On Being Different

Susie Four Eyes (I sound like a doll)

As I shared in an earlier posting, school was a horrible place for a girl like me. One of five kids, my parents couldn’t afford to dress me in brand-name clothes, and I was one of those “weird” kids who liked to read and stay to herself. Not much has changed since I was young. Youth culture is still at war with some of its brightest, most interesting kids. But you know what? I’m in good company. I have something in common with a lot of really famous, successful people.

Robert Pattinson–on the wrong side of his classmates

For all you Twilight fans out there, you may be surprised to learn that teen idol Robert Pattinson was the real-life victim of bullying. This super-hot actor may have won over millions of teenaged girls playing the vampire hero on the big screen, but this young superstar was not exactly on the good side of his classmates growing up in Great Britain.

“I got beaten up by a lot of people when I was younger,” he told Parade Magazine. “I was a bit of an idiot, but I always thought the assaults were unprovoked.”

Taylor Lautner–bullied because he wanted to be an actor

And how about Pattinson’s onscreen nemesis, Taylor Lautner. Taylor recently told Rolling Stone magazine that because he was an actor, he was bullied in school. “People made fun of what I do,” he said. “But I just had to tell myself I can’t let this get to me. This is what I love to do. And I’m going to continue to do it.”

Chester Bennington–knocked around like a rag doll

Chester Bennington, of the rock group Linkin Park, is another popular celebrity who also continues to do what he loves — despite once being the victim of teen cruelty. Chester says that “he was knocked around like a rag doll at school for being skinny and looking different. But, joining a band where his voice mattered really helped.”

How many of you have been “knocked around like rag dolls for being too skinny, or too fat, or simply looking different? Chester found his voice through his music. Taylor and Robert through their acting. I found mine in my writing. What about you? Where did you find the voice that makes you you?

Tip: Feel good about being different. Look at yourself in the mirror today, and instead of seeing all the flaws, see what others maybe don’t yet. A totally cool person who may just grow into the next teen heart throb.  

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