Sydney Hightower opened up to Peter Weber on The Bachelor about being bullied in high school for being biracial. One of her high school classmates took to Twitter on February 3 and shared photos of the Alabama native’s success in pageants, insinuating that she lied about being unpopular. Sydney responded shortly after and blasted her former classmate.
Sydney, 24, told Peter, 28, that due to racially motivated bullying, she isolated herself in high school. “They would call my mom, like, names I don't even wanna repeat. They would vandalize our home and write awful things on our pavement,” she said. “I didn't go to senior prom. I didn't go to homecoming. I didn't do any of those things. I ate my lunch, like, literally in the bathroom stall my whole senior year.”
“‘Ate lunch in the bathroom everyday of highschool’ #bachelornation I’m selling my yearbooks for $200 a pop, who wants the tea?” one of Sydney’s classmates wrote alongside photos of her winning pageants and her superlative “upperclassmen top beauty.”
Sydney responded to the post on Twitter. “I did win a beauty pageant in my senior year of high school. That was voted for by 5 judges. Not by my peers,” she wrote. “Winning a pageant based off of outer beauty does not take away the racial bullying and isolation I’ve been through. I was also on the cheer team in middle school and in many clubs in high school. You’ll do anything you can to fit in, and I tried.”
She continued, “Anyone from my high school want to pull out the videos of girls stuffing my locker with Oreo cookies, vandalizing my home, shoving me in the hallways? Teachers literally referring to me as a halfbreed? Calling my mother the worst names I’ve ever heard in my life? I doubt that.”
Sydney then shared a screenshot of the DM she wrote to her classmate. “Shame on you,” she began. “I don’t know you, but I do remember you from high school and your social group did not care for me. And that’s okay. Because I would never want the approval of hateful, racist human beings.”
“And the things I’ve been through my whole life for having an African American father and a white mother, the struggles I have had to face the hate that I have had to fight just because of the fact that I am biracial are astounding,” she added.
Sydney ended her message, “I hope you know this will not affect me, but it did hurt me that you would try to diminish my pain, and my struggles because of beauty pageants and clubs I entered into, to just try and be accepted.”
The Bachelor contestant’s classmate doubled down on her statement and said, “She did experience bullying and racial issues, but the whole point was she got on TV and said her entire senior year, which isn’t true. But she also took part in being a mean girl.”