Fame and fortune don’t come easily to everyone. You have to have a particular talent and then a whole lot of luck, determination, and the right contacts to get there. You can’t become famous just because you want to be, for example. Nor is wishing and dreaming going to get you a nice new car, a designer wardrobe, and a holiday home in the Bahamas.
But what do you do if you don’t have any talent to speak of? Or if you do have a talent but no contacts or luck in getting up the ladder? In this case, you have to use something else to get what you want. The 15 ladies on our list used something they had in spades: their assets. And no, we’re not talking about the kind that the bank might want to know about.
When faced with the long, tiring struggle to the top, these starlets decided to take the shorter route by using their bodies. Some of them literally slept their way to the top, or gave their hand in marriage in exchange for their wildest dreams being met. Others decided to share their bodies with the world, knowing that they would get fame and money as a result.
Say what you like about them, but one thing is definitely true: these women made it work. Here’s how 15 starlets were born, not by talent or luck or elbow grease– but simply by using the assets that they were blessed with.
15. Jordan/Katie Price
The woman who we are now told to call Katie Price again shot to fame as the large-chested glamour model, Jordan. She started out doing topless and nude modelling for The Sun using her natural body, but soon began to feel that she needed more. She has had a long history of surgeries to enlarge and reduce and enlarge again and reduce again, and at one stage was up to a 32FF size. She now has a more sensible C cup, but that hasn’t stopped her from exploiting her assets to a very large degree. In 2012, her net worth was estimated at £45 million. She has used her modelling fame to branch out into other areas, such as writing books, music, and television appearances. While her Jordan persona may have been resigned to the scrap heap, she is still ensuring that her assets are prominently on display as often as possible, without returning to glamour modelling.
14. Courtney Stodden
The world was shocked when actor Doug Hutchison announced that he was getting married to Courtney Stodden in 2011. The reason? She was just 16 years old, while he was 50– clearly a mismatch. He has also been her manager since 2015. She has been a beauty pageant contestant and has appeared on reality television with her husband as well as alone, but other than that her claim to fame really is just being married to him. In 2015 she also released a solo adult film, probably in response to the fact that she still has not realized her dream of becoming a legitimate actress. Strangely, it’s Hutchison’s family who objected to the match and disowned him– Stodden’s mother was all for it. Oh, and she’s also had an augmentation to bring her from a C cup to a DD cup. This is one girl who is using her assets and doesn’t care who knows it.
13. Anna Kournikova
This one might not strike you as obvious, but Anna Kournikova is definitely someone who belongs on this list. When you think about it, you will probably notice that it is a lot more obvious than you thought. Let’s just take a look at her career stats for a second. How many WTA singles titles has she won? None at all. But in the meantime she’s had 3 covers on Maxim, 2 on FHM, 1 on Esquire, and 1 on GQ. At one time she was one of the most popular searches on Google– but all this despite never being higher than number 8 in the world at singles. She of course also ended up getting married to pop star Enrique Iglesias. It’s fairly obvious when you look at it all laid out like that: Anna was known more for her looks and her willingness to pose in bikinis and lingerie, than for her tennis skills.
12. Amber Rose
How do you know who Amber Rose is? Well, let’s start from the beginning of her career. When she was about 15 she started to strip, using the pseudonym Paris, to make an earning after her parents divorced. Then she started modelling and appearing in music videos, which is when she caught Kanye West’s eye. And that’s how you know her: she started seeing him in 2008. Since then she has continued doing the odd modelling job, but has been more widely known for her subsequent relationship with Wiz Khalifa as well as lots of online spats with her former lover. She has definitely gotten further in life because of the famous men that she has slept with, but this isn’t something you would want to accuse her of to her face. She led 2015’s SlutWalk in honour of women who have been judged or demeaned because of their sexual behaviour.
11. Anna Nicole Smith
Anna Nicole Smith probably represents the best-known case of someone marrying a rich older man for money. She was already known for wearing skimpy outfits and dressing to the nines as a model before she met and married J. Howard Marshall. She was a Playmate of the Year in 1993, but it was in 1994 that she married Marshall. She was 26, but he was an astounding 89 years old. He actually pursued her for two years while waiting for her to divorce her first husband, and there were reports that she never lived with Marshall nor consummated the marriage. If all of this is true, then she definitely used her assets for good effect, as Marshall died 13 months later at the age of 90. She was set to inherit half of his $1.6 billion fortune, but due to legal contests from his sons, she ended up seeing none of it before her own death. She was even bankrupt before she died.
10. Amber Heard
Hands up who knew what Amber Heard looked like off the top of their heads before she was linked to Johnny Depp? While she had seen a little recognition for some minor roles in more successful movies, she was a lesser known actress struggling for roles, until she met him on a film set and sparks flew. He ended up leaving his long-term partner, Vanessa Paradis, and marrying Amber instead. She then lasted 2 years before going for a very public divorce, which named Depp as violent and verbally abusive. Meanwhile, her film career had started to take off, though it’s yet to be seen whether this very messy break-up and some legal trouble in Australia will have put paid to all of that. By the way, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s this: stay away from girls named Amber or Anna. They’re probably only doing it for the money.
9. Kate Upton
If you really need an introduction to Kate Upton, then we’re going to have to ask you to go away and ask Google images about her. We’ll wait until you’re done. Ready? Alright– so Upton is famous because she’s a model, but more to the point because she has rather larger assets than most models traditionally would have. Her work with Sports Illustrated and as a swimsuit model quickly catapulted her into the spotlight, and she also benefited from her social media accounts going more or less viral. Compare her to other famous models like Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne and you will quickly spot something she has that they don’t. Her ability to use her body in this way is actually quite unusual for the fashion industry– previously, girls with her kind of figure would have been turned away by agencies because of their unsuitability for designer clothing.
