She’s undoubtedly one of the most respected actresses in the game, but Hollywood icon Kate Winslet this week admitted that she wasn’t always given the level of kindness each and every one of us deserve.
Speaking in front of 12,000 young’uns at the We Day U.K. charity event at Wembley Arena, Kate recalled a rather shattering memory of her school days.
“I had been bullied at school, they called me Blubber”, the 41-year-old remembered.
She explained how she was picked on, simply for her appearance, and at one point was even locked in a cupboard.
“I wasn’t the prettiest,” she said. “I was even told that I might be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts.”
But Kate was not ready to give up. She fought through the negative comments using belief as motivation, until one day, when she was given the life-changing role of Rose Dawson beside Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic.
“The most unlikely candidate — Kate from the sandwich shop in Reading — suddenly acting in one of the biggest movies ever made. You can be from anywhere and you can do anything, believe it. It is possible to overcome your fears.”
Kate now joins a handful of other Hollywood heavyweights, who after cementing their status as successful role models, have spoken out about their bullied pasts.
Before she made a name for herself three times over – as a Spice Girl, then a fashion mogul and finally a mother to four darling kids – Victoria Beckham was taunted as a youngster for being different.
“They were literally picking things up out of the puddles and throwing them at me, and I just stood there, on my own. No one was with me,” David Beckham’s better half told ELLE Magazine.
“I didn't have any friends. People would push me around, say they were going to beat me up after school, chase me. It was miserable, my whole schooling, miserable. I tried to be friends with people, but I didn't fit in. So I kept myself to myself.”
He’s got it all; a stellar singing and acting career, a drop-dead-gorgeous wife and a darling little mini-me son. But there was once a time Justin Timberlake was picked on for everything the world now loves most about him.
“I grew up in Tennessee, and if you didn't play football, you were a sissy. I got slurs all the time because I was in music and art… I was an outcast in a lot of ways…” he told Ellen DeGeneres.
“But everything that you get picked on for or you feel makes you weird is essentially what's going to make you sexy as an adult.”
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Jessica recalls a story about her bullying that is so heartbreaking, it struck a chord for all of us.
“I was bullied so badly my dad used to have to walk me into school so I didn't get attacked. I'd eat my lunch in the nurses’ office so I didn't have to sit with the other girls. Apart from my being mixed race, my parents didn't have money so I never had the cute clothes or the cool back pack.”
As Batman, he could take on just about any bad guy, but as a teen, Christian Bale was given a pretty hard time.
“I took a beating from several boys for years. They put me through hell, punching and kicking me all the time,” the Dark Knight Rises actor told People.
On what he learnt from the experience, he continues: “If you can face the bullying at school and come through it stronger, that is a lesson for life.”
If you know a teenager or youngster experiencing bullying, please encourage them to talk to an adult, or reach out to the Kid's Helpline on 1800 551 800.