London, Aug 10 : Australian actress Natalie Bassingthwaighte has revealed that she was a victim of bullying while at school.
For the beautiful singer, actress and TV presenter, being called names such as "liquorice legs" and "the young and the breastless", made her feel very insecure.
"It made me feel really insecure and question who I was," the Herald Sun quoted her as saying.
Bassingthwaighte had attended three schools while she was growing up, Balarang Public School, Oak Flats High and Wollongong High School of Performing Arts.
"I think bullying is a strong word - all types of bullying affects each person in totally different ways," she said.
"I was never physically bullied but verbally bullied by other kids at school," she stated.
The experiences that she went through at school inspired her to write the book, Sistahood: A Journey Of Self Discovery, which was released earlier this year.
The book has been co-authored with her younger sister Nicky Moore, and she had written it in the hopes that it would help girls stand up for themselves in the face of bullying, and for them to become strong and confident. Both sisters are involved in the SISTER2sister mentorship program, an initiative of the Life Changing Experiences Foundation.
SISTER2sister CEO and founder Jessica Brown said it was crucial to introduce young girls to successful people who have overcome obstacles in their life such as bullying.
It is not only children with physical differences that are targeted, but also children who were talented, like Bassingthwaighte, that end up being the targets for jealous bullies.
"(Bullies) feel like they want to cut them down because that makes them feel better about themselves," Brown said.
"A lot of the times, people are bullied because they dare to be different. It's like the tall poppy syndrome.
"Bullies are often people who feel a little bit inadequate, that's a big contributor to bullying," she stated.
Ms Brown said the program tried to teach girls to have the confidence not to listen to those around them who tried to put them down for setting goals and achieving them.
"Natalie is a great example of someone who wasn't going to let that get them down," she said.
"Quite often bullying has the opposite effect and victims end up with an 'I'll show you' attitude. I think it's something that anybody can overcome," she added.