Hollywood is an absolutely brutal place to try and make a living. For every celebrity out there that you know and love, there are thousands who have been told they were untalented or ugly, and sometimes both, and then sent on their way. Want to know just how prevalent that type of story is? Even for the 16 gorgeous celebrities below, every single one of them has had to deal with having insults being hurled at them.
Many of them were told they were too fat to ever make it, in fact, musician Jojo literally had an album not get released because she was too heavy. Or examples like when a Producer showed Jennifer Lawrence a skinnier version of herself and said she needed to look like that again… yeah you can imagine how well that went.
While we sure you aren’t going to agree with many of the comments that were hurled at these women, we hope it can be a reminder that everyone feels insecure and gets torn down. What matters is how you’re able to pick up the pieces and move forward with your life, which is something all 16 of these women did tremendously when they were faced with adversity.
16. Kate Upton
Kate Upton has plenty of reasons to be confident in her appearance, both when she looks in the mirror and when she checks out her modelling profile and sees she has worked for some of the biggest names in the world.
But when she was first getting a name for herself, Upton admitted that she constantly was having abuse hurled at her
“In the beginning, it was so hurtful… I tried to diet to become their image, but eventually, I realized that it wasn’t realistic—that this is just the shape of my body.”
Upton has gone on to say that she gained more confidence when she started to believe in herself more,
“So I had to block them out. I think that the people who are the loudest about wanting to change you are the people with the least amount of vision and creativity.
But I have to say, the other day I was reading some negative comments, and I was thinking they were really funny. So I guess they don’t [bother me] anymore.”
Upton is still working hard in the gym, but she assures her fans that she is doing it for her “Oh, and I want a nice butt, and if it’s a quarter inch bigger than the modelling world standard, that’s fine.”
15. Lea Michele
If we’re going to be dropping some spoilers, a large portion of the women that made our list did so because of their weight. But for Lea Michele, it wasn’t the number on her hips that potential studios were worried about, but the size of her nose!
“When I was 15, my mother and I went to meet a manager who said, ‘You have to get a nose job in order for me to work with you’ … My mother would say to me, ‘Barbra Streisand never got a nose job. You’re not getting a nose job,'” said Michele when talking in a past interview.
Michele has since opened up about the love of embracing unique body parts
“I’ve always had a platform coming off of being on Glee, of just really being proud of who I am and what I look like and my uniqueness and embracing that and I’ve talked often about how I feel that that’s really what’s helped me to get to where I am today.”
14. Lizzy Caplan
Lizzy Caplan has made a nice name for herself as an actress due to her success on the HBO series Masters of Sex. But before she landed that role, it was heaps of disappointment thrown her way from the Warner Brothers studio who turned her away for several potential television shows.
When talking about the experience, Caplan said “[My friend Lindsay Sloane and I] wanted to get T-shirts made that said, “I AM WB PRETTY!” because we’d just been told, “Oh, she’s great, but she doesn’t have that WB look.”
Caplan went on to say,
“I’ve always felt like the underdog — partly because I’ve been told that I’m the underdog, pretty explicitly, on many occasions… In retrospect, I’m so grateful it took as long as it did, because I’ve been able to slowly acclimate to these changes instead of an overnight success story.”
13. Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen has had several photo shoots in which she can walk away feeling absolutely fabulous and that the company made her feel respected. Sadly, she also has experience with Forever 21 that has forever tainted her opinion on the brand.
“I actually was fired from a job… Forever 21. They booked me directly when I was much younger. I showed up on set and they asked me if they could take a photo and they shot that photo off to my agency, who then calls me as I’m sitting in the makeup chair. And they say, ‘You need to leave right now. They just said you are fat and you need to come get your measurements taken.’ So I hate you, Forever 21. Hate you so much, honestly, you’re the worst,” said Teigen in a past interview.
Teigen has also taken to social media to attack the brand saying back in 2012 “So next time you pass a Forever 21, remember the fact that they are a bunch of assholes who fired me mid-makeup for being fat.”
12. Heidi Klum
Something tells us when Heidi Klum recently got slammed for her appearance, that she didn’t take it too personally.
When talking to the New York Times in 2015, Donald Trump opened up about his thoughts on Klum saying, “Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.”
Klum hilariously took to social media to respond to Trump by wearing a shirt with the #10 on it and then having it turn to a 9.99 along with the Hashtags #TrumpHasSpoken, #sadly #NoLongerA10, #IHadAGoodRun, and #HeidiTrumpsTrump.
This is not the only time Klum has been slammed for her appearance. Back in 2009, designer Wolfgang Joop said “She is no runway model! Heidi Klum is simply too heavy and has too big a bust. And she always grins so stupidly. That is not avant-garde – that is commercial!”
11. Jennifer Lawrence
Do you not think Jennifer Lawrence is attractive? Well, you can go f–k yourself as far as she is concerned! Lawrence has had plenty of roles in which she has been absolutely stunning, but a story from a previous casting call may leave you horrified.
