There's no question that bullying is a very real issue that many kids struggle with everyday of their lives for various reasons. However new research shows that bullying can be just as bad (or arguably, worse) for popular kids than it is for kids who don't "fit in."
While it's definitely true that many kids are targeted by bullies for things that make them different, a sociologist at UC Davis (Bob Faris) was interested in a secondary kind of bullying called "instrumental targeting."
The theory is basically that students are much more likely to pick on someone who is more popular because they see it as an opportunity to climb the social ladder, and his studies seem to back this up.
Bob surveyed more than 4,000 kids in North Carolina and found that popular kids and their friends were targeted at higher rates and also had higher levels of anxiety and depression due to a fear of becoming less popular.
Of course, bullying is a huge issue regardless of where you stand on the social ladder, and it seems clear that something has to be done so kids stop looking at one another as competition.