From Being Bullied to Being a Star

126b979840ed6dc2c6bc37ef9db24320Young Brittany Mason was bullied relentlessly. And then she grew up to become a star. And an anti-bullying advocate.

Her torment began her first year of high school. Kids teased her, slashed her tires, and threw Barbie doll heads, or red paint, all over her yard.

Homecoming week was the worst. Some students created a giant poster with her picture on it, took it to a pep rally and chanted, “You are ugly.” Afterwards, they chased her from the bleachers and drenched her with water guns.

Britney tried to kill herself, but failed. Thinking back, she adds, “Thank God.”

After the suicide attempt she chose to do home schooling.

She says the experience was scarring and still haunts her.

But since then she has worked to make the best of her life, and that experience.

Kids said she was ugly?

She entered the Miss Universe beauty pageant and won the 2008 title of Miss Indiana.

And then she went on to become a successful model and actress who was featured on the 200th episode of “Two and a Half Men.” She’s even been known to mingle with the likes of President Obama.

Brittany has also devoted her life to promoting an anti-bullying message. After traveling the world, she finally returned to Anderson High — a place she had once hoped to leave behind forever. But on October 2 she organized an anti-bullying benefit concert in her hometown to help others.

Brittany has an inspiring story that helps us all to know that it does get better.

Thanks to Love, Ashley  for alerting me to this story.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Best Not To Be Popular In High School
Do Kids Bully from Low Self-Esteem? Or Because they’re Popular? No and No
Boys on the Bus Grasping at Fake Power

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on October 9, 2013, in body image, feminism, psychology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I like seeing another example of people surviving bullying experiences, especially when it is a woman who has the ability of sharing her story with students around the country. Girls are more prone to suffer from bullying because it is harder for them to overcome low self-esteem that accumulates from mean peers’ criticism and rejection. Females are more often told that the ideal girl must repress her feelings and not bring them out into the open. If a girl is being bullied, she often feels like she has to keep her feelings to herself. Telling a parent, teacher, counselor, etc. can sometimes backfire when the perpetrators find out and call her a snitch. Mean girls are more typically passive aggressive, which is usually overlooked by outsiders, and the bullied girls may have less experience in how to counteract this usually emotional force, which can lead to further repression. Guys technically are given the “green-light” to fight back, while girls feel like they must accept whatever is dished out to them. Luckily, the awareness of bullying (especially cyberbullying) is growing and people are attempting to turn that around. It is also helpful when famous people send positive messages regarding the ability to believe in oneself, fight back with intelligence, and carry on, with fewer stereotypes interferring with girls’ feelings. I’m glad to know that Brittany Mason is another woman who fits into this category. When I was bullied in middle school, I knew about Demi Lovato’s experiences of being harrassed when she was my age at the time. The fact that she seemingly felt comfortable in sharing her experiences in hopes that young female readers like me can benefit from her words. A bully’s method is to try to cut off all of the victims social resources to the point of breaking down. Famous people like Brittany Mason, Demi Lovato, and others are saying that a bullied girl is never truly alone.

  2. Wow! So inspiring. At my high school, there was no extent to bullying that was as bad as what Brittany endured. At least there was none to my knowledge. Occasionally, but very rarely, there were fights on campus. Mostly the form of bullying came from gossip. It’s terrible that people can’t treat others with respect. No matter how hard the bullies life is, it is still no reason to hurt someone else. I’ve had my fair share of bullies and it wasn’t fun, but as I matured, I learned to hold my head up high and brush away what people had to say.

  3. It’s terrible that this type of bullying can happen to someone in school. I went to a private, Christian school and was lucky enough to never see or hear of this type of situation. A friend of mine went to public school in a very wealthy neighborhood and knew people who had their notes stolen to make them less competitive on a test. I believe it takes a very strong person to overcome the kind of bullying faced by Brittany Mason and most kids would probably not be able to do it without taking themselves out of the bullying environment. I am very happy that there are home school and on-line school alternatives for people who find themselves in these types of situations.

