We All Need To Stop Bullying Ourselves & Being Cruel To Other Women, Says Rumer Willis


Most people know Rumer Willis as the famous daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Or perhaps images of her as a ‘Dancing With The Stars’ winner come to mind for some. When we read about celebrities and their children in the media they are the same old stories about partying, privilege and prettiness. You’d be forgiven for thinking that there was nothing going on in their lives if you believed everything in the media.

Thankfully we live in a much more transparent age where celebrities access social media just as much and have the power to talk directly to their audience and share more about themselves in an authentic way.

Rumer Willis recently wrote an essay for Glamour magazine about the source of her confidence and let’s just say it was a far cry from what we’re used to seeing and reading in gossip magazines.

Just like most other young women, Rumer has had her fair share of body image woes, except the biggest difference is that her struggles get played out in the media as “entertainment”. The actress and singer spoke about having to deal with the pressure in the public eye and how she conquered her fears and body image demons.

“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. I was constantly bullied because of my looks, so I struggled a lot with my body image,” she began, while quoting a famous saying “comparison is the thief of joy” from Theodore Roosevelt.

She admits she never shared her struggles with her parents growing up because they were too painful and she didn’t know how to ask for help. It took her a while to stop comparing herself with others and be content with who she is.


“Fear is a really debilitating emotion. There were times when personal stuff in my life was blasted everywhere and I couldn’t leave my house for a week because I would be aggressively and dangerously followed. But the real pressure comes from the Internet and social media—the mentality that it’s OK to attack people from behind a computer screen. 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 said.

Rumer mentions her younger sisters Tallulah and Scout who she says inspired her to be brave and own who she is. Tallulah very publicly struggled with substance addition and went to rehab. Scout is an outspoken activist and make a statement walking down New York City topless as part of the Free The Nipple equality movement, which Rumer now also supports.

“Scout is so unbelievably strong and opinionated, and she sticks to her convictions. And the way Tallulah was so honest and owned her situation when she went to rehab was amazing. The norm is to hide what you’re dealing with, but Tallulah came out and said, ‘This is who I am. I struggled and fought, and I came out on the other side.’ Honestly, I wouldn’t be so strong if I didn’t have them,” she admits.

Competing and subsequently winning ‘Dancing With The Stars’ gave her a huge confidence booster and helped her conquer her fear of failure.

“This doesn’t mean I’m invincible. 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. But when it happens now, I remind myself that focusing on people’s negative opinions will only make me feel like crap,” she said.


Her comments are similar in nature to what activist and former political intern Monica Lewinsky so articulately addressed in her powerful TED Talk about internet bullying. She calls for a cultural revolution around the system that rewards bullies and harassers who hide behind anonymity and spew hatred out into the world. She challenged her audience to ask themselves whether they use their social platforms for attention or intention.

One of the ways Rumer believes we can combat this awful social disease is by women encouraging each other, rather than tearing one another down.

“What it comes down to is this: 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. Let’s find strength in the fact that we’re different and unique,” she said.

“Let’s allow ourselves to say, ‘These are my flaws, but I’m still beautiful.’ Let’s find our own value, know what we have to offer—and know that that is enough.”

We may not all agree with each other, nor live similar lives, but continuing to multiply the hate only gives permission for the media to do the same, and it becomes a never-ending cycle generation after generation. We live in an era of unprecedented innovation and we have the power, literally at our fingertips, to create positive change with our words, whether spoken or typed.

If there is one thing we can learn from Rumer is that at the end of the day, strip away the celebrity status, she is just like each one of us. She is a woman sick to death of the status quo and wants to empower other women to feel strong in who they are, not who they could potentially become.

“I feel like I have a voice for the first time and that I can say, ‘This is who I am, and this is what I’ve gone through’.’





One Comment

  1. Pingback: Genius Teen Creates "Sit With Us" App To Combat Bullying & Help Kids Find Friends At Lunch - GirlTalkHQ

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