Rumer Willis opens up about being bullied as a teenager — and even now — for her looks in a new interview with Glamour magazine. She reveals how she was able to come to grips with the abuse and the wise advise her mother, Demi Moore gave her and how Dancing with the Stars helped her build her confidence.
The 26-year-old actress and reigning DWTS champion is the daughter of Hollywood royalty, Oscar-winning actress Demi Moore and veteran action-adventure actor Bruce Willis. But that did not insulate her from the kind of bullying far too many teens have confronted. Being a famous adult in her own right has not insulated her either, and in fact, quite the opposite.
She has been very open in recent months about her struggles, and now most recently, in a candid interview with Glamour. Rumer Willis opened up about the painful struggles she underwent as a teen. She said, “When you grow up in the public eye the way that I did, everyone’s looking at you and waiting for you to do something crazy or say something wrong or have a meltdown. ”
She spoke of how her confidence was shaken, saying, “I was constantly bullied because of my looks, so I struggled a lot with my body image.”
She went on to say, “I wanted to have no butt; I wanted to have no boobs. For a long time I just wanted to look tiny and androgynous. I never really shared what I was going through with my parents, because it was too painful. I didn’t know how to ask for help or how to even bring it up.”
But she went on to reveal how her famous mother helped her. “I do remember my mom telling me, ‘There’s always going to be someone who’s a better singer. There’s always going to be someone more fit. There’s always someone who’s going to be, in your mind, better than you — who you’re comparing yourself to. But you can’t do that, because you will live such an unhappy life.’ It just took me a long time to put that advice into practice.”
She revealed that DWTS also helped her, saying, “Dancing With the Stars helped me get over my fear of failure too.” Continuing, she added, “The first day I danced on-air, I was nervous; I had been struggling, and the dress rehearsal hadn’t gone well. But after I finished I felt more beautiful than I had in my entire life. Not because of how I looked … but because of what I’d accomplished and worked so hard for. When you conquer something you didn’t think you could do, energy and confidence radiate out of you, and that’s more beautiful than if you were skinny or had the perfect face.”
She went on to say that the bullying has not ended. She said, “I still have low moments. Just because I was celebrated on Dancing With the Stars doesn’t mean the bullying has stopped. After the show started, I had to block almost 10 people every day on social media because they wouldn’t leave me alone.”
Decrying the cyberbullying that has become so pervasive, Rumer Willis said, “The real pressure comes from the Internet and social media — the mentality that it’s OK to attack people from behind a computer screen.”
She elaborated, saying, “Strangers say the nastiest things. Until recently the thought of making one misstep that could be criticized would stop me from trying new things and from standing up for myself.”
She added, “It’s difficult, but the moment you stop saying, ‘I’m really fat,’ or ‘I’m ugly,’ and just say, ‘Wow, I have this,’ then you’ll see a change,” she writes. “We all need to stop bullying ourselves and being cruel to other women. Attacking one another instead of supporting one another has become the norm. Life’s hard enough as it is.”
See the full interview here.
Unfortunately, such discussion about bullying in general and teen bullying in particular is always a timely subject these days. And it’s not an abstract discussion, as Rumer Willis reveals that she numbers among the women in public life who have had to face this scourge of bullying.
Photos: Rumer Willis
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