The story of The Ugly Duckling, tells of a bird that is ridiculed for looking different than the other ducks that he hatched with, until he grows into a beautiful swan. Not surprisingly this type of thing happens to humans as well. We all know an example of someone who was a little homely as a child but grew up into something much, much better looking. Well, rumor has it, that celebrities are also people, and they too can start out ugly and grow up beautiful. Some of the best looking celebs, male and female, started out as something a little rougher around edges. Sure, plastic surgery, a million dollars’ worth of makeup and all the personal trainers and food plans money can buy definitely help, but most often puberty does the majority grunt work.
Now before we start, many of the photos here feature awful haircuts, bad photography and just awkward kids in general, but that’s what you get when you become a celebrity; with all the cash comes some criticism, and people like us get to point and laugh. From bowl cuts to frizzy hair, bad teeth to 1970s photo-filters, this list covers the entire gamut of awkward child photos. Please, enjoy 12 now hot celebrities who were anything but cute children.
12. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt is a handsome fella, there’s no denying that. But before he slept on mountains of cash, he slept on the worst haircut you could ever see on a head. Even though the bowl cut was a popular choice back in the day, Pitt’s variation was particularly interesting, more like a Davy Crockett hat than a bowl-shaped haircut. It’s like he couldn’t quite commit to the mullet, so only he went halfway. Well when fans, especially women, first saw him in Thelma and Louise, he had already shed his duckling feathers and turned into the heartthrob we all now know him as today.
11. George Clooney
To be honest, George Clooney’s face hasn’t changed much over time, but that’s the problem. The 55-year old looked 55 when he was only 15, not exactly the guy a high school girl wants to go to prom with, unless she’s into that sort of thing. Interestingly enough, both Brad Pitt and George Clooney look like they went to the same barber, or used the same bowl, and both have apparently had the Benjamin Button disease, Pitt on the big screen, Clooney in real life. Though, I got to admit that the turtleneck looks pretty suave.
10. Catherine Zeta-Jones
It might be that this list just needed a nice photo of Catherine Zeta-Jones because her childhood pictures aren’t all that bad. What can we say about it? She basically still stands the same way, like she’s always in a state of leaning forward. Her smile looks like it made her temporarily blind, but maybe that’s why she always leaned toward dramas. She also loved Annie and her own hair, didn’t wear a belt, and she grew into a smoking hot woman. End of discussion.
9. Taylor Swift
Today, Taylor Swift is simply gorgeous. As a kid, she may not have been described that way. She probably got descriptors like “nice” or “full of life” or “rambunctious,” just the kinds of things every young person wants to hear. Rocking cornrows like a G and teeth still figuring out where they’re supposed to be, Swift must’ve used Maybelline because she definitely wasn’t born with it. But none of that matters anymore. She’s got a new ex-boyfriend every week, so much money it’s actually cheaper to burn for fuel than to actually store it, and a rabid fanbase that will no doubt have me sleeping with the fishes for writing this. She’ll be alright.
While this picture of Beyonce as a kid isn’t nearly as bad as a certain picture of her hulking out that she has tried to erase off of the Internet, it’s still pretty terrible. Sure, picture day came at the worst time for her, having lost that one front tooth. We’ve all been there. But then again, we’re not celebrities, so no one cares about our kid pictures, just like no one cares about Blue Apple Orchard’s pictures, or whatever her baby’s name is. I wish that were actually true. People do care about Beyonce’s kids, which is weird. We’ve got to start drawing the line somewhere.
7. Megan Fox
Megan Fox was actually a pretty cute kid. But when you’re as attractive as Megan Fox as an adult, the kid version of you is going to be pale in comparison. Teeth are troublesome little guys when you’re a kid, and Megan’s teeth were so rebellious they listened to 80s punk rock. The front two teeth were like the big trees in a forest that soak up all the sun and nutrients and the trees near them grow up stunted and dwarfed, but she looks happy. In fact, she looks like she just saw her future and knew how hot she was going to be. Good for you little Megan, you made it.
6. Matthew Lewis
When Neville Longbottom had grown up and shed his ears, he was virtually unrecognizable. It wasn’t even that shocking, when in the final Harry Potter film, Voldemort awarded 10 points to Gryffindor for Neville looking so fly. I can’t remember the exact details, but I’m pretty sure I’m right on that. Rumor has it that Matthew Lewis had a thing for Emma Watson while filming Harry Potter, which made it an even 100% of the men (and maybe the women, too) on set that felt the same way, but, regardless, I bet Lewis wishes the stories continued on for them as university students, so he could show Emma what he is today.
5. Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones looks like the human version of delicious candy, but it wasn’t always that way. When she was growing up, going by the pictures, her entire diet was delicious candy. Wow, that was offside, but the joke practically wrote itself. Seriously though, she was still a pretty cute kid, but it’s tough to hold an old picture up to what she looks like now and not see a major difference. This particular picture isn’t very flattering either. Her private school outfit is just awful, even if it is dripping with that Quincy Jones money, and her hair is all tussled like she just got a nuggie, 90s style (man, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen or heard that word. I regret nothing).
4. Zac Efron
We all know what Zac Efron looks like today. Frankly, I don’t want to talk about it. But we can have a chuckle at what he used to look like. Hell, if a person can make that big of transition in looks, there’s hope for us all. Well, maybe not everyone, but some of us. Efron’s youth looked a bit difficult, looks-wise, his front teeth going their separate ways like they’re mad at each other, eyes so blue he looks blind and one of the ugliest haircuts a mother could ever give her child (I’m being presumptuous here, but I stand behind my guess). It’s clear that Efron wasn’t blessed with great looks his entire life, just the dominant years when everything matters most. Shut up, Zac Efron.
3. Ryan Seacrest
This one had to be included. There really isn’t even much to say about it that can’t be gleaned from the photo. One thing is for certain, Ryan Seacrest owned that school picture day. He looks like he felt like a million bucks, just completely taking control of the room like the camera crew came there only for him. Little Seacrest leaving all three buttons undid like a true gentleman, hair thicker than Eugene Levy’s eyebrows and aviator-framed eyeglasses like he dreamed one day of becoming Maverick but, well, had poor eyesight and failed his pre-license eye exam… I had big plans for that joke but it got too real too quickly.
2. Victoria Beckham
Who says Posh Spice never smiles? Seriously, do people say that? Well, if they do, I kind of know why. Without being too mean about it, this old picture of the currently beautiful Beckham tells us a lot about her. We now know that, before becoming a Spice Girl, she probably worked at a hardware store cutting chain with her teeth. Maybe. Or maybe she worked at a deli poking holes in the Swiss cheese by biting down on a block of Mozzarella. No, that’s not nice. But you know what is nice? That side ponytail.
1. Ashton Kutcher
There are babies and there are Ashton Kutcher-level babies. I have no doubt that Kutcher’s mom would have sent him back wherever he came from if postage wasn’t priced by weight. I’ll admit, I would be more likely to believe this is Homer Simpson’s baby picture than Ashton Kutcher’s if I didn’t know better. But it’s not his fault that he’s so dopey looking; he’d close his mouth if his chin didn’t weigh so much. Those brown marks you see below his hands? Those are actually full-sized cars on a highway that he’s crushing beneath him.