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Growing up is almost never completely easy, but when you do it on camera in front of millions of (supposedly) adoring fans every week, it tends to be way more difficult than usual. Tons of child actors have been faced with the realities of maturing as the world watches, and now Tori Spelling, who began starring on Beverly Hills, 90210 as a teenager, has decided to be candid about being bullied over her looks while on the high school drama, and talk about how it's affected her.
If you missed out on the absolute sensation which was Beverly Hills, 90210, the show was a mega-hit. The teen soap ran for 10 seasons, from 1990 through 2000, spawned both a remake and a revival, and saw much of the previously unknown young cast (which also included Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry, Jennie Garth, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering) raised to teen idol status. But, things weren't always so rosy for Tori Spelling. She recently took to Instagram to talk about the bullying she got about her looks while starring on the series, and it's clear that the mean things people said about her left a mark:
I used to hate my eyes. When I started 90210 at 16 I was filled with low self confidence. Then, internet trolls (yep we had them back then too!) called me frog and bug eyed. Being put under a microscope as a young girl in her formative years was hard. I spent years begging makeup artists on my shows and movies to please try to make my eyes look smaller. I would cry over my looks in the makeup trailer chair. I didn’t start to realize what an asset my eyes were till I did Scream 2 and the cover of Rolling Stone reenacting the iconic shower scene from Psycho. My eyes made that photo. They showed the emotion I was ‘feeling in my soul’ in that picture.
I know it can be hard for younger people to believe, or some older folks to recall, but Tori Spelling is very much correct when she says that we had internet trolls back in the days before most people even had the internet. I distinctly remember hearing about some of the terrible things that people said about Spelling during her early days on 90210, and I didn't even own a computer at the time, which proves that trolls don't need the internet to make themselves heard.
Spelling noted that she had always been told by her father, TV super-producer Aaron Spelling, that eyes were the windows to the soul. She had always made an effort to look people in the eye while talking (which, honestly, is the proper thing to do), suddenly, though, with the massive spotlight which was put on her because of starring on 90210, Spelling became self-conscious about her eyes to the point where she hated them. It wasn't until several years after the debut of the show, when working on Scream 2 (which premiered in 1997) that Spelling started to see her eyes as "an asset."
Unfortunately, Tori Spelling didn't just have to deal with negative comments about her eyes, but her whole face in general. And while she was able to eventually feel better about the look of her eyes, the same isn't quite true about her face. Spelling continued:
Now, my face. Many people ask why I only show one side of my face. Some write hurtful things. Yes, it is a choice. My choice. Because, a vulnerable innocent excited girl showed all of her face at 16 and was eaten alive. Choices about my looks were made for me by nameless and faceless accounts. Words can’t be unread. Cyber bullying existed then and it does now worse than ever. So, every time one of you ask me why I don’t look straight on in photos and videos know why I make that choice. Years of hurtful comments that I don’t even want to share to give them energy. Way worse than bug or frog eyes. Just remember next time that you go to comment on someone’s account regarding their face or body or choices, you don’t know them. They don’t know you. But, their soul will remember that unkind comment. It’ll be imprinted on them. Our memories can’t remember physical pain but we do remember emotional, verbal, and written pain.
It's obvious that Tori Spelling is still dealing with the impact those "hurtful comments" from when she was much younger had on her. Hopefully, opening up about it, and asking people to remember that the people they tear down do feel the effects of those comments, will help her continue to heal, if nothing else.