Chris Colfer: How the Spotlight made him reflect on his Bullies

“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.” – Chris Colfer

Chris Colfer can be seen on the musically inclined TV show Glee. A show about a glee club full of diverse students who struggle to find their place in high school. Quirky, and sassy, Colfer’s character is a student who struggles to come out of the closet with fears of being tormented by his peers and other individuals at school. Similar to his real life high school experience, Colfer suffered countless amounts of bullying as an openly gay student at his high school. He told Entertainment Weekly: “I spent most of my time stuffed into lockers. Thank god for cell phones, or I’d still be in there.”

As his high school experience got worse, he eventually turned to home schooling as an escape from the torment. Flash forward a couple of years, and Colfer lands himself a starring role on the widely popular television show “Glee”. He gets cast as an individual that goes through the same issues as he did in high school, except this time, Colfer gets to experience it under spotlight. As apprehensive as he was to take in a role that would cause so much controversy, it’s safe to say that society has been opening its eyes over the last couple of years. The role of Kurt brought Colfer a sense of escape as he was finally able to let go of his high school years. He turned an incredibly bad situation from his past into fuel for a very successful life as an openly gay actor.

As of now, he poses as a role model for so many individuals dealing with bullying.

Bullying Prevention Techniques

Approximately 32 percent of students report being bullied at school. Bullied students are more likely to take a weapon to school, get involved in physical fights, and suffer from anxiety and depression, health problems, and mental health problems. They suffer academically (especially high-achieving black and Latino students). And research suggests that schools where students report a more severe bullying climate score worse on standardized assessments than schools with a better climate. Educators, Parents, Guardians, and Peers all around should be practicing techniques to help stop bullying.

Five Tips to Help Principals Prevent Bullying

Effectively addressing a bullying problem requires a culture change. A true culture change takes time, but a few key steps to help principals get started:

  • Practice What You Preach Don’t use your status as the school leader as the lever for change; instead, “listen before talking and reflect before acting” to ensure your staff feel valued (this is backed up by the NEA survey, which found an important predictor of adult willingness to intervene in bullying was their “connectedness” to the school, defined as their belief they are valued as individuals and professionals in the learning process).
  • Assess the Extent of the Problem Survey students, staff and parents to find out how much and what type of bullying is going, as well as where and when, to target prevention efforts.
  • Develop a School-wide Code of Conduct that reinforces school values and clearly defines unacceptable behavior and consequences. Empower bystanders — teachers and especially students — to help enforce it by training them to identify and respond to inappropriate behavior.
  • Increase Adult Supervision Most bullying happens when adults are not present, so make sure they are “visible and vigilant” in hallways, stairwells, cafeterias and locker rooms, as well as on buses and the way to and from school for students who walk.
  • Conduct Bullying Prevention Activities such as all-school assemblies, communications campaigns or creative arts contests highlighting school values to bring the community together and reinforce the message that bullying is wrong.

Bethany Mota: “How I Overcame Bullying”

At age 19, Bethany Mota has become a lasting YouTube sensation, with over 7 million subscribers, a clothing line, and a current spot on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, this young star has built herself a legacy in a short amount of time. On a previously aired episode of Dancing with the Stars, Mota dedicated a dance to her years of being bullied and a whole new side to the youtube superstar revealed itself as inspirational.

Despite all of her newfound fame, Mota doesn’t forget about the past torment she endured growing up. She comes from a small town in Moreno, California and from the get go was deemed as shy as could be. In eighth grade, shortly after her parents encouraged her to begin public school, Mota began her battle with bullies. Crowded with the stress and anxiety of it all, she quit dancing and acting lessons. Growing up that shy didn’t leave Mota space for a ton of friends, and her parents did all they could to channel her shyness into a positive form of life.

She began homeschooling and found comfort in front of the camera sharing what she loved: Fashion and Makeup. As Bethany began making more and more videos, her channel progressed and she currently holds one of the most popular YouTube channels in the world. Serving as a role model and inspiration to young girls everywhere, her videos focus on self-love and individuality. In the spring, summer, and fall of 2014, Mota released a clothing line debuting at Aeropostale.

Glitz and Glam aside, Miss Bethany Mota has done a world of things for individuals being bullied out there. Like stated previously, she dedicated a dance to her bullied days; a rumba that truly sparked an imaginative and inspirational take on how everything gets better. How you can build an empire around your dreams and strive to be successful despite what bullies think of you.

Two Films that have Taught us something about Bullying | Corona, CA

From playground cruelty to the online rumor mill, we’re hearing more about bullying than ever, but are we getting better at helping kids and teens cope? TIME looks at the facts behind all those sensational headlines — what we know and don’t know about why bullying happens and what we can do to minimize its effects.

  1. Mean Girls

Cady has been home-schooled for her first 16 years, so when she enters a public school for the first time, the movie introduces her (and us) to the complicated interactions of adolescent girls. She initially bonds with two social outcasts, who devise a plan for Cady to infiltrate the Plastics, a trio of popular girls led by the vindictive Regina.

After she gains acceptance in the clique, Cady begins to subtly undermine Regina by trying to make her gain weight and turning the other Plastics against her — in essence, the bullied becomes a bully. As she is more and more successful, Cady loses her sense of self and morphs into a new version of the queen bee. What started as a joke becomes real as she turns just as spiteful and mean as Regina.

Mean Girls brings shades of gray to the typical bully/victim paradigm. Everyone here is a player in an endless cycle of bullying and being bullied. When Cady succumbs to the pettiness and vanity of the Plastics, the movie shows how intoxicating popularity can be, and how easy it is to switch from victim to bully, and back again.

  1. Dazed and Confused

Bullying is an institutionalized ritual that one Texas town implicitly endorses in Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming-of-age film. It’s the last day of school in 1976, and upperclassmen are hazing the incoming freshmen as they leave junior high.

