Susan Boyle has made it clear that she was bullied as a child. She clarified it wasn’t a physical bullying during her childhood, but a verbal bullying. A person can look at Susan Boyle today and easily imagine that she was bullied. However, it’s safe to assume that Susan Boyle, despite how she appears today, was NOT bullied aa a child because of her looks.
Have you seen photos of a younger Susan Boyle? The video of her singing when she was 22 shows a nicely attractive young lady. And then there’s the photo of a preschool-aged Susan Boyle sitting at the piano; she was quite cute. So I can’t believe that Susan Boyle was bullied throughout childhood due to her physical appearance. So why, then, was Susan Boyle bullied? I will offer a very educated guess: Her family failed to empower her.
Yes, you heard that right. It all begins inside the family unit. Susan Boyle has also made it clear that, as a child, she had a “learning disability.” She reports she struggled through school. For the “Oprah” interview, Susan Boyle said she was a “slow learner.” It’s easy to conclude, then, that being “slow,” and “struggling” with schoolwork, invited bullying or ridicule. This, in turn, shattered her self-confidence, making her withdraw socially. This then added fuel to the bullying.
Yes, it’s easy to conclude that. But I still believe that much more than that went on in Susan Boyle’s childhood, because there are plenty of kids with “learning disabilities,” or who are “slow,” who DON’T get bullied! In fact, there are plenty of kids who look like little munchkins who never get bullied! In fact, there was a teenaged boy out here in Colorado several years ago who was on the local news because he was so popular. He was the “manager” of his school’s football team.
He physically looked awkward and was mentally retarded, but he was one of the most popular, liked kids at his school, a natural ham, and referred to himself as Forrest Gump. I had seen the news clip, and that’s how I knew about him. However, in an ironic twist of fate, I had joined a karate school, and one day decided to attend the south branch. Would you believe, this boy was a student there! I told him I’d seen him on the news. He asked me if I wanted his autograph. His teen sister was also a student there. It was so very obvious that she was a wonderful sister to have, something that surely contributed to this boy’s high level of self-value.
Being “slow” or having a “learning disability” is not an automatic precursor to childhood bullying. But lacking social confidence, having low self-esteem, and believing you are not likeable (REGARDLESS of your intelligence or academic skills) will make a child a bully magnet. Where do these bully-magnet traits stem from? A weak family unit.
I once read about a teenaged girl who had few friends and was ridiculed at school. Oh, she also just happened to mention that her older brother was constantly ridiculing her and cited some examples that made me quiver. Gee, you don’t suppose her crippled self-esteem (which attracted bullying) was caused by her brother’s treatment, do you?
I suspect that when Susan Boyle was growing up, a few of her siblings (all are older than her) had a routine habit of excluding her, belittling her, laughing at her, pointing out her flaws, etc. Perhaps at least one of her parents was too critical of her.
The origin of this treatment might have been Susan Boyle’s “learning disability.” The absence of an empowering family unit, in combination with a “learning disability” and perhaps an innate degree of shyness, ultimately made Susan Boyle a magnet for bullies in childhood, even though she was actually an attractive child to look at.
It’s easy to place a lot of blame on her siblings for shaping in Susan Boyle a bully-magnet persona, being that we keep hearing that for 20 years, she cared for her mother: Where the devil were the rest of Susan Boyle’s eight or nine siblings while she was shouldering the burden of caring for an elderly mother?
Since Susan Boyle was 47 at the time she became an overnight sensation, and all her siblings are older, we can safely conclude that, for the bulk of those 20 years, most of her siblings were NOT too busy raising their own children to help care for the mother! And they all don’t live 500 miles away, either! Funny how Susan Boyle does not mention her siblings in interviews. There is never anything like, “My brothers and sisters were always there for me.” But now that she stands to make millions of dollars, I’m sure her siblings suddenly want to be a supportive part of her life!
Susan Boyle’s childhood has been described by the media as “rough.” Funny, I always thought that if you grow up in a house with loads of loving, supportive family members, you have a great childhood. If my theory about Susan Boyle’s siblings is way off in left field, show me the evidence.