'Dancing with the Stars' : Rumer Willis Breaks Down over Being Bullied for Her Looks as a Teenager

"I don't think I really felt comfortable in my body [as a teenager] or with how I looked, and people were nasty," said Willis


Rumer Willis was candid about the bullying she faced as a teenager on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars.

Often unfavorably compared to her “beautiful mom” Demi Moore and instead to her “masculine father” Bruce Willis, the actress was well aware of the things said about her in the press as she was growing up, as she revealed in a pre-taped segment.

“When you grow up with parents that are known worldwide and having so much attention from media and all of the tabloids magazines, it’s really tough,” said Willis, now 26. “When I was a teenager I was super awkward. I don’t think I really felt comfortable in my body or with how I looked, and people were nasty.”

Wiping away tears, Willis added that the criticism had her considering plastic surgery. “I thought ‘If I change my face or get really skinny, that will be it. That will be the answer.’ And it’s not.”

However, it was her sister, Tallulah, who inspired her to fight back against the bullies by finding peace within herself. Tallulah, now 21, entered rehab last summer after her family offered her an “ultimatum,” as PEOPLE previously reported.

Because of Tallulah’s rehab stint, 2014 was Willis’s most memorable year, which was the theme of the evening on DWTS. “I was inspired because she didn’t try to hide from it,” said Willis. “She really owned it. She got in this mind-set of saying, ‘Here are my flaws, and it’s okay. I’m still me, and I’m still beautiful, and it doesn’t matter.”

Willis paid homage to the experience with a waltz to Adele‘s “Turning Tables,” which judge Bruno Tonioli called “beautiful, powerful and unique.”

Added Carrie Ann Inaba, “There’s something so powerful about the way you dance. I love the way you dance,” she said, and Julianne Hough thanked Willis for “dancing for every girl.”

Willis’s dance with pro Val Chmerkovskiy earned the couple an enviable 35 out of 40. Though football player Michael Sam was sent home, Willis’s “beautiful” dancing will return Monday.

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