Andrea McLean
Bullying Survivor
Female | United Kingdom   United Kingdom
Stuck out like a sore thumb
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: StaryNight
12/03/12 8:36 AM
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ITV’s Andrea McLean said that school bullies made her life hell because of her Caribbean accent. The host of Loose Women grew up in Trinidad until her return to the UK at age 15.

The Scottish McLean tells the Mirror:

“From my ?rst day at school in ­Leicestershire I stood out like a sore thumb. Dark eyes, dark skin and a broad ­Caribbean accent. “You speak like a
monkey and you lived with all the black people, and they all live in trees,” it began.

I was polite, well mannered and tried hard so I was instantly annoying. My tormentors must have thanked their lucky stars for such perfect fodder – totally un-streetwise and wet behind the ears.

It was open season on me for two years. I never said a word to my parents. I knew it would upset them. And I knew they would want to get involved – but that would have made things worse.

I understood completely why I was being bullied. It wasn’t a mystery why they didn’t like me. I thought “I wouldn’t like me either”.

So I got used to having things thrown at me and whispered about me. There were taunts of “stupid bitch” and “ugly cow” but I was able to block it out.”

She spoke of her idlyic childhood on the island:

“I grew up on Trinidad in the Caribbean. When most people think of their childhood, they recall every day being sunny – with me, it really was.

I spent the whole of my young life in shorts, T-shirt and bare feet. I swam almost every day and was roller skating and climbing trees until I was 14.

My childhood and early teens were idyllic but I was a very late starter. All I wanted was to be like my idol, Doris Day.”

She says she experiences bullying in her 15years in the TV industry but now she knows how to deal with it:

“In TV the rules of combat aren’t as clear cut as in other industries: either your face ?ts or it doesn’t, and there is nothing you can do to change that. I have heard whispers that I am “not as nice as I seem” but now I just laugh.”

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Posted By: Guide | 12/03/12 12:28 PM
So many children hide their bullying at school from their parents because they dont want them to be upset. Thats why keeping the lines of communication open at all times is so important so kids dont feel afraid to admit their troubles
Story Details

Name: Andrea McLean
Age: 53
Country: United Kingdom
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Gender: Female
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