A surprising amount of people have experienced bullying in their lives. In fact, one 2016 study found that more than one in every five students reported being a victim of bullying, a sobering statistic. Some people tell victims to suck it up, but it’s much harder than it sounds – that kind of abuse can linger with you for the rest of your life. However, I’m here to tell you not to give up if you were bullied or abused, because you’re not alone, and you can still be successful. Here are five examples of bullying victims who went on to do amazing things.
1. Tony Hawk
Remember Tony Hawk? For those of you who don’t, he’s one of the most well-known professional skateboarders ever. Before that, however, he was often made fun of by his peers in school for being into skateboarding (this was before it was considered cool). Now he’s won more than 70 skateboarding competitions, founded his own company, and founded his own charity.
2. Jodee Blanco
Jodee Blanco’s story is heartbreaking at first, but she ended up making a name for herself. Throughout her schooling, she was tormented by bullies simply for being different, but she’s now doing well in the entertainment industry. With her newfound success, she makes a point of speaking out against bullying and sharing her experiences with the world. She even wrote a book about her experiences as a victim that became a bestseller. How inspirational is that?
3. Dee McMillan
After someone made a fake twitter account in her name that made fun of her weight, Dee McMillan was very upset. However, she and her mentor, Laura Lee, ended up turning her pain into something that made a difference. The two used the slogan “Dee the Fat Whale Saves the Whales” in the hopes that it would bring awareness to the Save the Whales campaign. Together they raised over $10,000 for the organization, and Dee became more confident than she had ever been.
4. Egypt “Ify” Ufele
Don’t you just love that hoodie? It was designed by the girl wearing it! Her name is Egypt “Ify” Ufele, and she was diagnosed with an asthmatic condition that doesn’t allow her to be very active. Because of this, she ended up gaining weight, causing her peers at school to make fun of her. Instead of listening to them, she decided to make a difference by pursuing her dream as a fashion designer, focusing on plus-sized clothing. Her brand is called Chubiiline, and it’s won multiple awards – take that, bullies!
5. Chris Rock
As documented in his show Everybody Hates Chris, actor and stand-up comedian Chris Rock has had a lot of experience with bullying throughout his life. He didn’t let bullying affect him negatively, though – instead, these experiences toughened him up enough to become a successful comedian. In fact, much of his comedy comes from how he finds the humor in tough situations. He’s even thanked his bullies for helping him become successful, a display of self-confidence that I can’t help but admire.
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Featured image via The Telegraph