Celebrities who are known as famous actors and singers now actually got their start as models. Interestingly enough, for some of them, it was way before we knew who they were. On the other hand, there are also celebrities who have recently signed with some of the most known and respected modeling agencies since getting their claim to fame as famous rappers, singers, and, for one of them, a felon. Definitely didn’t see that one coming.
Either way, these celebrities have been able to put one new talent under their belt and could be a triple threat that we don’t even recognize. Take Ciara for example — she has hit songs like “Goodies,” “Body Party,” and the infamous dance track “1, 2 Step.” But when her singing career seemed to take a hit, many suggested she should start modeling. As if right on cue, she signed on with a major agency. Others like Amanda Bynes, Amanda Seyfriend, and even Cameron Diaz got their start as children. And while some are pretty troubled now, it’s safe to say that could be explained considering their childhood celebrity status began much earlier than we even knew. They might be all grown up now, but they were strutting and posing in front of cameras way before they graced our lives, whether it was through a small screen, the movie theater, or even through our ear buds via our favorite song.
Join us as we salute the artists and entertainers who embarked on new journeys and have joined the wonderful world of modeling.
15. Alexis Bledel
Alexis Bledel might be known as the beloved Rory from the classic sitcom Gilmore Girls. But did you know she was a child model before she landed the gig that she is most recognized for today? Before Rory was putting on lip gloss for Dean and Jesse on the mother daughter duo show, she was selling lip sparklers for Naturistics. Can you imagine Rory saying “Naturistics?” We can! But we can’t see her being a model for the brand. She even flipped out when her BFF wanted to be a high school cheerleader. Anyway, Bledel was definitely adorable in the ad that had quite a different phrase of, “What a unique way to shine.” The ad also described the lip gloss as, “a blast of fruit-juicy flavor and brilliant shine… light up your smile with sparkle and style!” How adorable is that? And it’s not even taking into account Bledel’s lime green choker with a tank top and hair barrette to match. Work it, girl!
14. Paris Jackson
Paris Jackson went through such a dark phase after the shocking death of her father, the King of Pop Michael Jackson. She had a breakdown during his very public funeral that was televised and it seemed like that was only the beginning of the end for the child. But now, she has certainly developed into a beautiful woman and recently signed a contract with IMG Models. She has officially joined the likes of Gigi and Bella Hadid, Ashley Graham, and Victoria’s Secret veteran Gisele Bundchen. Good for her! IMG took to Instagram to announce the news with an amazing photo of Paris. She also confirmed the news on her own social media with a photo of herself along with the caption, “Thank you @imgmodels I feel very lucky and blessed.” It didn’t take long for Jackson’s first job to be announced as Lee Daniels, the creator of Star on Fox, revealed that Paris would be in an upcoming episode of the show. It’s great to see her spread her wings and fly in her own direction.
13. Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum? A model? Who could ever see that? In case you couldn’t spot the sarcasm in those questions, it was definitely there. It just makes sense that Tatum was a model before he started acting for parts such as his breakout role in Step it Up and of course the one that still has girls fanning themselves, Magic Mike and the sequel Magic Mike XXL. As for his possibly ancient modeling career, Tatum did it way before he developed into the swaggy hottie that we know today. But it’s still entertaining to see the throwback photos of him trying to tap into his inner bad boy. He was featured in advertisements for Abercrombie and Fitch five years before he landed the role for Step It Up. He also caught the attention of fashion expert Tim Blanks just before he worked the runway for Neil Barrett’s show. He has also modeled for Ecko, Aeropostale, and Sean John.
Ciara is one the latest celebrities to join the modeling world. For this beauty, her modeling contract only makes sense. Not only is she extremely beautiful but she’s taller than the average woman too. It was IMG who gave Ciara her modeling contract after she showed off many facets of her own beauty on social media and in fashion shows. The company was genius to scoop her up before any others did. I wouldn’t be surprised if other agencies are kicking themselves for not signing her first. As for the details of her contract, she signed with IMG back in May of 2016 after already being connected with its sister company, WME, for her music. Her first major deal under IMG came the following October, for Revlon as the Global Brand Ambassador. She announced her pregnancy shortly after so it’s safe to say she’ll be doing more after her newborn arrives.
11. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence got her claim to fame as the lead of the Hunger Games franchise, but before then she was a young model and I have to admit it was absolutely adorable! Let’s just say some of her most memorable looks include one that was complete with a white church hat and baby blue boa. She sported tousled blonde hair in a two piece white outfit for another shot. Of course the then teenager also rocked short shorts, a white peplum crop top (however that works out) with a brown belt in another photo. At least she has come into her own sense of style now. Still, I can’t deny how popular those looks were back then. But wait, there’s more! Another look consisted of Lawrence wearing all white makeup (even foundation) with dark red lips and a head piece complete with hair clips. Not sure what they were going for with that one but I hoped it worked. It seems like her modeling days aren’t behind her either, as we can see in her many more recent photoshoots.
10. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato took her talents to a different type of camera after being a successful singer and judge on the hit series X-Factor. News about Lovato’s deal with the very prestigious modeling agency Wilhelmina broke in October 2015. She had already started making a name for herself in the beauty and fashion industry with deals with Sketchers, beauty brands, and even her own skin care line. Wilhelmina said in a statement that it hoped to help advance Lovato even more. It said in a statement that it “will aim to continue raising Demi’s already sophisticated profile by securing modeling and endorsement deals in the fashion and beauty arenas, as well as seeking out editorial opportunities.” It’s safe to say Lovato’s feelings were mutual as she released her own statement. “I’m thrilled to sign my first major modeling contract with Wilhelmina. I’m very excited to see where our work together will go creatively as I enter the next phase of my career and continue to develop as an artist.” Since then, Lovato has posed nude for Vanity Fair and continued to advance her image into a much more mature one.
9. Amanda Seyfried
Young Amanda Seyfried was striking a pose long before her classic one liners as Karen in Mean Girls like, “There’s a 30 percent chance it’s already raining” and bragging about making out with her first cousin. Before that she was the cutest child model when her career started at just 11 years old. She appeared in ads like Limited Too (remember when that brand was the be all, end all for young girls?) with none other than Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester. Who knew both of these cuties would end up being in major girl power projects? And if you have ever read The Victoria Martin trilogy, and thought you saw a familiar face on the cover, you certainly did as Seyfried was the face of that series that seemed very relatable back then but probably only hilarious now. Since then we know Seyfried has starred in Mean Girls and more serious roles like Mamma Mia and Dear John.
8. Jeremy Meeks
Okay so he didn’t start out as a celeb, but instead as a felon, but Jeremy Meeks has gone from being #FelonBae and Hot Convict to #ModelBae. He first made headlines when his mugshot went viral all over the Internet back in 2013. I have to admit, he is definitely a looker and fans swooning over his mugshot despite his criminal past weren’t the only ones who took notice in a good way. Now he has served his time and is officially a model. In fact, he walked in his first New York Fashion Week show back in February with a very well-known designer, Phillip Plein. I think it’s safe to say many girls went from crushing on Meeks to trying to figure out how he passed them up in the modeling department. Still, his career has already been put on halt after he was not allowed in London. He was going to the United Kingdom for a photoshoot, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon. Still, he certainly has received his shine here in the states.
7. Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz was also a child model from back in the day. Her fresh and natural face graced the cover of Seventeen magazine back in 1990. Around that time she also had several other modeling gigs that included her rocking a much more natural look than we’re used to seeing. If anything, these pictures prove that Diaz is a natural beauty. Just to give some insight, Diaz was also a cheerleader at Long Beach Polytechnic school when she snapped these pictures. I can only imagine that her story has been told as the one dating the quarterback in many Disney and Lifetime films. If you didn’t know, Snoop Dogg was her marijuana man back in high school. How hilarious is that? She definitely wasn’t as innocent as she looked in the photos taken by famous photographer Alistair Cowin. Since then, Diaz has starred in movies like Annie and There’s Something About Mary, just to name a couple.
6. Nicki Minaj
Nicki and Demi Lovato might sing much different types of music, but they are agency sisters when it comes to both being signed to Wilhelmina. The bombshell announced the news just last month. Interestingly enough it was right smack in the middle of her beef with Remy Ma. But let’s not taint her success with unnecessary drama. Nicki seemed ecstatic with her advancement into the modeling industry. “I love the synergy between my music and how it inspires my fashion,” Nicki said in a her announcement via Instagram. “My message is always about celebrating your own style. I’m thrilled and honored to have signed with Wilhelmina. They get me.” Nicki’s fashion in the past certainly has turned heads; whether it was good or bad, fans loved it (…or hated it). Some of her most memorable looks included colored wigs like blue and pink to a curly blonde Afro that topped a leopard print outfit. I’m glad Wilhelmina took notice in the right way.