8. Kendra Wilkinson
If you have heard about Kendra Wilkinson, it will be for one reason and one reason only. She was one of Hugh Hefner’s top three girlfriends during the filming of The Girls Next Door, a reality series about life in the Playboy Mansion. She first caught his eye when she was hired in 2004 to be a painted lady at his 78th birthday party– and by that we mean that paint was pretty much the only thing she was wearing. She has been photographed nude and has also admitted to sleeping with Hugh in a bid to keep her position in the house. Since leaving the mansion and Hugh behind, she has started her own reality TV series centred around her life with husband Hank Baskett. She has continued to star in other reality TV shows as well, and is making a living through keeping her name around. Not bad for a 19-year-old who decided she didn’t mind attending a party with her assets on full show for a bit of money.
7. Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey managed to shock just about everyone when she released a song titled “F*cked My Way Up To The Top” on her album Ultraviolence. Not only is the song written bitterly about a singer who supposedly copied her style and became more famous with it, but it is also autobiographical. Lana freely admitted around the time of the release that she deliberately slept with lots of men in the record industry in order to get ahead in her career. She claims that none of them actually helped her get the record deals, but it’s impossible to say now whether that is true– after all, some strings could have been pulled behind the scenes in order to make the deals go through. This was yet another reason for people to criticize her: she had already come under fire for her songs which seemed to promote promiscuity and what people were terming anti-feminism. She denies this strongly, saying that she has no opinion whatsoever about feminism.
6. Kim Kardashian
You can’t be surprised that Kim is on this list! Back in the day before she ever had that tape leaked, all you would have said in reaction to her name would have been “Kim who?”. But now look where she is. Her family’s reality television show has gone from strength to strength, and she has ended up married to one of the most controversial musicians of all time. This also means getting a share in the ridiculous amounts of money he earns, along with making plenty of her own. Every time it looks like she might be supplanted by someone else– even one of her own siblings– she poses naked and gets herself back in the spotlight. Endorsement deals, new television episodes, and lots of product deals and sales always follow. Kim’s only real talent in life is her assets, and she embraces this whole-heartedly.
5. Lil Kim
This one is a little controversial, but Lil Kim has had a very strange and storied career. It started off when she slept with Notorious B.I.G. behind the back of his wife, Faith Hill. Catching the two of them in bed together was ultimately what made Hill decide to call off their relationship, and Lil Kim became much better known in the music industry from that moment. Not only that, but she continued to desperately flaunt her assets to try and stay famous once she had found her fleeting 15 minutes. She would often be pictured on red carpets wearing the least amount of clothing possible in order to get attention from the media. Her only problem was that she tried all of this before the era of social media, so unlike Kim K., she only managed to start fading away into obscurity with the occasional mention in magazines pointing out her awful fashion choices.
4. Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler has come under heavy criticism for her dating choices in the past. In particular, eyebrows were raised when she started to date Ted Harbert in 2006. Why? Because at the time, he was overseeing E! and was the CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group. Their relationship lasted until 2010, which was around the time that a tape of her from around 10 years before was leaked. She’s admitted that she had 2 abortions at the age of 16, so it seems that Chelsea was using her assets to get what she wanted from a young age. Anyway, it certainly paid off: by the time she stopped seeing Harbert, she was coincidentally named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the year. She has also posed twice for Playboy, getting on the cover of the magazine on both occasions. Interesting side note: The Chelsea Handler Show started airing on E!… in 2006. Coincidence?
3. Holly Madison
Hugh Hefner is a man who is not afraid to admit that a good pair of assets can get a woman anywhere with him. Holly Madison is another of his former girlfriends who was featured on his reality TV show and appeared out and about with him frequently. She ended up spilling everything in a memoir, which details her life at the Playboy mansion between 2001 and 2008. She described their encounters in intimate detail, talking of the lack of intimacy between them and how they would rarely kiss or show affection to one another. She literally slept with Hefner in exchange for a roof over her head, food on her plate, and plenty of lavish gifts– along with a big dose of fame. She also had her own spin-off reality show, and is now married to a man that she met after leaving the mansion.
2. Tyra Banks
When you watch America’s Next Top Model, you might be forgiven for thinking that Tyra Banks was the most talented person in the world– at least, that’s how she presents herself. But when you get down to it, you realize that she is only famous for looking pretty and wearing– or not wearing– designer clothes. She has appeared nude plenty of times in the past, and that’s not all, according to actress Karrine Steffans. She wrote a book called Confessions of a Video Vixen in which she named the famous men she had slept with over the years. Tyra spoke out publicly against the book’s contents, which led to Steffans spilling a truth bomb to the world. She claims it’s “not a secret within the Hollywood circle” that Tyra also slept her way to the top and even added, “let’s not pretend that you haven’t done some of the people and things that I’ve done”.
1. Crystal Hefner
Now we come to the woman who has gained the most from Hugh Hefner, and perhaps stands to gain even more should his health begin to fail. Crystal first met him in 2008 at a party in the Playboy mansion, and soon appeared as Co-Ed of the Week on the magazine’s website. She then ended up appearing in the reality show, and started dating him in 2009– after Holly Madison left. She signed a record contract a year later, and subsequently got engaged to Hugh. They broke off one planned wedding before finally marrying in 2012. Not long after this, she was able to release a single as well as designing clothes with Rhonda Shear. This is one starlet whose assets did her more harm than good, however. She has been suffering from chronic fatigue and brain fog due to side effects from her breast implants. Still, she’s currently set to receive a large portion of Hugh’s estate should he come to the end of his natural life– which may happen soon given his age of 90.