Jessica Alba, Demi Lovato and even Robert Pattinson are all celebrities who share a painful past as victims of bullying. What's the reason behind it, and how can we stop it?
Bullying is an epidemic. Approximately 13 million kids are bullied in the U.S. every year. The documentary “Bully”, which was just released on DVD, focuses on five students who faced bullying every day.
Director Lee Hirsch told me he was a victim of bullying himself. He made the movie to showcase the hidden lives of these children. He says the most surprising thing about doing this documentary was the number of celebrities that came out to support him.
One of those celebrities was pro-golfer Meghan Hardin. She got her big break on the hit Golf Channel reality show last year at the age of 19. But Meghan says her biggest inspiration came from a dark time in her life after suffering years of bullying in high school.
"It had gotten so bad, one night I slit my wrists and I cut my arms up and down. I wanted to die. I didn't think there was another option. I'm lucky my mom caught me or I would have easily not been here today. I think the message to girls is they need to find someone to talk to-- either a counselor or aunt or someone they can talk to, but they need to tell someone," she said.
Child Psychologist Lynne Kenney counsels victims of bullying. She says Meghan's story is all too common nowadays and offers advice to kids in the same situation.
"You definitely need to tell an adult because you don't want to be isolated and alone. Two, change your physical posture, lift your shoulders and keep your head held high. Don't hide anymore. And three, get help, you've got to build a social community of friends who are going to protect you," Kenney said.
These were all steps that Meghan took and now she's swinging her way to the top. So what's her message to those girls who bullied her in high school?
"I've seen them on Facebook and they look like losers. I'm here and they haven't even finished junior college. I think that shows enough, where I'm at and where they are in life," she said.