you had bullies?' I was a geeky, very nerdy, lanky, big teeth that needed braces kind of theater kid. I didn't have social skills."
Christy continued, saying she was called names like "Bucky Beaver" because of her teeth or "Triple A" because she had a flat chest.
10.Kieran Culkin revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that as a kid he witnessed the way his brother Macaulay was harassed and bullied by strangers following his Home Alone fame, including a time he was insulted for his looks. "One time, a woman pulled off his hat and looked at him and said, 'Yeah, it's him! You're not that cute.' And then handed the hat back and walked away."
11.Kristen Stewart opened up about being teased when she was in middle school. "I wore my brother’s clothes, dude," she told Vanity Fair. "Not like I cared that much, but I remember being made fun of because I wasn’t wearing Juicy jeans. I didn’t even think about it. I wore my gym clothes. But it’s not like I didn’t care that they made fun of me. It really bothered me. I remember this girl in sixth grade looked at me in gym and was like, ‘Oh my God! That’s disgusting—you don’t shave your legs!”
12.Keke Palmer worked on anti-bullying campaigns when she got older because she knew all too well about being bullied for her appearance when she was just a kid. "I was a victim of a bully when I was eight years old, some kids in my class made fun of me because my hair was very curly and hard to manage," she said at an anti-bullying event. Keke said even as an adult, it was still difficult and painful to look back on.
13.Finally, Millie Bobby Brown has been super candid about the downside of the fact that she became a massive star when she was so young. "I always wanted to be in Stranger Things," she told Glamour. "Those were the things I wanted. But there was stuff that I didn’t ask for. Some of the things that I found harder were people criticizing my body, who I am, the kind of person I am… if I talk too much. Things like that — I didn't ask for those things. They’re cyberbullying."
Millie has also opened up about the uniquely bizarre experience of getting this kind of hate at such a young age. "It's really hard to be hated on when you don’t know who you are yet," she told Allure. "So it's like, 'What do they hate about me? 'Cause I don’t know who I am.' It's almost like, 'OK, I'm going to try being this today.' [And then they say], 'Oh, no, I hate that.' 'OK. Forget that. I'm going to try being this today.' 'Oh, my God! I hate when you do that.' Then you just start shutting down because you’re like, 'Who am I meant to be? Who do they need me to be for them?'"
StopBullying.gov is an organization that provides resources to prevent harassment and bullying against children. Stomp Out Bullying offers a free and confidential chat line here.
The National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.