  4. I appreciate Brittany Mason sharing her story to offer other girls hope who may be experiencing something similar and to make the other kids think twice about their actions. When I was young I was called names and kids would either make fun of me or not play with me in elementary school. In junior high I was able to make friends, but the kids from my elementary school continued to taunt me. I had terrible self-esteem. I remember one day in my 8th grade history class kids were teasing me during class, and my teacher made a comment to me that they are jealous of me. He was confident that I was going to be successful because I am smart. It was eye opening to me to receive a compliment and it was helpful to know the whole world is not against me.

    It is very interesting to me to observe this trend in our animal-like human natures. We hold up a certain ideal to strive for, to be: smart, beautiful and wealthy. If you actually are any one of those things (heaven forbid you are more than one) people become jealous and hateful and feel entitled to cause harm. I pose that Brittany Mason was abused precisely because she was so pretty.

    • That’s my guess too. So don’t necessarily believe what people tell you.

      I’m glad you had a teacher who helped you to see that what other people were saying wasn’t the truth. And I’m glad that you have been able to recover so well.

  5. This is such an inspirational story for those who are going through the same thing Brittany did during her high school years. Her story shows hope and courage , to think some one who once tried to kill her self is now successful , talented, and pretty. For those who are getting bullying now should always think positive and never let anyone bring you down because everyone is special in every way . Whether you fat,skinny,short,tall, pretty or ugly , it does not matter everyone has a purpose in life. Each individual who is passing through this keep your head up and think of the positive outcomes in life. One more thing i would like to add for those who are being bully’s , whatever goes around comes around. So treat others how you would like to be treated and respected.

  6. Wow, this girl is drop-dead-gorgeous! I can’t believe she was bullied. I just looked her Wiki page up and it states that she is 27 years old. Back about 10 years ago, it was probably a little easier to take bullying, even if that makes me sound bad. Kids didn’t have SO much technological things and social media. It is so sad to see kids take their lives because of others making fun of them. I, personally have not experienced anyone I knew to end their life in such a way, I can not even imagine being that person’s friend or even worse, parent. A lot of people say, “I can’t believe their family didn’t see it coming, its their fault…etc”, I think its very rude. Kids hold their feelings in because they feel embarrassed about it. They feel scared that the parent might come to school and make things worse. I think a better way to prevent this from happening is to have some sort of a class which teaches kids self defense and also increase punishment for the bullies. I don’t know and probably wont even be able to count on how many documentaries Ive seen in which the schools and teachers let things like that happen and even take a part in the bullying. I think there should be a very crucial punishment of getting expelled from the school without warning for bullies, maybe this will stop. But it still will be very hard counting all the social media now a days. I am very glad Brittany is still alive, and karma gave her such an amazing future.

  7. Personally, it is sad hearing and reading about bullying. Bullying is becoming more hurtful for teens and children. And it has a great influence over them whom get bullied. Though the person who bullies others do not notice how much it hurts and puts down others. It actually puts them more than they think. Now teens are becoming more creative in ways of bullying. It is great that Brittany Mason was able to overcome all of the bullying. She even redeemed herself by participating in the pageant. She was able to show everyone whom bullied her that she is not what they say she is, she is better. Brittany is one of the few people who have to courage to not pay attention to all the games, name calling, etc. Some teens are not as strong to block all the negativity and use it as benefit for herself to achieve higher to show them they are wrong. Brittany sets a great example for people; no one can put you down. You are in charge of yourself and words and comments of other should not put you down or give you low self-esteem.

  8. Its extremely sad what kids go through these days, people think that bullying isn’t taken seriously and it’s just kids being kids which is not even the case. It disappoints me what Brittany went through and many others go through everyday specially in the school environment. When supposedly its the safest place kids can be in. Personally this really got to me specially because im the oldest of 7 children and all my younger siblings could be victims in bullying, which I hate to think about because I never discourage them or call them words that would scar their childhood, but to think that at school where it should be a place of making friends and a learning environment things like this happen. I will never wish this upon any child.

  9. Stories like these can influence a person’s life so much. It is very important to take suicidal attempts very seriously. We as students can add a smile to our classmate’s life. Being bullied isn’t fun at all; it shapes a person’s life from every angle. I will never understand the point of bulling, it is ridiculous to think that a person feeds from another persons suffering.

