There are some things in life that no matter how right or necessary they are, change us as people, and often more than just emotionally. Divorce is one of those things, and sadly it happens to a startling number of couples in America. Between 40 and 50% of marriages will end in divorce, according to statistics. It is a scary and sobering thought, but it is a reality that many of us have or will face in our lifetime.
The rich and the famous have it worse when it comes to divorce because their personal lives are put out there for the whole world to see. Intimate and often embarrassing details become common knowledge by way of magazines, the internet, and social media. Something that could potentially be the hardest thing a person has ever gone through becomes a tool for paparazzi and writers to make money off of, and they are like vultures prying as much as humanly possible to get the scoop.
It is no surprise, then, that celebrities cave under the pressure. Some let themselves go physically as well as emotionally, as if a light in them has gone out. They even look like a different person, like the happiness and love that made them who they were is just gone, along with their spouse. As difficult as that is for them, it brings to us regular folks a sense of their rawness and realness, and they suddenly seem like human beings along with the rest of us, not gods to be worshiped for their fame and fortune. Celebrity divorce, in this way, is both a blessing and a curse.
The following 15 famous ladies of Hollywood are no strangers to love- finding love and losing love. They have all been married and divorced (some more than once), and they have all changed on the inside as well as the outside.
15. Amber Heard
The world was shocked (as shocked as they could be when Hollywood couples shock us all the time with their weird marriage habits) when the young Amber Heard married the old Johnny Depp. He has been a fantasy of many women for many years, but his oddball looks as he ages are diminishing that fantasy. But not for Amber, who married him in the early part of 2015, only to divorce him in 2016 after allegations of domestic abuse. Photos were released to the media showing Amber with bruises on her face and looking absolutely miserable. In these photos above, we see her looking like the glamorous and seductive vixen she often is, and then the way she looked post-divorce. There are no bruises here, but perhaps due to the emotional turmoil of spousal abuse and having to leave the man she loved, she is tired and sad (and kind of frumpy, though who can blame her?).
14. Angelina Jolie
It has been all over the news recently that one of the world’s most famous (and most attractive) couples have called it quits. After nearly 12 years together (two of marriage) and six children, the duo known as Brangelina have divorced. It is common knowledge that she is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful women in the world, but even Angelina Jolie is subject to aging and heartbreak, the latter of which has really taken its toll on the humanitarian, actress, and mother. In this photo, the 41-year-old almost looks older than her true age, when for so long she has been the picture of perfection when it comes to beauty. But there is no hiding the hurt and sadness that makes her features so hard. Wish I could say I felt bad for her, but I have always been Team Jen.
13. Demi Moore
Remember when Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were so over-the-top in love it was almost sickening? He even played dad (and played it well) to her three teenaged daughters, which was probably no easy feat, especially since he is 15 years younger than Demi, and closer in age to them than to her. Now the talented and attractive Ashton has his own two children with his longtime friend and costar (and now wife), Mila Kunis. Demi looks none too happy in the photo on the right, but I guess I wouldn’t either if I had lost Ashton to another woman (an extremely gorgeous woman) and was super old. She really looks tired more than anything, but it is a far cry from her younger years, and her happier ones with Ashton. The two were together for an impressive 10 years, but rumors of his infidelity were what ultimately led to the split. Again, for this and the above reasons, I feel for Demi. Love is tough, and she looks like she’s been through the ringer.
12. Drew Barrymore
Actress Drew Barrymore is another one that has divorced recently. In fact, news of her split from longtime love Will Kopelman became one of 2016’s biggest breakup stories (but not as big as Brangelina’s, of course). Drew has never been the hottest person on the planet, but she has her pluses. There is a noticeable difference between the Before-Drew and the After-Drew, anyway. Before the divorce when she was happy and in love, raising their two daughters together, Drew looked bright and pretty. But after her divorce was final in May of this year, she appeared dark. In this photo on the right, she looks stressed out. It was taken on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea, and during the interview Drew opened up about her divorce, calling it a “failure”. I love Drew and have since E.T. a lifetime ago, but I’m not gonna lie, she looks rough here.
11. Elin Nordegren
Divorce did a number on the beautiful blonde, Elin Nordegren. She was married to pro-golfer Tiger Woods, who sadly just couldn’t seem to keep it in his pants. The photogenic Swedish model may not have used the best judgment when she married Tiger five days after beginning to date the man (and hooking up with him), but still she did not deserve what she got in him as a husband and partner in life. However, the two stayed married for a surprising five years, and had two children together. Their Barbados wedding was ridiculously lavish, costing $1.5 million, and it is said that the more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you are to divorce. I am pretty sure cheating was the issue for these two, though. It is a shame, because pre-divorce, Elin was a real stunner. Some of the photos of her modeling are drop-dead gorgeous, but then there is this post-divorce shot, which is not so gorgeous. She looks like she is trying to get on with life but not quite managing to do so, perhaps needing the shades for her bloodshot eyes.
