Kurt Hummel is a arguably the most polarizing character on “Glee.” He’s one of those character that people either love or hate (and for me it’s a bit of both).
On the one hand, it’s heartbreaking to see him being slushied, beaten up, and slammed into lockers. On the other hand, it’s sometimes difficult to feel sorry for Kurt. It’s hard to see him as a victim when he’s so mean to others himself.
Is Glee’s Kurt Hummel a Bully? Possibly
I wouldn’t go so far as to call Glee’s Kurt Hummel a Bully, but he is definitely a Mean Girl. Kurt can be very confrontational and judgmental. In ‘Never Been Kissed,’ he mouthed off to Mr. Schue by calling his lesson plans “boring and repetitive” and talking about how the school was too quick to let bullying and homophobia slide.
For the record, I actually agree with Kurt. Mr. Schue’s boys vs. girls mash-up was trite and overdone and that the faculty should have taken more stringent measures against bullying. Still, Schue would have been justified in sending him to Figgins for speaking to him in such a standoffish tone.
If anyone knows about Kurt’s Mean Girl streak, it’s Rachel. Remember when he gave her the sad clown hooker makeover in order to sabotage her chances with Finn? And when Vocal Adrenaline egged her, Kurt said that we were the only ones were were allowed to pick on Rachel. One would think that someone who has been bullied so much would know not to do it to others.
And what about the way Kurt manipulated Finn all last season, ruining his relationship with Quinn by convincing to tell her parents about the pregnancy, fixing his dad up with Finn’s mom in order to get closer to Finn, then pushing Finn to his breaking point by forcing him to share a room?
Is Glee’s Kurt Hummel a Bully? On the Other Hand
On the other hand, I’m reminded of a quote from the short-lived show My So-Called Life: “My parents keep asking how school was. It’s like saying, “How was that drive-by shooting?” You don’t care how it *was*, you’re lucky to get out alive.”
I can almost understand why Kurt has developed such a mean streak. With the type of bullying he has experienced, it’s a matter of immediate survival.
Is Glee’s Kurt Hummel a Bully? Similarities to Rachel
Kurt’s temperament is very similar to Glee’s other drama queen, Rachel. Rachel and Kurt do not have an easy time in high school because of their eccentric high-profile personalities and their passion for the arts.
Rachel and Kurt are often judgmental, overbearing, and self-absorbed, but also talented, courageous, and have big hearts. While they’ve had their unbecoming moments (like sending Sunshine to the crack house!), they’ve also come through in other ways. Rachel helped Sam and Quinn win the duets competition in order to make the new kid feel welcome. And Kurt threw the Defying Gravity diva-off in order to protect his dad.
While I don’t condone Kurt’s behavior, it’s hard to dislike him. I remember what it was like to be a Rachel in high school (and I didn’t even have a Finn or a Blaine to help me through it!) Sometimes, high school just brings out the Mean Girl in all of us.
Still, if I could go back in time an talk to my “inner Rachel,” I’d tell her to hang on and to remember that living well is still the best revenge.