The boys are subject to physical assaults and, despite futile attempts to escape, most agree that it is better to just submit and get it over with. Meanwhile, the girls are verbally abused and humiliated: after they are rounded up in the school parking lot, they are forced to suck on pacifiers, propose to senior boys, and be doused with ketchup, mustard, eggs, and flour at the behest of the merciless ringleader Darla.

Dazed and Confused reflects ’70s culture, when this sort of teasing and initiation was seen as a natural part of growing up. To escape hazing, the logic goes, would be to miss a key character-building experience in one’s adolescence. Small acts of rebellion or revenge are permitted, but opting out of this ritual is never seriously considered: After the initial hazing, many kids begin to bond and form friendships with those who have just tormented them.

More movies here:,29569,2095385,00.html

The Story of Lizzie Velasquez Could Become the Most Inspiring Film Against Cyber-Bullying Yet

We’ve seen many documentaries on bullying. We’ve seen them about kids bullied at school, and we’ve seen them about kids bullied on the Internet. We don’t see much on adults who’ve been bullied, but that is something that exists, often at the workplace. Cyber-bullying doesn’t only occur with kids, either. Although Lizzie Velasquez was a teenager when she became the victim of online bullying, the person responsible for posting a YouTube video labeling her as “The Ugliest Woman in the World” might have been an adult. Same with all the hateful commenters.

The type of bullying that Velasquez has experienced is similar to the issue I have with critics who pass moral or physical judgement on documentary subjects. It’s similar to the way our culture has been cruel overall but is now exposed more through the Internet, whether through social media or professional or amateur posts on the web. Celebrities are victims of cyber-bullying all the time and are thought to be deserving of it because they’re on TV or something. But we’re all out there on screens today, and that makes us all susceptible to bullying. And none of us deserve it.

Velasquez has turned her situation into a campaign against bullying, and she’s been a big hit on talk shows and a very successful TEDx event in Austin last December. Now she’s going to be the subject of a documentary. The film will tell her life story, how she was born with a very rare disease that has caused her partial blindness and makes her incapable of gaining body fat. More importantly it will show how she has overcome her physical hardships as well as the social hardships that her disease has led to. Currently titled The Lizzie Project, this documentary is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and after 10 days they’ve raised 37% of the $180k goal.

The director of the film is Sara Bordo, an executive producer of that TEDxAustinWomen event featuring Velasquez. The two women met there and Bordo decided that it was necessary for them to work together on something else. “After the event, I started spending more time with Lizzie, her incredible parents Rita and Lupe, and her fantastic sister Marina and brother Chris,” Bordo told us via email. “I knew there was so much more that people could learn from her life and her story — far more than what an 18-minute TEDx talk could allow. She and her family have been waiting to tell their story for some time, and even more so waiting to find someone they were comfortable with to bring it to life. I don’t take the opportunity lightly, and I’m hopeful to treat her message with the authenticity that it deserves.”

The Lizzie Project won’t be just some documentary telling the inspiring story of adversity centered around a singular individual with a rare disease. Velasquez is fighting for everyone who has been or could be the victim of harassment like the bullying she dealt with or some other sort. “The documentary is necessary simply because we’re losing way too many young kids to online bullying and it needs to be addressed,” she explains to us, also via email. “I know first hand how devastating it can be, but in sharing MY story, I hope to be the example of what’s possible when you choose to come out on the other side of being bullied.”

Velasquez has an amazing effect on people, and it’s easy to believe that she will be that example that is needed for this issue. As you can see in the Kickstarter video below, she even has a ton of celebrities who stand beside her in supporting the cause and this film, including Kristen Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Hilary Duff, Felicia Dey, Noah Segan, Ross Mathews and Bill and Giuliana Rancic.


Life after Bullying: Success Stories | Corona, CA

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny”

Adjusting to a life after bullying isn’t one that most individuals find the least bit simple. Although the hardships and difficulties of life after bullying may seem too straining at one point in time, it is important to hold onto that beacon of hope that things will get better. Things in life have a funny way of working themselves out, and like the quote above, those hardships are most of the time just preparing you for an extraordinary future to live. Don’t believe me? Here are some of the most well-known stars today that have overcome the strains of bullying.

  • Michael Phelps

18 time Olympic Gold Medalist endured years of bullying after being deemed the boy with the lisp and big ears. He remembers bullies flicking his ears and tossing his baseball cap out the window, all the while struggling with his ADHD and his absent father. Phelps threw himself into a world of sports and stands today as the most decorated Olympic medalist in the world.

  • Justin Timberlake

Growing up in Tennessee, Justin Timberlake found himself the center of bullying at his school. He didn’t fit in. Having acne, weird hair, and the inability to play football left him a standing target. His appreciation for music and the arts didn’t help his case either. After high school, Timberlake became 1/5 of one of the most famous boy bands of all time, NSYNC*; and then went on to take over the world of entertainment with his triple threat package: Singing, Acting, and Charismatic Attitude.

  • Rihanna

“I was bullied at school for being white.” Words said by Rihanna during an interview, her skin color determined the way she was going to be treated in Barbados, where she grew up. This brings up one of the most controversial buffers for bullying today: Racism. Growing up in Barbados, Rihanna endured years of torment because she wasn’t as dark as most of the kids at her school. This interview revealed a dirty secret about Barbados, as it turns out, their government was stringing on the racism in the country as well. All of that aside, Rihanna looked to music to inspire her through all of the hardship. Rihanna is now one of the most well-known musicians in the world. She is currently on of the best-selling music artists of all time and holds the title as the best-selling digital artist in the United States.

Ordinary people, who now lead extraordinary lives. There’s so much more life to be lived after bullying.

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