10. Gwen Stefani
The female The Voice star has made headlines over the last year not only for her divorce from Gavin Rossdale, but because she began dating her co-star on the show, Blake Shelton, who himself was recently divorced (see number four on this list). But long before he came along, the singer known best for being in No Doubt was married to Bush frontman Gavin for 13 years, although they were together for 20. In Hollywood, two decades is almost unheard of, so even though the bleach blonde has her country crooner to cuddle up to now (and it is rumored that they are engaged), 20 years of your life is a lot, and losing the person you shared it with, no matter the reason, sucks. Gwen goes from pretty and feminine in the first photo, to appearing a little off her rocker in the second photo. It’s understandable, but even with a valid reason for looking very WTF, there is never an excuse for white-blonde hair, dark eyebrows, bright lipstick, and a choker. Just, no.
9. Halle Berry
So many men seem to have a fantasy crush on Halle Berry. I get it; she is a beautiful woman. That was easier to see before her divorce from Olivier Martinez in 2015, and you can still tell she is in there somewhere, but honestly when I look at the picture on the right I see an old woman who probably lives in a nursing home. Now, I’ll be fair; getting old is not a qualifier for this list. But since Olivier (whom she was married to for two years), she has kind of let herself go. You would think she would be used to it by now, after three divorces and countless breakups with other men. She has three children by three men and has had three husbands, so maybe three is her lucky number and she is finished now. Who knows? If that is the case, maybe that is why she has, as I said, let herself go. And just FYI, “letting oneself go” is relative, so for someone who looks like (or used to look like) Halle Berry, it takes a lot less to go from attractive to not.
8. Kaley Cuoco
Everyone’s favorite Big Bang girl, Kaley Cuoco, went through a divorce from her husband of two years, Ryan Sweeting. The main female star of The Big Bang Theory puts on a brave face, but you can tell in the post-divorce picture that she is about to cry. She fights it and smiles, which is awesome and shows her character, but there is no hiding heartbreak. Again, even if a divorce is completely justified and the right thing to do, it is still a very painful thing for anyone to go through. She almost looks like two different people in these photos: on the left, she is happy, snarky Penny in a hot pink bra (for some reason), and on the right, she is Kaley in real life. This photo was taken last year just after her divorce was finalized, on her way to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in New York City. She has been dating equestrian Karl Cook for awhile now, so hopefully he makes her smile for real. The only reason Kaley looks bad here is because she looks so damn sad, after all.
7. Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes is an interesting one; she has the ability to look sweet and adorable, cool and conniving, annoyed and bitchy, or sad and depressed very easily, which is perhaps why she succeeded in becoming an actress. But we must be careful to interpret her facial expressions in photos correctly. Clearly, on the left, The Dawson’s Creek actress and ex-wife of her schoolgirl crush Tom Cruise is smiling and flirty. She has a healthy glow to her and shiny hair and is probably happy. But she looks like a whole different person on the right. Her makeup-free face is hard, determined, angry, and sad. She cradles her little girl Suri on her shoulder like a protective Mama Bear. Tom and Katie, who were lovingly given the couple name “TomKat”, married in an Italian castle- another celebrity over-the-top wedding and another divorce, theirs after five years and seven months as husband and wife. Because of this, Katie’s appearance really went from what I would call normal to what I would call normal for a divorced, sad, and frumpy mom. Though she has been dating Jamie Foxx since 2014, she was probably really upset that her marriage to the man she idolized as a kid did not work out, and worried about her daughter. Those things are more than enough to change a woman, both inside and out.
6. Katy Perry
Our second Katy on this list is pop sensation Katy Perry, who is known for her oddball outfits and hair, but nevertheless still gets her spot here for looking bad. Here, she looks bad because she just went through a divorce from the nine-years-older English comic and actor, Russell Brand. They were only married for a year, but when you think you are going to spend your life with a person and then it is just over, I can see how you would be worried about things other than your appearance. Clearly, this is the case with Katy, with frizzy chopped hair, a hat and sunglasses that almost look like a disguise, and plain-Jane bikini that makes her skin look pasty. Maybe she was happy to get away from the obnoxious Gemini she called her husband for 13 months, but who knows? It certainly looks more like she is kind of depressed about it. Usually, no matter how wacky her makeup, stage outfits, or hair colors are, Katy still looks very pretty. Looking awful is not her norm.
5. Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan is one of the best examples in Hollywood of aging gone bad. She was super cute until she began to get older, and now she is just kind of funny-looking. I suppose that cannot be helped. But a huge change in her physical appearance came about when she divorced Dennis Quaid, and this change had nothing to do with growing old. The fact that she was supposed to grow old with her husband but did not was the culprit behind the frumpy, slightly-psychotic-looking photo on the right. When compared to the photo on the left of the Meg Ryan we all used to know and love, there is an obvious difference. This is not out of the ordinary for a woman who goes through a major life change, especially a depressing one like divorce. She and Dennis were together for 14 years, and married for more than 10 of them. They had one child together, a son named Jack Henry. Meg is now thought to be single, and Dennis has been dating Canadian model Santa Auzina since last summer.
4. Miranda Lambert
Blake Shelton’s ex-wife and fellow country music star Miranda Lambert is young, blonde, and very cute. But even being all of those things, a woman is still susceptible to looking awful, especially in difficult times. The 33-year-old singer has not had the best year or two, to say the least. Her highly-publicized divorce from Blake was on every magazine cover for awhile there, and to make matters worse, he moved on very quickly with Gwen Stefani, who we already talked about. Texas native Miranda was married to The Voice star from 2011-2015, but they were together for a total of 10 years. The story goes that Blake was the one to file for divorce due to his suspicions that his wife was not being faithful, but both said the divorce was amicable. Judging by this before-and-after of the fair Miranda, I don’t know about that. The divorce was “easy”, according to them, since they had a prenup and things did not get nasty. Even so, you never know what goes on behind closed doors in a marriage, and there is no such thing as an “easy” divorce. Here, Miranda wears a look of desperation on her clammy, heavier body that is topped off not with her usual shiny golden locks but a fried and frizzy mess.
3. Sandra Bullock
Who doesn’t love one of America’s sweethearts, Sandra Bullock? Well, her ex-husband of four years (plus one of dating) Jesse James doesn’t. He might have at one time, but they divorced in 2010. Afterward, the normally bubbly and pretty Sandra was seen out and about looking not so bubbly or pretty. Instead, she literally hangs her head, covers her eyes with sunglasses, and looks so depressed I get sad even looking at the image. She still has the body so many men still lust after, but a person’s demeanor can make them unattractive, and sadly a divorce is more than enough to change the demeanor of those involved. In Sandra’s case, she realized she was married to a man who became one of the most hated husbands in Hollywood when it was discovered that he had been cheating on her for quite a long time. This, even after she treated his children like they were her own. Poor Sandra. Luckily, she is a great catch and has dated some of Hollywood’s finest, such as Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, and Matthew McConaughey.
2. Sophia Bush
Chicago P.D. actress Sophia Bush was married to her One Tree Hill co-star Chad Michael Murray once upon a time, but that seems like forever ago! Here we see two very different images of the brunette beauty. Though they were only married for four months (seven if you count how long it took for the separation to become a legal divorce), maybe the fact that after the divorce they had to keep closely working together on One Tree Hill is the source of the perturbed look on her face. Or maybe it was the loss of her marriage. Either way, she does not look her usual stunning self, with no makeup, stringy flat hair, and wearing sweats and carrying a Twilight: Eclipse nalgene bottle. We are more used to seeing her looking elegant, refined, and perfect all the time. But when a marriage breaks up, lives get messy, and apparently, Sophia was no exception. Again with the concept that letting yourself go is relative, Sophia is someone who we only know as perfect, so when she looks anything less, she looks bad.
1. Jessica Simpson
Everyone’s favorite blonde in Daisy Dukes had a rough time after her divorce from boy bander Nick Lachey in 2006. Back then, the pop princess was known for the fact that she was saving herself for marriage. So as you can imagine, divorcing her husband came as a devastating shock to the squeaky-clean Jessica. They were together for a total of seven years, so splitting up was a major blow to them both. But Jessica’s reaction was both emotional and physical, as we can see in the two photos above, both taken in the year of the divorce, 2006. In one photo Jess owns the shot, hot and happy (and patriotic). But the other photo sees her looking a little like she is in the middle of a mental breakdown. Her messy mop of hair, saggy boobs and bikini top, and her day-drinking all lead to that conclusion. But more than anything, the timing of the photo and the look on her face make one think she is not winning at life, at least not in this pic (or the several accompanying photos of her that day).