We like to have fun here with beautiful, famous actresses who appear in interviews saying that they were unpopular and/or bullied during their high school years. “We have fun.” Generally it’s because no duh, EVERYBODY had a terrible time and high school, and second no duh, you’re beautiful and famous and you probably didn’t have as tough of a time as you’re letting on. At least let US have the bad high school memories! THE NOBODIES! That being said, Christina Hendricks maybe did have as tough a time as she is letting on in her recent interview with The Mirror?

My school days were pretty unhappy. I had the worst high school experience ever. I went to a very mean school and was bullied like crazy. I was a bit of a goth with purple hair and I was also part of the drama group, so my friends and I were all weird theatre people and everyone just hated us.

There was a long corridor with lockers on either side and kids would sit on top of them and spit on you. It was like something out of Lord of the Flies.

Gross! That sounds terrible, Christina Hendricks! I do feel badly for you and for anyone who is made to feel badly about themselves because they like drama and hair dye; that is super lame. And I hope that people who like drama and hair dye or are otherwise bullied can hear your story and take solace in the fact that it does get better. But, once again, even though I definitely believe that Christina Hendricks had a bad time in high school, the story goes on to say that right after she graduated she moved to New York City and became a PROFESSIONAL MODEL? Because obviously, as you can see from the picture, she was always very beautiful? It got better super fast for her, is what I’m saying. In conclusion: The stars, they’re not like us! (Via WarmingGlow.)

Comments (52)
  1. You guys, I don’t think Christina Hendricks read all the way to the end of Lord of the Flies if she thinks it was about kids spitting on each other.

  2. I actually have a hard time thinking critically about Christina Hendricks because face and boobs. Like, is she a good actress? I think so! But for an intelligent answer, you’d be better off asking someone who wasn’t drooling on himself.

  3. Ok so no joking for once, I honestly don’t believe that these celebrities and other people of the arts were bullied nearly as much as they believe.

    Now don’t get me wrong, growing up is hard and other teens don’t make it any easier, but I was a theatre kid all through out middle school and high school and there were a small handful of people who picked on me for it. Yeah, people started rumors that I was gay but it was just because they didn’t understand me. They generally weren’t setting out to hurt me.

    In my experience, people who believed they were bullied were actually just so uncomfortable with themselves and had such low self esteem from the things that they saw on TV and the way the media and entertainment industry perceived high school and middle school. To clarify, people are told that because they are different, others will be mean to them… so they look for reactions in other people and perceive it as mean.

    The cure to end bullying is to stop spreading this false reality where everyone is out to hurt one another. Then we can start looking for the good in people instead of the hate.

    • “You weren’t bullied. Even if you felt bullied, you weren’t. They didn’t mean it, so you had no business feeling it. Your feelings are imaginary. Buck up, sissies.” – the whatever, 2012.

    • I understand what you’re trying to say (in a very victim-blaming kind of way), but what does it matter about the bullies’ motivation when their targets are really the ones growing up feeling unsafe and unloved and in way too many cases killing themselves? And why does it even matter whether it’s “real” bullying or just “perception”? Are some kids more thick-skinned than others? Bully for them (pardon the pun)! Ti nem that is entirely irrelevant to The Conversation. One could argue that all cases of verbal abuse are a matter of “perception,” but that doesn’t change the psychological toll it can have on some people.

      This is also why I take issue with these sort of articles where Kelly and Gabe seem to suggest that a person’s eventual level of success and/or hotness should somehow erase (and/or render them forbidden from ever talking about) any hardship (or PERCEPTION of hardship) suffered in the past. Yes, for these beautiful celebrities and many others, It Got Better, but the only reason It Gets Better is even a thing, is to make young people aware of the possibility for a brighter future, not to be used retroactively as a “suck it up”-style platitude once they’ve reached it.

      Ugh. I apologize for this Very Serious Interlude on this platform that I normally reserve for Very Unserious Interludes in Day. So carry on, everybody. Boobs! Red hair! Porcelain face!

      • I totally agree with your point. What I was trying to say, which I did not articulate properly, was not that the victims are the ones to blame, nor am I saying that verbal abuse is okay in any way, shape, or form.

        What I was trying to say pertains to people who say they were bullied in non-specific ways. The people who thought that they were receiving dirty looks in the halls which possibly weren’t dirty looks at all, or for people who thought that someone across the hall had to be laughing at them.

