Roxy Jacenko is known as a media identity and a Sydney public relations guru, with two children, Pixie, 7, and Hunter, four. And her glamorous but also exceptional life has made national headlines for years.
It’s this exact media attention however, that’s meant Jacenko has been the target of online trolls, and what she calls “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. But she’s now explained that it’s not her first experience of being bullied.
Speaking to Mamamia, the 39-year-old admitted that she was teased as a child because of an eye condition.
“At the age of three, my eyes went from perfectly straight to very cross-eyed,” Jacenko said. “Whilst it doesn’t seem like a big deal, [it] formed the basis to become the target of all sorts of playground nastiness.”
Jacenko was easily able to recall the taunts, which included, “I am talking to you, why won’t you look at me? [and] What’s wrong with your eyes, they are going in two different directions.”
Jacenko said that whilst the bullying wasn’t from every child, it happened often enough for the experience to be a life-long memory.
“There is always a few that find humour in ridiculing others,” she said.
Jacenko was finally able to have corrective surgery at 13 years of age, which was another traumatic experience:
“To this day I remember [it] as the most painful operation I have ever had. Imagine waking up with eyes that feel like they are full of sand, that you can’t open and when you do you are laying in a pool of blood”.
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As a parent now, Jacenko has also recently witnessed bullying of her daughter, Pixie.
“Pixie was in a very unique situation,” she explained, referring to the cruel taunts her then five-year-old daughter heard whilst her husband and Pixie’s father, Curtis, was incarcerated for a year between 2016 and 2017 for conspiracy to commit insider trading.
“The most confusing part for me that she was not the first, and won’t be the last, child in school whose parent faces jail.