When puberty hits you, it feels like a train hitting you. Or like spotting a cockroach in the kitchen – it scares you witless, and all you want to do is scream. Тhere is no use calling your bestie because she or he is going through exactly the same thing and cannot offer much help or advice. But eventually you realize that there is no room for panic. Puberty, like the cockroach, is pretty fast, and if you are lucky, it’s going to be over before you know it.
Here is a comforting thought for those who are now going through this awkward phase of sudden biological changes taking place inside their body and mind: The famous and the beautiful have also been there. And survived! They were teens once, too, and back then, experiencing puberty for them was nothing like being in Game of Thrones, but rather in Game of Hormones. Take Zak Efron, for example. Remember him in the original 2006 High School Musical when he played Troy Bolton? Exactly – the image of him as a 15-year-old super awkward freshman merits one giant facepalm. But then, only two years later, the cocoon suddenly turned into a butterfly. In 2007, this completely new Zac was rocking a cute all-retro image in Hairspray. It was official: puberty had walked out on Zac Efron forever.
Want more fun examples of how hard the Puberty Fairy slapped some celebrities in the face when they were teens? Check out our list…
15. Avril Lavigne – What A Transformation!
OK, these two simply cannot be one and the same! And yet, they are!
She was considered the teen Bob Dylan of her generation. Fortunately for her, she passed very quickly through the transitional phase between an ugly duckling and a full-grown swan. She may be pushing 30 now, but it seems like yesterday when Avril Lavigne burst onto the music scene. She was 18 when she released her debut album and the critics called her the “Pop Punk Queen.” Not bad for a teen who looked like a middle-aged librarian only three years prior to this huge recognition.
Don’t let this innocent look of hers fool you, though! In school, Lavigne would often get kicked out of class for misbehaving. Although she wasn’t a brilliant student, her parents unconditionally supported her passion for singing. They even converted their basement into a studio! The young singer immortalized her very first, “cheesy cute” crush with a song called “Can’t Stop Thinking About You”.
14. Cristin Milioti … Gender Confusion?
“Hey, boy, can you show us some karate moves?” The 32-year-old actress probably got this a lot when she was in her early teen years. And we can see why – she looked something between Karate Kid and young Ralph Macchio! This photo was revealed alongside Milioti’s appearance on the Conan show back in 2014. The stand-up comedian Dana Harvey, who was also on the show, pointed out the resemblance between her and Macchio. Talking about Italians, we should mention that Milioti, who is best known for her role as The Mother in the cult series How I Met Your Mother, is of Italian descent, and is used to calling her family “Olive Garden Italians”. She attended Cherry Hill High School East in New Jersey, and then took acting classes at New York University. Although she dropped out during her freshman year, she is still listed in the university’s alum.
13. Family And Friends Say George Clooney Was A “Typical” Teenager
When we are looking at the picture of this pale kid with king-sized glasses, we find it kinda hard to believe that he played baseball, basketball, and tennis. However, friends of one of today’s sexiest men alive claim that he was really into sports and he always wanted to hang out with much older kids. According to his buddies from forty years ago, teenage Clooney was also a big time prankster. And he hasn’t really changed since. This photo was taken around 1976, while he was attending Augusta High School in Kentucky. The records from the late 1970s say that young Clooney tried to play professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds in 1977, but he did not pass the first round of player cuts and wasn’t offered a contract. Should we regret this? Nah…
12. High-Five For 17-Year-old Feminist Zooey Deschanel
A lot of pimply, well-padded girls are probably beaming with joy at the sight of THIS Zooey Deschanel from 20 years ago. Of course, they like to fool themselves that they, too could grow up to be totally hot and famous one day. Yes, our Zooey, whom we came to know and LOVE from a series of movies she shot in the 2000s, has walked a long way from that ugly duckling to the beautiful swan she is now. What is perhaps curious to know is that in her teenage years, Deschanel was not at all interested in any “girly” stuff. She, in fact, was very much focused on more serious matters than having her nails done or going shopping with girlfriends at the mall. At the age of 17, she wrote a letter of quite feminist content to Vogue. Here’s a short excerpt from it, “Why would you want to limit the spectrum of beauty to an “ideal” when you, as a popular women’s magazine, have the opportunity to expand it? (…) Beauty should be something that is celebrated and enjoyable, and not something that people feel uncomfortable achieving.”
