It’s hard to believe sometimes when we look at celebrities who walk the red carpet that they were not always the stunning creatures we see day in and day out. They live in a glamorous world that is all about who is prettier or skinnier, and if you’re not part of that group, then there’s always plastic surgery. It’s a cold world in Hollywood and life can be harsh if you’re not part of the beautiful people.
Now if you were someone who hated walking through the halls of high school, you wouldn’t be the only one. High school could be one of the most horrific experiences of a young person’s life if you weren’t part of the popular crowd. It can just downright suck. There are a lot of ugly ducklings in Hollywood that came from some of the worst experiences only to grow into beautiful creatures. High school can be hard for someone who doesn’t fit in or, dare I say, was ugly in high school. Unfortunately for some celebrities they didn’t get a break when it comes to good looks- they had to grow into them. They experienced many things because of that, such as bullying and the need to feel acceptance from other people. Although they lived the harsh existence of an ugly duckling, they eventually grew into their looks and are probably the better for the experience. Let’s be honest, we all know that people who are born beautiful don’t always turn out to be nice people. So forget your own old high school problems- check out these 15 stars that were ugly in high school.
15. Taylor Swift
It’s hard to believe that Taylor Swift could have ever been unpopular, especially since she has a fan base in the tens of millions these days. Her popularity has only seemed to have grown over the years, and she’s anything but ugly. Life wasn’t always that way for Taylor however, she was one celebrity that grew up as an ugly duckling. Due to her unfortunate looks, she didn’t have too many friends in high school and even experienced some bullying. Poor Taylor has stated, “I remember when I was in school, the whole reason I started writing songs was because I was alone a lot of the time. I’d sit there in school and I’d be hearing people like, ‘Oh my god, this party that we’re going to is gonna be so awesome on Friday. Everyone’s invited except for [Taylor].’” No need to fret these days Taylor- you practically have the world eating out of the palm of your hand, and I’m sure the people that went to school with you are having some serious regrets.
14. Avril Lavigne
This sexy rock star has been the epitome of cool since she ended up on the music scene so many years ago. It’s hard to imagine Avril ever looking less edgy than she does now. But being the cool girl hasn’t always been the case for her. In fact, judging by her high school pictures, she looks sort of dorky. How did this ugly duckling completely change her persona? Well, we have seen so many transformations with Avril, especially when it comes to her wardrobe or hair color choices, that it’s hard to pin it down. Maybe she feels the need to experiment now that she is on her own and living her own life. She was adorable in high school even if she did look like a bookworm. We can expect even more awesomeness from this rocker chick this year when she releases her new album. Say goodbye to those dorky years and never look back Avril!
13. Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart really went through an awkward stage for many years. She often even appeared to look like a boy for a while, sporting really short hair and boyish clothing. I barely recognized her when I watched the old movie Panic Room– one which had her starring as Jodie Foster’s young daughter. Even in the movie, you weren’t sure she was playing a girl. It wasn’t until she broke out into movies like The Messengers and Into the Wild that she grew her hair out and began to blossom more. These days she still has that awkward way about her, but she’s turned into an absolute fox. She was another actress that didn’t have many friends in high school because she never felt like she truly fit in anywhere. “I’m glad I could do those films, and I was glad to leave school. I couldn’t relate to kids my own age. They are mean and don’t give you any chance.” You tell ’em Kristen!
12. George Clooney
It’s hard to believe that George Clooney could ever look like a nerd; after all, he was once one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood. Even with that salt and pepper hair, he still manages to be one of the most strikingly handsome men in Hollywood. This picture, however, is quite horrific- you have to wonder if his mother put a bowl over his head and started cutting. Wasn’t that the way it was back then? All joking aside, I think it’s great to see pictures that prove that you never know how someone is going to look based off of their younger years, so everyone should just play nice. George had many years where he took that awkward look for a ride with him. Even when he starred in Roseanne it took a while for his career to take off and during that time he sported a mullet! Sure it was the style back then but should mullets have ever been a style? They are criminal.
11. The Rock
Dwayne Johnson is one of the hottest men in Hollywood right now, and we cannot seem to take our eyes off of all those muscles. In fact, it’s heartbreaking that he’s no longer single. He has stolen the silver screen when it comes to being an action star, and his career seems to be taking off these days. He just keeps getting better and better. Judging by this picture though, it’s pretty obvious that The Rock wasn’t always a cool guy. He must get a lot of ribbing for these pictures because they are quite hilarious to look at. Not only did he have style issues, but that hair is something to talk about all on its own. He has spoken out about bullying issues, and that could be why he hit the gym and got so big. Those muscles are certainly one way to keep the troublemakers away.
10. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is known for her outrageous style choices. She’s one of those singers that doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She dresses how she wants to and makes her own choices without a care in the world. She lives life on her own terms. She wasn’t always so sure of herself, though, and went through the same struggles as many girls do when they are in high school. She was made fun of a lot for her big nose and bird-like appearance. “Being teased for being ugly, having a big nose, being annoying. ‘Your laugh is funny,’ you’re weird,’ ‘why do you always sing,’ ‘why are you so into theater,’ ‘why do you do your makeup like that?’” It seemed like the haters even followed her into adulthood. These days she’s no ugly duckling, and although she often dresses pretty weird, she has nothing to worry about because she’s never looked better.
9. Zac Efron
He’s a pretty big hottie these days, and I’m sure he never wonders about whether or not he will have a date on a Saturday night. Since he left the High School Musical franchise behind, he got himself a set of abs and has been working mostly in comedies to help skyrocket his career. He certainly has done well for himself, and High School Musical seems like a thing of the past. Zac Efron wasn’t always a hot guy, though. In fact, he was a pretty big geek in high school. “I wasn’t a heartthrob at school; I was a geek, I was into musical theater, which isn’t perceived as the coolest thing. There were guys who were 6’ 1” with beards and big muscles, and I was a gawky 17-year-old, a skinny, awkward kid. I was a late bloomer. Growing up was hell.” But well worth it, right Zac?!!