        For a more specific example of the kind of thing I am talking about, when a boy is looking for a place to sit in the cafeteria, and the football team has taken an entire table, they probably weren’t out to hurt anyone, they just happen to all hang out with each other and be friends because they’re already on the same team.

        It isn’t a good feeling to not be included or to think people wish you harm and I hope no one has to go through that.

        Now to clarify my original point. In high school I thought I was the victim of bullying. But hindsight is 20/20 and after looking back I realized that most people didn’t even say mean things to me. I was just under the impression that because I was different, that people were going to be mean and bully me. So whenever someone looked at me in a way I didn’t understand, or didn’t include me in their specific group of friends I thought it was an attack. Now I realize that I only thought those things because I was trained by the movies I watched and the TV shows I saw to believe that was the way people are. Now I firmly believe people are better than the media and entertainment industry give them credit for, and while it won’t cure the pain that people had to endure in their youth, the best way to stop this bullying craze today is to teach everyone to look for the good in each other instead of being on the defense from something that might not have ever been an attack in the first place.

        It isn’t the victims fault that they felt abused. And if it was true abuse then there is no excuse. But kids are looking at people wondering who is going to hurt them instead of being okay with themselves at the time. I wish I were okay with myself growing up, and I feel like teens would find growing up much easier if we help them to be okay with themselves, instead of helping them feel okay to be victimized.

        While I didn’t mean to offend anyone with my original comment, clearly things can be interpreted differently by different people, and that, along with Gobblegirl’s response to my comment kind of prove my point. I’m sure most people on this blog can see that I wasn’t out to hurt anyone with my comment, although it may have still offended, just as I’m sure Gobblegirl wasn’t out to attack me, although it read like an attack to me.

        We’re all human. We joke, we say things without thinking, we make faces, we laugh, we take our frustrations out on the next person we see. What I can say to my friends I might not be able to say to a stranger, and how I react to someone who knows me well could come off very differently to someone who just met me. But isn’t it plausible that if the message we spread through the world today is a message of love and patience and understanding and embracing of ones self along with ones peers, instead of a message of tolerance of others and fear of others and defense against hate, we would pull through happier in the end?

        Again, sorry if I offended. Completely not what I meant to do, or even to cast blame on people. I just felt like I could share my opinions here.

  4. Man, Kelly. You are so lucky I’m not Louis Simon.

  5. “My mother was mortified and kept telling me how horrible and ugly I looked. Strangers would walk by with a look of shock on their face, so I never felt pretty. I just always felt awkward.”
    That’s even worse! You suck Christina Hendricks’ mom

    • Does anyone remember the Mother’s Day SNL special about a decade ago in which Rachel Dratch goes into this long speech about how she’s always dressed up super weird on the show so she had the makeup artists do her up real purdy to surprise her mom and she comes out as that weird character with a doll arm coming out of her head?

      Well, I watched it with my mom or had a conversation with my mom about that and said, “hahahahaha. I’d totally do that to you, too. hahahahahahaha.” And she basically admitted that the reasons moms get so mad at their kids — esp. moms to daughters — for not looking pretty is because moms (and dads) get nervous that they’re not as pretty as they think they are because their kid looks like crap. Or maybe that’s just my mom.

      I’m only adding this in because I was told that stuff too — not that I wasn’t pretty but more of a “why are you TRYING to look ugly?” for years and years and years. (I don’t consider it bullying, for the record, just irritating back-handed compliments that get passed down for generations.)

      And let’s be honest, the 90s were a horrible time for fashion and hair — we really were trying to look like hell as that was the style. It’s unfair that Baby Boomer parents had amazing 60s and early 70s fashions during their biological aesthetic apex. Everyone looked awesome, even if they weren’t trying. (Barring the narcs and squares, of course, because those guys looked like jerks… probably because they were narcs and squares.)

  6. It gets boober.

  7. *Insert John Mulaney’s ‘New In Town’ bit about how horrible all eighth graders are because they can accurately tease you about things that actually bother you here*

    “Hahahahahahaha hey look at the high-waisted man! He has feminine hips!”

    “NOOOO! That’s the thing I’m SENSITIVE ABOUT!!!”

    • That sounds very funny. I can’t wait for my DVD of that to arrive! Kelly, it is going to arrive soon, right? I mean, it’s not like everyday I think, today is the day my DVD will arrive, and then it doesn’t, but still, it’s coming, right Kelly?