5. Scott Disick
I’m sorry but it’s absolutely hilarious to me that Scott Disick was once a model. Some say that Kourtney Kardashian is the breadwinner of their relationship because she’s the most vocal about making money and such, and no one really knows what Disick actually does. But he’s kind of been a big deal since before most even knew who Kourtney Kardashian (let alone Kim, Khloe, Kris Jenner, etc) even were. Disick’s days as a model hit their peak when he was featured on the cover of the Heartland series. I’m not sure what the book was actually about, but he subtitle reads, “Healing Horses, Healing hearts…” Well alright then. Another model who worked with Disick for the cover describes him as an “awkward” teenager and said he was “completely different than how he portrays himself now.. He really just came in, got makeup done, stood in front of the camera and left pretty silently too.” It he was awkward then, I wonder what they think of him now.
4. Nick Jonas
Nick Jonas is another hot celebrity that Wilhelmina has taken notice of. But let’s be real, tons of people took notice of the youngest Jonas brother all grown up when he started releasing his own music. He had already proven he had the “it” factor when he put all types of thirst traps on social media sites like Instagram. But Wilhelmina added some type of professionalism and validation to his look. His contract with Wilhelmina wasn’t made as public as it was with Nicki’s or Demi’s, but he’s definitely legit considering he’s listed on the modeling agency’s website. It tells all types of details about him like his height (5’8″), 30″ waist, 38″ suit size, and size 9 shoe. In case anyone is wondering, his hair is brown and his eyes are dark brown. I know I’m not the only one who’s ready to see him work the catwalk during New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week.
3. Lindsay Lohan
Before Lindsay Lohan was known as the troubled red-headed star, she was signed to a modeling agency. To be completely honest, it was before she was famous at all. While Lohan’s breakout role was playing twins in the childhood classic The Parent Trap opposite the likes of Dennis Quaid, her career started long before her claim to fame as we know it. In her early days, Lohan was seen on the side of an Abercrombie and Fitch bag (she was a part of Abercrombie kids). She was also a child model for Calvin Klein kids. She and her now fellow troubled star Mischa Barton go way back as the two were in a Caravan ad together when they were just little ones. Here’s a fun fact — while her younger sister Ali Lohan followed her footsteps in singing and modeling (she signed with Wilhelmina), Lindsay’s younger brother Cody who also became a model when he signed with IMG. That’s gotta be one good looking family.
2. Dustin Lance Black
Dustin Lance Black has also been picked up by none other than Wilhelmina. News of his agreement with the prestigious modeling company was released earlier this month. The Oscar-winning writer and director, who has been very vocal about rights for the LGBT community, is definitely proud of his major accomplishment. “In a time when too many are using our differences to divide us, I want to help lift our differences up as what make us magnificent, what make us powerful,” he said in a statement. “Fashion has the potential to help our individuality roar, and right now, we must use every tool in our arsenal to amplify that roar.” His roar has certainly been heard by Wilhelmina, who couldn’t help but gush about the star in their own statement that revealed their contract together. “Dustin Lance Black is a true visionary talent. He uses his artistry, voice and talent to give to individuals and ideas who need to be heard,” the CEO of Wilhelmina, Bill Wackermann, said.
1. Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes’ childhood stardom also kicked off long before we knew who she was. We might have been introduced to Bynes on Nickelodeon’s hit variety show All That back in the nineties, but she was no stranger to cameras back then. She starred in the Buncha Crunch candies commercial at the tender age of seven. Bynes has let go of her modeling days (or maybe they’ve let go of her) so she has no problem coming for current models like Chrissy Teigen. Remember when she told her, “You’re an old, ugly model” on social media? She in turn told the woman who is now John Legend’s wife, “I’m a younger, prettier model.” Aside from the childhood commercial and starring in other shows like The Amanda Show, Figure It Out, and What I Like About You, Bynes really hasn’t seemed to find the time to get back in front of the modeling camera. Maybe that will be her next comeback?