  10. Ashley Steffenson

    I found this to be a particularly inspirational story. Bulling is something that I think most kids go through at least one point in their lives whether they were being bullied or were the bullies themselves. Almost everyone can relate to a time in their lives where they felt singled out or alone or helpless. I think the old phrase “What Suzie says about Sally says more about Suzie than Sally.” best applies to situations and stories like this. This quote best applies in particular to Brittany’s story because at the end of reading this article, like the vast majority, I’m left thinking about how awful bullying is and questioning how kids could be so cruel to others just because they are different from themselves or any reason at all really. To read what she had to go through and reading what she still managed to accomplish afterwards truly is amazing and hopefully leaves her bullies and all others alike to sit back and give a second thought to their actions and choices. To go from a crowd filled of teenagers chanting “You are ugly” to being crowned “Miss Indiana” is truly a Cinderella story that can motivate and encourage anybody to believe in yourself and go after what you want in life despite what others may think or say.

  11. I just love inspiring stories like this one. It really gives a lot of us hope and it definitely reinforces the fact that mean comments and remarks aren’t true unless you believe them to be. Brittany is such a beautiful and strong woman and her actions are very admirable. The strength she had to return to her high school for an anti-bullying concert can really help others who are also in a similar situation. High school is a place full of social pressures and expectations, and it is really sad to know that bullying still carries on. Not only that, but knowing that suicide is “the only way out” for some people is completely horrible. Things do get better and Brittany’s success is a perfect example.

  12. I too was bullied in school. It was more elementary school than high school. But none the less it is still the worst thing to have to go through. Being in 3rd grade and already feeling out-casted and made fun of is not a fun way to grow up. As a kid in elementary school I was called dumb and stupid and numerous other things all because I lived in a mobile home park. I was told I lived in a dumpster and that I smelled like garbage. Finally I left that school because each day I would come home crying. As I moved into middle and high school I started to make friends outside of our small little town through rodeo, 4H, and FFA. These kids understood me and how I was raised, because they were raised the same way. They became my forever friends. Now in college I look back and still don’t know why I was treated that way, but I never let it fully affect me. I moved on to be the person I am today and I couldn’t be happier!

  13. It’s always a pleasure reading a story about someone who has triumphed over their struggles. I’ve never understood the point of bullying or why people enjoy such a sick pleasure in using someone’s insecurities/problems against them, but I guess that is the cold reality of the world we live in. Although I was never bullied, I know people who have and they’re still trying to find ways to cope with their trauma many years later. It’s a tragedy to know that some of these kids felt unpowered by these assholes that drove them to the point of insanity and engaged in self-harming behaviors, believing all the lies, taunting, words and bullshit. In my eyes, this is one of the saddest and cruelest things one can do to any person: where they feel that the only way for everything to be OK is through their pain, suffering and death. Not only is this depressing, but enraging and I applaud Brittany for being a strong-positive advocate for the anti-bullying cause and for not trying to kill herself. That shows true strength and for those who have and are currently being bullied (going through this shit) there is hope and everything will be OK, I promise.

  14. I cant’ stand bullies. High five to Brittany Mason for making those bullies feel stupid. Bullying is stupid and kids who think that bullying is cool should be thrown in juvenile hall or jail so that they can get bullied in there. I get angry when i hear stories about bullies and how their actions caused another student to suicide or become depressed and do things to hurt themselves. The suffering caused by bullies can leave a scar on a person even in the later years of life. It really hurts on the inside. But it’s people like Brittany who makes it all better and sets an example for those who have been picked on. Success and happiness is the best revenge. Maybe those bullies are “cool” in school now, but later on in life they wont be. I love it when the ones who get picked on when they were younger is doing much better than the ones who picked on them when they were kids. It’s a big “IN YO FACE!” for the little dumb kids out there.

  15. It is so terrible to hear the huge amount of stories of teenagers and children who are bullied to the point of wanting to end their lives. While Brittany Mason ended up being a success story, there are so many others who are not so lucky. Thousands of young people succeed in ending their lives, and others are so scared by the bullying that they cannot live normal lives anymore. There is something wrong in society if people are able to hurt one another to the point of no return. Something needs to change in our schools and other institutions to make it clear that bullying is NEVER okay.