  8. I really don’t get what’s wrong even if these attractive female actors are exaggerating or even flat out lying about their bullying experiences. If it gives kids who are going through a rough patch a little bit of hope, even if it’s false hope, what’s the problem? Fourth Grade Me would have loved to hear Ryan Gosling say that he was bullied as a kid after a day of getting the shit kicked out of him while being called a “faggot”.

    • Seriously. Who hasn’t encountered a bully before, even if it was just once? Nobody!

    • Yeah, I don’t get the derision for this. It just seems like an “It gets better” story.

    • Here’s my issue with it: I don’t think we as a society should look to TV and film stars or celebrities in general for an “it gets better” message. Not all kids are going to grow up to be columnists or movie stars or Pixar animators and perpetuating that is going to backfire terribly in 10-15 years.

      We build up celebrities to be super people then revel in their down fall and then memorialize them forever when they get trapped in the cycle and begin to self-destruct and ultimately unravel or die. So taking people at a good point in their fame and having them spread messages of hope to unstable adolescents is a flawed model to begin with, even if the intent of the message was a good one.

      Bullying is a short-term situation that needs to be addressed by people a kid/teen/adult knows and with whom they have a real relationship. Obviously hearing horror stories can be comforting to those who think they’re alone, but odds are… they are not. And they need to learn real coping mechanisms from real people in their actual lives with whom they can have a conversation and not just get hollow quotes or positive platitudes that fall flat in the long run.

      Right now all these comments and morphed messages of “inspiration” just sound like PR moves to make someone who is gorgeous seem more accessible… and then they throw something in for the kids. And when it’s not extreme, it’s not taken seriously. Or if they did modeling, which is a whole other nightmare that probably messed with her self esteem more than high school, it is dismissed because pretty people can’t have problems?

      That being said, I’m fully aware that Hendricks wasn’t doing an “It Gets Better” message but probably deflecting the attention she was getting on her body (again, a TERRIBLE message) in a press junket with an anecdote about how things weren’t always like that. (Something many people down this post explained much more eloquently and succinctly than I can/am.) And while I definitely believe her story (still not buying Zooey Deschanel’s bit), I think her story is kind of… standard to the 90s high school experience. It wasn’t a good experience. Honestly, it’s not even that much more different than basic plot points in My So Called Life. I got spit on too, but I figured the person who did was a creep… not a bully.

      Sorry, TL; DR. Summary: kids/teens/whatever need realistic messages from people they actually know. Hollywood role models are not good role models. Stay in school.

      • Could the person who downvoted this please explain why I’m wrong? I would be very interested in your take on the matter. I know everyone’s experience is different and valid and should be discussed or at the very least respected. But sociologically-speaking, kids that are at risk tend to respond better in the long run to messages from people they actually know instead more than affirmations from people they do not.

        • I didn’t downvote you and I don’t think you’re wrong, per se, but I also don’t think your analysis is comprehensive enough. You’ve done a good job of describing the ideal model for dealing with the adolescent and pre-adolescent bullying problem. Yes, it would be great if role models were available and found near the home. But even if everyone had awesome parents and older siblings and school administrators who would implement this model, there would still be kids slipping through the cracks for whom an offhand remark by a celebrity (pre-downfall, post-downfall, whatever; who cares where they’ll be five years after some gay kid in Iowa has already appropriated their long-ago message of hope?) might make a huge hell of a difference. And this is only in the best case scenario, which our society is still very far from actually achieving.

          And I don’t think that these celebrity messages necessarily come across as “Look kids, you could be as cool and beautiful as I am in a few years!” but more like “Look kids, even someone as cool and beautiful as I am went through some tough times some years ago.”

          And I do disagree with you on one point – I believe many bullied teens DO believe they are all alone. Those pesky teen and pre-teen years are pretty much the most self-involved years of a person’s entire life, so it makes sense to me that whatever experiences these kids share, good or bad alike, would be perceived as singular. And in the case of bullying, which tends to have a shaming effect, the victims themselves often take the matter into their own hands by doing their best to hide the problem from everyone in their life.

          • I totally agree with you. I just wish there was a way that kids who are slipping through the cracks could at least get into a mandatory peer-to-peer group with those outside their cliques and comfort levels to learn that everyone is unhappy at some level and that bullies have their own issues to deal with and are often raised in a culture of violence and/or are acting out for a reason (or reasons) that has nothing to do with the person who is the victim.

            It’s just that setting hopes on a celebrity (or comically successful unfamous adult in a highly coveted position) in an attempt to fix an already-troubled kid’s self-worth seems like the worst idea ever.

