Star Tracks: Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling Share a Laugh, Plus Pharrell, Kelly Ripa & More
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The 20-year-old Texas native, who will play the iconic Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, recently opened up about being bullied as a child. "When I was younger, I was bullied a lot and I let that stop me from doing the things that I wanted to do. And Tracy, she never lets anything stop her and she’s bullied constantly," Baillio tells PEOPLE. "Because she doesn't let anything stop her, she gets the guy and she gets to be on the show and she takes the world!"
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Before he was a successful fashion designer and film director, Ford was just a kid growing up in Texas. He told PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle that his peers would make fun of him over his interest in fashion — and his disinterest in sports. "As a kid in the '60s, I wasn't great at football, I was not great at team sports, I wasn't great with my BB gun, which in Texas soon turns into a .410 shotgun and then turns into something else," he said. "I wasn't interested in those things and so I was teased a lot." Decades later, he remains affected by the bullying of his past. "Still to this day if I walk past a group of kids, they can be 8 years old playing soccer, and that ball comes towards me, I panic because, 'My God, I have to kick that ball and they're all going to laugh because I'm not great at soccer.' It's a sort of instant panic." Luckily, he had a supportive family to help him though the tough times — and the good ones later on.
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Growing up, no part of Winslet was off-limits to bullies – not even her feet. "I was chubby, always had big feet, the wrong shoes, bad hair," she told Bear Grylls on his show, Running Wild. "When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life." Now that Winslet is a mother to three, she's instilling her kids with a strong sense of self-worth to help them fight back against others' inevitable scrutiny. "I stand in front of the mirror and say to Mia, 'We are so lucky we have a shape. We're so lucky we're curvy. We're so lucky that we've got good bums,'" Winslet said of encouraging her 14-year-old daughter to love every inch of herself.
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Life in the Kardashian-Jenner world isn't as picture-perfect as it seems, according to the family's youngest star. Jenner took to Snapchat to reveal that she had been bullied since she was 9 years old. "I think that I've done a really great job at handling all of this. But there's bullies everywhere," she said, before ending on a positive note. "This isn't a pity party though ... This is so that others with bullies out there know that you're not alone."
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Bullies do not always take the form of a classmate or insecure friend – in the case of Willis, her tormenters were tabloids, who would compare her to her "masculine father" Bruce Willis and cruelly scrutinize her face and body, causing her to consider plastic surgery as a young teen. "I thought … 'If I change my face or get really skinny, that will be it. That will be the answer.' And it's not," Willis said, wiping away tears, on an April episode of this season's Dancing with the Stars.
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High school was "terrible" for the Parenthood star, whose new film The DUFF aims to give a voice to teens struggling with body image issues. "I was bullied all through school. It was awful. I was a tomboy and nerdy," she told PEOPLE. Though she grew up in the spotlight (she filmed her first movie at 6) and is finding even more fame these days, Whitman admits Hollywood isn't always welcoming to her, either. "There's labeling and typecasting," she added. "I get, 'Oh, you're not ugly enough or not fat enough.' But I'm like, 'Who is?'"
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The beautiful former Bachelorette had her pick of adoring men on the hit show, but she says bullying when she was younger and being called "hot dog nose" caused her to alter her physical appearance. "Yes this happened, and yes I got a nose job because of it," she admitted in a blog post on her website. "Some people are mean. I've found the best way to cope with this is to just feel sorry for them." She added that it's better to "choose the route of empathy instead of anger."
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She's one of our favorite red carpet beauties, but the Golden Globe winner says she wasn't always the center attention for the right reasons. "I was told every day at school that I was ugly," she revealed to Glamour magazine. "And that no one wanted to be my friend. The most cruel things. If I can do anything to help young girls and to be a cheerleader for people who sometimes have low self-esteem, I want to do that."
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Sure he plays Superman, with flawless abs and a chiseled jaw, but the Man of Steel star had a different nickname growing up: "I was Fat Cavill," he told Details. "I bawled on the phone to my mom four times a day." On the bright side, the childhood trauma helped him understand his role – and land the part. "My version of Superman is essentially of a guy who has spent his whole life alone."
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Her unique looks were an asset when she became a model, but until then, they just drew unwanted attention. "The kids at school would totally pick on me," Ritter told Ocean Drive magazine. "You have to rise above it," the actress, who starred in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 and appeared in Breaking Bad, explained. "Burn bright.”
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While the star lists "fearlessness and confidence" as two of her traits nowadays, that wasn't always the case. "I was bullied so badly my dad used to have to walk me into school so I didn't get attacked," she told the Mirror. "I'd eat my lunch in the nurse's 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 backpack."
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The actress who played a pot-stirring prep-school bad girl on Gossip Girl drew inspiration for the role from the bullying she endured during her real-life high school years. "This one girl threw me down a flight of stairs, fractured my ribs, punched and fractured my nose," she told Complex magazine.
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Distance and time have given the bombshell actress and new mom perspective on what motivated the girls who made her life difficult in her tween years: "I was a gawky, skinny girl with big teeth and that made me an easy target," Mendes told The Daily Mail. "I had two bullies and they tortured me all through junior high school. At the time I couldn’t understand why they kept taunting me. Only later could I see that I was showing them my fear and that’s what they were pouncing on."
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Lovato's own experience with being bullied prompted her to begin a crusade against the painful phenomenon. "People would write 'hate petitions' [about me] and send them around to be signed. They'd have CD-bashing parties of my demos," she told PEOPLE. "They'd come to my house, stand across the street and yell things. It was a very emotional time for me, and all I wanted to do was get away." Since then she's worked with PACER's Teens Against Bullying organization, appeared in an anti-bullying video and became an ambassador for Secret's "Mean Stinks" campaign.
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