11. Hottie January Jones Looked Like A Dude In Her Early Teen Years
It must be embarrassing to look like the kid on the left when your boobs are just about to appear! But that’s the harsh truth – this is indeed Mad Men star January Jones in the late 1980s, with naturally blonde locks chopped short and a kitschy multi-colored shirt. The photo was posted a couple of years ago on Instagram by the 39-year-old Jones herself. This is what she said about her tomboyish self in the picture, “25 years later, my eyes are more open but less sweet.” What her fans probably don’t know about her is that she was named not after the month, but after January Wayne – a character in Once Is Not Enough, a 1973 novel by Jacqueline Susann. Now, the actress is enjoying her life as a single mom of a five-year-old boy, and claiming she doesn’t need a partner to feel good.
10. Jeremy Renner Rocked A Serious Hairstyle
When you look at that wind-tunnel-tested hairdo, don’t you just want to shake the hand of the barber? The headshot was taken at the time Renner was attending Modesto Junior College, where he studied computer science and criminology. But as soon as he discovered his passion for acting, he took a drama class as an elective. Fortunately for him, that turned out to be an excellent career choice. For the last five years the 46-year-old actor has become a Hollywood blockbuster lead. What’s more, he has appeared in public with much more appealing hairdos! The latest news about him, however, is not the happiest. In the beginning of July, he broke both of his arms in a stunt scene that went wrong. The accident happened on the set of the movie he is currently working on, Avengers:Infinity War.
9. Megan Fox Had A Unibrow And A Mouthful Of Orthodontics
If this was a guess-or-die game, not many would have survived it because it takes unbelievable mental qualities to recognize one of the FOXiest Hollywood actresses alive in this children-of-the-corn like high schooler. The conclusion we can draw after seeing this picture is that even THE Megan Fox had her fair share of awkward teenage years. But the Transformers star has shown us that there is nothing she is ashamed of. She started posting pictures of her younger self on Facebook some five years ago, and since then she hasn’t stopped poking fun at her 13-year-old self with her sunburnt face, braces, and unibrow.
8. This Picture Of Zac Efron With Crimped Hair Hit The Internet
Over the course of a decade, he has transformed from a skinny teenager into an incredible hulk, who is now able of keeping up with The Rock in the Baywatch movie reboot. A quick reminder: Efron found fame (or rather fame found him) thanks to his role as the high school basketball player and heartthrob Troy Bolton in High School Musical (2006). But his teenage years were not quite as cool as in the movies he played. This particular photo of a 14-year-old Efron with greasy crimped hair provides enough evidence for this. Actually, it wouldn’t have been that bad if the hair wasn’t parted in the middle! The picture was taken by a female classmate of Efron’s at the time he attended the California State Summer School for the Arts. The classmate in question, Lana, says Zac was excited to have his hair braided, which, he thought, was a smart move to get him closer to the girls. We are not sure about that, Zac! The abs you have now are definitely doing a better job!
7. Jennifer Anniston Had Bad Eating Habits When She Was A Teenager
She is almost 50, but she looks more fabulous than ever. However, it hasn’t always been like that for the A-list actress. In her teen year, Anniston could be described as “chubby”. She blames it all on the times when she grew up. “We kids were all a lot ‘rounder’ back then. We ate terribly. We did that, and then we sort of grew up a little bit more, and got jobs.” Nowadays, the 48-year-old actress is a fitness junkie and eats as healthy as you can imagine. And a quick flashback gets us back to the time when this photo was taken. Anniston graduated from Manhattan’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Performing Arts. There, she joined the school’s drama society. But long before that, she had discovered acting and decided she wanted to do it for as long as she could. She was 11.
