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Success is the best revenge! Just ask Lady Gaga, Irina Shayk, Rihanna and a host of other celebrities who were bullied as kids.

In Gaga’s case, the “Born This Way” singer was teased because of her looks. Matter of fact: they all were, which leaves us wondering what kids are being taught at school and at home around the world at a time when images of diversity are prevalent on our TV and computer screens.

PHOTOS: Irina Shayk & Jessica White Bond In Black White & Blue

So much of our experience in this world depends on how we perceive or are perceived. Most of our actions, especially negative ones, are defensive acts hidden by our unconscious. We treat others like crap because we fear being rejected by them. It’s the reason why the lady in the token booth at your local subway station rolls her eyes at you. Or why a co-worker says things to inflict pain. But don’t quote us, we don’t have a degree in behavioral psychology.

In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, Gaga revealed that she was picked on because kids thought she was ugly and had a big nose.

In regards to Irina, school kids in her Russian village teased her because she had dark skin. Rihanna? Teased in elementary school because her skin was lighter than her peers’. 

Rosario Dawson? Teased because she was a tomboy and because she had a flat chest.

Irina and co. are the lucky ones, they escaped their abuse. Dutch model Lara Stone isn’t so lucky, even though she is one of the most photographed women on the planet. Her bullying carried over from childhood to adulthood. 

Bullying is deadly, as witnessed by the suicides of teenagers and adolescents, gay or straight. There are lots of ways to combat it. The best: shining.

See more of what we mean in the accompanying gallery. 

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