  16. I must say that this is a very inspiring story. Bullying is an epidemic that needs to stop. This young lady is a survivor and she should be proud of herself. Unfortunately this story hits home for me. I have a 14 year old daughter that has gone through the same situation last year. I have dealt with the not wanting to go to school, the depression and the suicidal attempts and the home schooling. This is one of the worst things that a parent has to watch their child go through. I believe a lot of the problems lies with the school staff. They do not take bullying seriously until it is too late. Thankfully this beautiful young lady survived her situation, she was able to turn her experience around and make it positive for other children who are in the same situation. Although not all bullying stories like these turn out to be so positive, it is nice to know that there are victims of bullying out there who can overcome their experience, move on and show these bullies that they will not allow them to ruin their lives.

  17. This is such an incredible story about overcoming horrible circumstances. I have personally never seen violent acts of bullying like the acts described but how is this relentless type of bullying justified based on physical beauty? Just because kids thought she was ugly they tormented her? This just shows how society holds such high standards in beauty that other people feel that bullying and terrorizing those who they deem “ugly” is acceptable. I personally have seen bigger kids taunted in the halls of my elementary school but this also shows how if bullying isn’t stopped at a young age acts of violent and out of control bullying can take place. Thankfully in this situation the bullied was able to survive her experience but there are so many people today struggling with this same experience, but it is because of stories like these that awareness gets spread.

  18. What a beautiful woman and promoting such a strong message.:)
    The cruel things that some kids had and still have to endure is just too cruel for words. My heart goes out to anyone that has endured any type of bullying. Great post, hugs to you, Paula xxxxx

  19. It’s so sad to hear that bullying is still an issue in the states. Brittany is gorgeous! Don’t these kids learn and why are people still so rude to each other? I guess I’m just lucky to be in an area where there isn’t much bullying going on. I haven’t heard much about bullying news around my area, I think the last one I heard was the incident of a sophomore girl that committed suicide because three of her middle school friends raped her at a party and then took a picture of her nude body and sent it to everyone at their school. She ended up having no friends and everyone teased her and made fun of her. It’s really shocking to me because the school they went to was Saratoga High School, which is literally 15 minutes away from my house.

    Bullying is such a big issue, how can people be so mean and heartless… I can’t imagine anyone being bullied and not being able to stand up for themselves. I’m glad that Brittany became an activist for this and showed everyone that she’s strong and nothing can bring her down, ever.

  20. I think it is terrible that bullying is still such a big issue today. I get pretty emotional sometimes when I read or hear stories like these because I can’t imagine ever bullying someone, much less pushing them so far to the point that they no longer want to live. I see too many stories on the news of children committing suicide because they couldn’t take the bullying anymore.

    I have had my share of disagreements with peers, but I have never actually been bullied. However, I remember one football game during my junior year of high school I was on the track cheering with my squad when I noticed some freshman girls in the bleachers. I was too far away and it was too noisy to hear the words being exchanged, but I did witness one of the girls pour her drink on another girl’s head. The girl immediately started crying and ran off. I ran off the track to catch up with her and help her dry up some in the ladies’ room. She was too embarrassed to accept my help so I just gave her a hug and told her it would be okay. It blows my mind how some of us treat others. I wish more people were anti-bullying advocates like Brittany Mason. Something needs to be done to put an end to this.

  21. It’s such a shame that mankind is speckled with bullies in all aspects of work, rest and play throughout all aged groups. I suppose the only way to stop it is reporting by the victim or witnesses and come down hard on the bully, but not by bullying the bully. This subject must be right up your alley BB. Ralph xox 😀

  22. It is always so hard for me to wrap my head around stories like this. Why are we as humans so rude to one another? Why do people feel the need to put down others in order to feel better? It honestly disgusts me. I can relate to Brittany Mason to a certain degree because I too was bullied in grade school, never to the extant she was. I give her major props to being the bigger person and not letting such a horriphic time bring her down.

  23. It’s really disturbing to hear what happened to her and the idea of her wanting to end her own life because of it. She’s obviously gorgeous, and she was one of the sweetest women I think I have ever met. Very polite, warm, and humble. Her choice to be an activist for this is really admirable.

    • Thanks so much for pointing me in her direction. She is quite an inspiration. I’m hoping that her story will help others to hold on longer when they are in a struggle.

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