6. Ke$ha Is Living Proof That Five Years Can Make A Big Difference
Her catchy tunes and funky style have made of her an international star. Some even compare her to Lady Gaga! But only five years before she started “brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack”, she was just an average, geeky-looking teen. And we have the proof! This picture is from the 2004/2005 yearbook of Brentwood High School in Tennessee. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the singer explained that, as a teenager, she wanted to be different by talking about sex and booze. Then, she somehow gave in to the pressure of the music industry, and became overly critical about her body. “I convinced myself that being sick and skinny was part of my job.” This, she confessed, eventually led her to being anorexic. The Ke$ha we know now is feeling and looking much better and is indeed the best version of herself so far. But we still can recognize the fragile and insecure kid she was once in this flashy, outrageous looking pop star she has become.
5. Rashida Jones Is Still Embarrassed By Her Turtleneck-Wearing Teen Self
In 2012, Rashida Jones started posting pictures from her childhood and rather awkward teenage years on her Twitter page. The 41-year-old actress is known from her role as Mark Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend in The Social Network (2010), and is currently playing the lead in the comedy series Angie Tribeca. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the photos of her cute 6-year-old self with missing teeth and choppy fringe. But this 1990 photo of her with braces and a hideous white high-neck jumper UNDERNEATH a white shirt is simply killing it! Here is the comment she posted alongside the picture, “AWKWARRRRRD. Why the turtleneck?! So much wrong here.” Yes, Rashida, we agree. Unfortunately, nobody has invented a time machine yet, so you can’t go back to 1990 and fix the damage. Fortunately, most people get away with such hideous fashion crimes. So, you are excused!
4. TV Celebrity Host Ryan Seacrest Is Simply Unrecognizable In This Yearbook Picture
Nobody expected that this bi-spectacled, quite unattractive kid would one day become the most adored and highly celebrated American Idol host, who would also win an Emmy for producing a TV show (namely, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution). When he was 13, Seacrest went to school in his native Dunwoody, Georgia. He weighed 180 pounds, wore braces and glasses, and was teased all the time for being fat. After he finished school and said goodbye to his bullying schoolmates, he went to study journalism at the University of Georgia. However, he quit his studies shortly after, and at the age of 19 moved to Hollywood to pursue a broadcasting career. Now, thirty years later, he is getting back at everyone who was humiliating him in the past. Not literally, with fists and blows, of course, but rather with his good looks and successful career. That right there is the sweetest revenge!
3. Jimmy Fallon And His (Almost) Moustache
How many times have you heard young fellas complain that their hairless face is holding them back in love and life? In most cases, these teens just need more time to mature. That was obviously the case with our late bloomer here – the comedian, TV host, and musician Jimmy Fallon. The picture of Jimmy with soft, first-time moustache was taken during the time he was attending Saugerties High School. In his teen years, he impressed his parents and his friends with his talent for impersonation. He was also musically inclined, but most of all he enjoyed performing comedy. No wonder he was named the class clown by his junior year. But the teachers would rather describe him as “nice and well-mannered”. Not much was said, though, about his academic achievements, but we presume he was an average student. But who really cares how many As Jimmy got in school when he’s been keeping us entertained with The Tonight Show since 2014!
2. Olivia Munn Became A Raging Teen
Don’t you just want to jump into this photo and party hard with this wild teen? Because we do! Munn was predominantly raised on Yokota Air Base near Tokyo where her stepfather was stationed. Despite her tomboyish appearance as a teen, Munn, whose mother is of Chinese descent, became a model in the Japanese Fashion Industry. When her mother and stepdad divorced, Munn moved back to Oklahoma, where she is originally from, and attended Putnam City North High School for her junior and senior years. If you have difficulties remembering how much she has changed since then, think Sloan Sabbith from The Newsroom (2012-2014) and Psylocke from X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). Yesss, we know – the change is drastic! But in a commendable way.
1. Jaleel White Made His Career On His Super Ridiculous Looks As A Teen
People used to call the Family Matters show `The Steve Urkel Show` because of the awkward kid Urkel who was played by Jaleel White. Actually, Urkel was originally meant to be a one-off guest character, but he became the show’s greatest asset literally overnight. How could you not just LOVE this little dude with thick glasses, old-fashioned cardigans, and high-waisted jeans! Years later, White feels bitter about constantly being associated to his nerdy character. “I’m on Instagram, he says, and they meme the hell out of me!” Since the show wrapped in 1998, the 38-year-old actor appeared on shows like Psych, Drop Dead Diva, and SCI: Crime Scene Investigation.
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