Anna Kendrick & 9 More Celebs Who Went Through Hell in High School

On my list of Celebrities Who I Wish I Could Trade Faces With, Anna Kendrick definitely makes the short list... which is why it makes absolutely no sense that defending herself against insults about her appearance is even something she has to deal with. But, like all celebrities, she does — and at least she's managed to come up with the perfect comeback when the situation presents itself. "The most common thing that I get is, 'Am I the only one who doesn't think Anna Kendrick is pretty?'" Kendrick said in her cover interview with Marie Claire. "And you're like, 'No, you're not the only one. Arguably, all the boys in my high school agree with you.'"

It's incredibly hard to believe that anyone wouldn't think Kendrick — even as an awkward high schooler — is absolutely gorgeous, but unfortunately, people are like that. As awesome as social media is, it gives the wrong people too much power to spout their negativity into the world, and it's really easy to aim that negativity at celebrities, who often don't seem like real people. I'm willing to bet actual money that those same people who make a habit of hiding behind their keyboards were bullies in high school, too. And more celebrities had to deal with them back then than you might think.

Click through to see 10 celebs who, despite their best efforts, weren't cool in high school, and then take a minute to imagine how much their bullies must regret everything right now. The moral of the story? Be nice to everyone, because you never know who will grow up to star in Pitch Perfect.

by Nicole Pomarico

Leighton Meester

Blair Waldorf may have ruled Constance Billard, but Leighton Meester’s real life high school experience was nothing like Gossip Girl. In fact, when her classmates saw her getting her start, they made a point to tell her she looked fat. Uh, what?

“One day, I went into school and someone was holding a magazine and they were, like, ‘Is this you?’ It was just a small photo spread — I was 14 — and I said, ‘Yeah, it’s me,’ and they were, like, ‘Man, you are such a dork,’” Meester said.

Joke’s on you, mean kids, because Meester grew up to marry Adam Brody, and he is beautiful. And the massive career success can’t hurt, either.

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift isn’t shy about admitting that she spent most of her days after school either learning how to play guitar or hot gluing popsicle sticks together for fun… and those hobbies didn’t exactly make her popular, either. Although she lost friends because certain girls didn’t think she was “cool or pretty enough,” she knows those experiences helped her gain the success she has today.

“Really, if I hadn’t come home from school miserable every day, maybe I wouldn’t have been so motivated to write songs,” Swift said in 2009. “I should probably thank them!”

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Zac Efron

Zac Efron is far too gorgeous to be anything but beloved, right? Wrong. Apparently, his younger years were pretty rough. According to his former classmates, anyway.

“He had a gap between his teeth until he wore a brace and he didn’t hang out with the cool crowd. He always studied hard but wasn’t around that much. His mom would take him away to auditions,” a former peer of Efron’s told The Mirror. “He wasn’t like other kids at school, he was away acting in community theatre and most kids didn’t get it. Zac never knew how to handle the kids who teased him. He wasn’t bullied constantly, but for him it made going to class very difficult.”

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Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock is basically everything I wish I could be wrapped up in one human. Successful, funny, and beautiful, with a good heart and an amazing business brain. But back before she became the Sandra Bullock we know today, she was a kid who spent time in Europe with her family and came back to endless mocking.

“I came back in the middle of puberty and I was not well liked… I call it ass-kicking, they now call it bullying,” Bullock said. ”But I had those horrible years where I could just not get a leg up.”

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Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato has always been outspoken about the bullying she faced in middle school and high school. And although it probably really sucked at the time, it’s helped her do a lot of good. By being open about her difficult past, Lovato has undoubtedly managed to help a lot of other people who have gone through the same thing. Since then, she’s been the mouthpiece for several different anti-bullying campaigns.

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Justin Timberlake

I’m trying to think of people who are cooler than Justin Timberlake, and I’m totally drawing a blank. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for him in high school, where he routinely got called a “sissy” because he wasn’t into “guy stuff” like football and other sports.

“I got slurs all the time because I was into music and art,” Timberlake told Ellen DeGeneres. “I was an outcast in a lot of ways.”

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Tyra Banks

Banks has always been all about celebrating your differences, because they make you unique, but that’s a lesson she learned the hard way. OK, so she’s admitted that she herself has been a bully as a kid, but later, she ended up on the other side of it when kids made fun of her for being too skinny after a growth spurt. As a mean girl who eventually became the girl others were mean to, I’d bet she probably learned her lesson.

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Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton might have grown up to be an actual princess — something I’m still hoping happens to me someday — but before she married into royalty, she had to deal with bullies at her boarding school. According to Middleton’s childhood friend, Jessica Hay, she dealt with the worst that mean girls had up their fancy uniform sleeves, which meant she had to eat lunch alone, got books pushed out of her hands, and they may or may not have left feces in her bed. Too bad, so sad, though, because Middleton will be queen someday. To the left, haters.

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Jason Segel

Jason Segel is one of the most lovable dudes on the planet. You look at him and you just want to hug him, right? But when he was a teenager, his peers definitely didn’t share my opinion, and this has haunted Segel’s self-esteem for a long time.

“Well, it’s just one terrible memory that replays every time I have a moment of insecurity,” Segel said. “They would stand around me in a circle and they would jump on my back one by one and they would chant, ‘Ride the oaf, ride the oaf.’”

Kids. Are. The. Worst.

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