            I would like to say that maybe we should use the seeds of this campaign/movement to discuss mental illness, but in this political climate it will just come off as hippie socialist rhetoric from someone who absolutely decided she will never EVER have kids after watching what happened in a debate last week about birth control.

        • I may be reading into things here, but I kinda feel like you’re saying that only unstable kids are at real risk of suffering long-term damage from teen bullying? Which I don’t agree with? Like, I can maaaaaybe agree that there’s a majority of them who ARE troubled (and that goes for the bullies, too), but I think if anything, the bullying is what’s CAUSING them to be troubled as opposed to just catalyzing their troubled tendencies? Again, it’s possible that I’m misinterpreting what you said or projecting or something.

          Like, all things considered, I’m a pretty well-adjusted person and former pretty-well-adjusted kid, but I still find myself suffering intense feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness in certain social/professional situations that I think stem from my experiences with junior high bullying in the late 90s, no less (of course we didn’t call it “bullying” back then, just “school”), and then becoming a bit of a bully myself when I went to high school in a different state and grew boobs and a jaded, bitchy attitude (and we didn’t call it a “bullying” then either, just “joking around”). And it may or may not have changed things if (I don’t even remember what celebrity I liked back then – Julia Roberts?) someone famous told me to hang in there, that they had been there and “got it.” But I don’t know, I tend to be of the general opinion that that sort of thing does more good than harm.

          • That’s not what I’m saying. All kids get damaged from this, but the ones that are killing themselves over it probably have issues that extend far beyond bullying — which is why the whole It Gets Better campaign started and one of the reasons why celebrities keep talking about bullying and why it stays in the national debate. And that’s mostly what I was commenting on, not necessarily Christine Hendricks’ message, which I don’t actually even think was a message… just a comment.

  9. She has red hair…. I think I am going with the celebrity on this one.

  10. The woman is known predominantly for her (admittedly glorious) rack rather than her considerable acting talent. I can understand why she’s kind of pissed of about being judged by her looks.

    • And on this site, which is generally full of smart non-dicks, she can barely be mentioned without someone posting a gif of her boobs or ass.
      Seriousgum, can you guys stop doing this? It’s not funny, it’s gross. See above for details! “Want”? That’s fucking gross!

    • I can also say from experience that a lot of women are shocked by their bodies when they come out of their awkward phase. It’s a bizarre mental transition from “I am a hideous pimply lady-beast” to “Where the fuck did this ass come from?”

      Also, Christina Hendricks sends out some pretty body-positive messages to women and doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously. Respect.

      • I love everything about what has been said in this thread.

        And now I feel bad for objectifying Michael Fassbender in the way that I have… though that is also slightly different because he’s usually in a position of power and seems to be having fun with the new idolization (based on interviews that I’ve read) and talks about how women are exploited all the time and it’s time for men to be exploited too.

        But as much as great dudes turn into pigs when she’s around, it’s kind of nice that it’s for a pretty woman who looks like a real woman. And maybe it’s because I want to think the best of the guys I make jokes with, I’d like to think part of Hendricks’ hotness is based on the Joan character, which is a very good character and very pro-feminist.

  11. train? i…i…i can’t see the train.

  12. Fun fact: there was a picture of Christina Hendricks in a gold lame bikini straddling some guy, but there’s also a scary clown in it, so it’s literally the picture equivalent of my penis and brain having a boxing match.

  13. In my experience, a high school girl with her body type will take a lot of crap because of it. a lot. even more if she’s a goth. so yeah, this sounds very believable to me.

  14. You know why this is fucking bullshit? Because if the current trend were about being strong and embracing what makes you different (which was moreso the case in the mid 90s), and not the fear of being singled out and made to feel ostracized, then Christina Hendricks and everyone else that’s jumped on this train would instead talk about how bold they were for not just changing their appearance in an effort to fit in with the mainstream crowd. In other words: “Biiiiiiiiiiiitch. Your personal style is quite literally a cry for negative attention. Own it.”

  15. This is my favorite website! It’s the best. Check it every day, I LOL a lot, think a lot, etcetera. OK GLAD THAT’S OUT OF THE WAY.

    These articles are gross! I am not sure about your feelings about some people being too good looking to talk about getting their feelings hurt in high school! Their life gets better too quickly? As though really pretty girls don’t commit terrible high school social cardinal sins and get mercilessly bullied for other things? Sometimes, in these cases, by the OTHER pretty people, which is also STILL BULLYING. Yuck!