8. Victoria Beckham
She used to be one of the Spice Girls and these days she’s all about living in the fashion world and being the wife of world-famous soccer legend David Beckham. She’s always been a beautiful woman, and she certainly takes very good care of herself. When Victoria Beckham (aka ‘Posh Spice’) was in high school, however, she was quite the geek. She didn’t have the class and flair to her sense of style that she has these days. It’s hard for anyone to deal with feeling out of place in high school but most of these celebs have handled it quite well. I’ve always believed that hardships as a child have make for some pretty interesting and genuine adults. In the end, it seems that things work out and you don’t see any of these stars complaining about their former lives with the flourishing careers they now have.
7. Jennifer Garner
Here’s another geeky celebrity that actually played the flute in high school. A lot of these celebrities certainly went through awkward stages. It’s funny to see such geeky kids when you are used to these celebrities walking around looking like goddesses. Jennifer Garner is no different- she’s one of the most desirable women in Hollywood and yet her high school picture would suggest that she’s never had a date in her life. “I was a real nerd. I wasn’t the popular one, I was one of those girls on the edge of the group. I never wore the right clothes and I had a kind of natural geekiness. I was in the school band and I think that has a bit of a stigma at the age of 13. If you’d asked me what I wanted to be, I would have said something like a librarian.” Nowadays we say “something like a Hollywood A-Lister” but we get your drift, Jennifer!
6. Rashida Jones
We all love Rashida Jones from her comedy days on The Office and Parks & Recreation. She makes one hell of a funny girl and those eyes are to die for. She’s always been a looker, and we can’t deny that she’s been a fantasy in many guy’s eyes for years. But Rashida was not always the beauty she is today; she was definitely an ugly duckling in high school. In fact, in high school, she was chubby and had braces- all in all, it wasn’t a good look for the actress. She was not very popular in high school, and like many actresses, she was bullied because of it. Maybe that’s why she started her career on the high school”loser” cult classic Freaks & Geeks. She has one of the worst celebrity high school pictures I’ve ever seen, but in the end, it all worked out for the beauty and look how straight those teeth are now! We can’t deny the fact that these celebrities always come out on top no matter what they go through.
5. Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder certainly has gone through some difficulties throughout her career in Hollywood. She came out in Hollywood giving off the impression that she was straight- laced and then went through some trying times when she was caught shoplifting. After that, many people believed that her career was over, but she was able to pull herself out of the trenches and get back into movie making. She was quite the dork in high school, and she mainly sported a pixie cut that really let her ears hang out. She ended up looking way dorkier than she needed to, that’s for sure. She’s always been a beautiful woman, and we hope she can look back at those pictures and laugh. That’s what we all do when it comes to horrible pictures. We laugh them off and hopefully move on to even better pictures. Not too many people can say they looked amazing all through high school; the styles were so different back then that we all have moments when we just cringe.
4. Ryan Seacrest
We all know Ryan Seacrest from his time as a host on American Idol. From there he has made quite a career for himself hosting events as well as doing hosting spots on the radio. He’s got his own syndicated program called America’s Top 40, a radio spot that used to be the legendary Casey Kasem’s before he retired. He’s been on numerous TV shows sporting his Hollywood good looks and his lean body. Life wasn’t always great in the looks department for Ryan. In high school, he was considered to be one of the fat kids, and he wore glasses. He would have been the stereotypical geek in any movie that portrayed high school clichés. He lost the weight through and ditched those glasses. These days he’s landing some of the hottest girls in Hollywood, so he certainly has nothing to complain about.
3. Chris Colfer
Did you ever have that fear as a freshman that you would end up being stuffed in a locker? If you were small enough, it certainly might have been a fear for many. High school can be a nightmare- especially for boys who aren’t jocks. In the case of Chris Colfer, he found himself in just that position. These days he looks like a handsome young man, but in high school, he couldn’t have been geekier, and he was very skinny. That spells bad news when it comes to trying to survive high school. He found himself in bad situations in high school many times. “I was very tiny. I spent most of my time stuffed into lockers. Thank god for cell phones, or I’d still be in there.” We feel so bad for Chris and everyone’s who has suffered that particular indignity because things like that don’t ever seem to go out of style.
2. Jimmy Fallon
We all know Jimmy never quite grew out of his geeky days, did he? After all, he’s kind of a forever nerd. But he’s a good looking guy. Now don’t get me wrong- it’s not like we sit there daydreaming about the guy. Not in the same way that we do about Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds. Still, he’s not a bad looking guy. In high school, however, he had everything wrong going for him. He looked like quite the geek, and that skinny mustache is just one of those things that make a man look just a little creepy. Sorry, Jimmy but you must know that the picture is not a good one. All in all, we have to be able to laugh at ourselves a little. Jimmy certainly does a lot of that, and he’s always been a good sport when it comes to laughing at his own past as well as those of many others.
1. Charlize Theron
We can’t say that Charlize was ugly in high school, but she was definitely a big dork. She used to wear the biggest glasses known to man while she attended school and it surely didn’t help her to get any dates. It’s hard to believe someone as beautiful as Charlize would have ever had trouble getting a date but she really hardly ever had a date. She has said she had trouble getting a boyfriend and was never popular in high school. “I didn’t have any boyfriends in high school. I had a massive, massive crush on this one guy. He was a couple of years older than me, and I did not exist in his world.” It’s true- the girl didn’t date at all, and it was probably those gigantic glasses that did the trick. Not that she has anything to worry about these days- her dance card must be filled every single night.