    I know you guys are just We Have Funnin’, but sometimes I think Videogum sometimes does that Daily Show thing where Stewart says “Haha we’re just doin’ jokes!” when they actually spend a lot of time trying to be serious for a second, which is confusing.

    I am sorry for this post. I promise to do a very earnest pro-Videogum post on the next animal roundup.


    • Much less important: Isn’t it the worst when Videogum sneakily logs me into Facebook when I’m supposed to be logged into my Videogum account?

      • Tim, don’t take this the wrong way, but… are you straight? Because if you are, your comment might go a long way toward making me really believe in the existence of the IRL Straight Male Feminist. I do have an admittedly unfair prejudice against straight men in this sense (I can’t fully shake the belief that all of them are at least a tiny part sexist asshole deep down), so any counterexample helps! I want to believe!

        • Do you think that maybe all of us are at least a tiny part sexist asshole deep down because the patriarchy hurts us too? That all the negative messages society sends about women are often being sent directly to us, from like, day one of receiving messages and that we too are actually constantly told what being a “man” is, so no matter how aware someone gets and how hard they work, there’s still tons of shit to overcome?

          • Yes! PTSmith gets it!

            God, I love you guys.

          • Absolutely! I didn’t say I was BLAMING men for being a tiny part sexist asshole (in my limited perception, natch). And I never hold it against anyone of either gender if they say/do something in an “honest mistake” capacity but at least show signs of openness to discussion and correction in future behavior. Just like I would hope others wouldn’t judge me too harshly for being a little bit prejudiced (see above) but BEING AWARE that that is something that I need to work on and do.

  16. The only people who weren’t unhappy in high school are the ones who PEAKED in high school. The ones who were the cliche villains. A lot of them are the ones who are miserable now, and we’re all Christina Hendricks, I guess. Anyway, I once went back to my hometown and saw my high school bully (made grades 8-10 unbearable) working as a box boy at Walmart. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I allowed myself a moment of ugly schadenfreude.

    And in the ’80s, when it wasn’t the age of post-Columbine and “zero tolerance,” I still think that if I had been given the advice to stand up to the bully just ONCE and try to beat the crap out of him, the torture would have ended earlier with the grudging respect of a dipshit I care nothing about but will still never forget.

  17. Has anyone mentioned the fact that when people post stories about her, half of the comments are from guys who think she is super fat and not attractive at all????? Bullying never stops, but you can take kung fu lessons and carry pepper spray. Haters need their asses handed to them every now and then.

  18. PS – I went to a really small high school, I enjoyed it and I wasn’t a Peaker. No cheerleading or prom crap for me; I was a nerd, albeit a very funny, comedian-like nerd.

  19. Hi you guys. I’ve been lurking around Vgum for about 3 years. Not just because It’s the most consistently funny, interesting site I know of, but also because the commenters on this site are so smart and hysterically funny. Most of you, anyway. But even your regular trolls are loathsome in a kind of interesting and amusing way. Videogum for me is a big room of people who are statistically improbable, in the best way. I mean, I am on all of your jocks, like, forever.
    But. 3 years ago I tentatively poked my nose into VIdeogum’s community, and posted a few times in various threads. I was feeling those happy feelings of being accepted by the Cool Crowd, which, if Videogum were a high school, you guys would be.
    Then I made a serious comment, and got kind of sniped at for it, and it wasn’t even all that bad of a hazing; but it was a tiny bit mean. And sort of knee-jerk mean. And I was having one of those horrible times of life IRL, like we all do, and I just couldn’t quite handle being made fun of, at the time, by people I liked so much in comment form. Because of the horrible IRL times I was slogging through, I couldn’t summon any thick-skinnedness, and also couldn’t always be funny and snarky, since life seemed like a neverending chasm of despair and futility (interspersed with nuggets of hilarity mined from all of your shafts – no wait…forget that part). Also I’m not 14. So I just stopped posting on Videogum, and took my occasionally serious self to other pastures. But I’ve continued to read the posts and the comments because YOU GUYS ARE SO FUNNY AND BRIGHT, and you give me hope and yuks. That had to be caps; not sorry.
    Point being: I kind of felt bullied by the commenters on Vgum once, long ago, for being serious; and it was mostly my own sensitivity at the time, because I’m sure you didn’t mean to make me feel bad, but in light of this article about Christina Hendricks I thought I’d out myself. It Gets Better.

  20. I’m pretty sure they weren’t spitting on you, Christina but your ugly friends…

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