“I was young. It was just the kind of things that actresses have to go through. Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn’t lose a certain amount of weight. They brought in pictures of me where I was basically naked, and told me to use them as motivation for my diet. It was just that,” she said in a past interview.
Yikes, nothing like Producers saying, “Hey, we think you look really hot here… can you go get this body again and come back when you look this way?”
Thankfully Lawrence is confident this is not an experience she’ll deal with again,
10. Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder may be up to some Stranger Things as of late, but there was one time in her acting career where a casting director was convinced that she would never make it as an actress.
“I was in the middle of auditioning, and I was mid-sentence when the casting director said, ‘Listen, kid. You should not be an actress. You are not pretty enough. You should go back to where you came from and you should go to school. You don’t have it,” said Ryder when talking to Interview magazine.
9. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez is now in her 40s but is still considered to be one of the biggest sex symbols in Hollywood. But while the world may seem to have always been clamoring for Jenny from the Block, she was once told she was far too heavy to ever make it in the industry.
“They kept telling me to lose weight. And I was a dancer and I was athletic and even my manager at the time, who I no longer work with, um, was telling me, ‘You need to lose weight. You need to be thinner,'” said Lopez in a past interview.
To her credit, she was quick to defend herself saying “No I don’t. If I lose any more weight it won’t be me.’ You know what I mean?”
8. Ariel Winter
Ariel Winter may not have opened up about being turned away for a role, but instead, has expressed how fed up she was with body shamers and how it impacts her.
“Before Twitter and Instagram, if you felt a certain way about a person you didn’t know, you couldn’t tell them. Now I wake up and I have tweets to me about how I’m a fat, ugly blah-blah,” but thankfully Winter has learned to take it in stride.
“Three or four years ago, I would have been devastated, like, ‘Why do people feel this way about me? I’m just being me.’ My sister helped me understand that people will say those things regardless of how you look. I tell myself every day, ‘I look fabulous.'”
7. Jessica Chastain
While there are countless blondes and brunettes in Hollywood, there may not be quite as many redheads that jump to your mind. One of the most beautiful is definitely Jessica Chastain, but if it was up to her agents she would have just been another blonde.
“People would tell me to dye my hair blond when I first started auditioning. Funny how defined we are by how we present ourselves,”
Chastain had herself a big last few years, most prominently with The Martian but she also credits her resurgence to an increase in her good looks.
“Only in the past five years have people been telling me I’m attractive. Before then, I wasn’t getting parts because people kept telling me I wasn’t pretty enough,” she admitted in a past interview.
6. Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep may not exactly be in her “prime” years now, but as you can see from the above photo she was an absolute knockout during her earlier years. But prior to ever getting her foot in the door with Julia in 1977, she attempted to land the role of Jane in King Kong (1976).
However, for Streep, the conversation definitely did not go how she expected. When meeting with the Producer Dino De Laurentiis he exclaimed, “Why did you bring me this ugly thing?”
Leading Streep to respond (in Italian), “I’m sorry I’m not pretty enough to be in King Kong.”
5. Kaley Cuoco
In 2015, Kaley Cuoco decided to mix her look up by dying her hair and eyebrows pink for ColourPop’s one-year anniversary party.
While it was just a bit of a punky switch to the usual blonde, you can understand by her spot on this list that the decision was not well received. Plenty of comments flooded online ripping Cuoco for her alternative choice, something you know she took note of.
“I started reading and thought, ‘Maybe I need to make more of an effort and not go out in my UGGs and be disgusting.’ So I started putting on makeup. And they started writing, ‘Wow, someone really likes being in front of the camera’ and ‘Her hair’s done now for coffee.’ I couldn’t do anything right. Why am I reading this stuff? But I’m obsessed. I openly admit to being totally insane about that,” said Cuoco in a past interview when she was asked about if she reads online comments.
One person that loved the hair? Cuoco’s then (oops, awkward!) husband Ryan Sweeting, “Ryan loved my pink hair. He’s really cute about that. He’s one of those people who is like, ‘You’re beautiful every which way.’ But he loved the pink. Every time he looked at me, he was like, ‘Oh, it’s like I got a new wifey in town!,'” said Cuoco in a past interview.
4. Kat Dennings
If we’re being honest, 2 Broke Girls is far from the best show on television, but the fact that fans can see Kat Dennings on a regular basis must really help their overall viewership. But some of the features of Dennings’ you may love best (such as her pale skin), were originally considered to be huge detractors.
When talking about her first experiences with casting agents, Dennings was told to “Tighten up your teeth, dye your hair, lose weight, [and] get a tan.”
While Dennings did not clarify as to what roles she got turned away for because she didn’t fit the profile, at least it’s clear that she was confident enough in herself to know she didn’t have to overhaul her appearance to find success.
Are you a huge fan of the musician JoJo? She had an album release in 2004 and 2006, but then dropped off the map for 10 years and released her 3rd album in 2016. You may have been able to jam out to JoJo for even more of your life if she didn’t get into a fight with her record studio in 2008 for being overweight.
“Here’s something that I agreed to do that ended up messing with me psychologically. I was under a lot of pressure with a company I was at previously and they wanted me to lose weight fast,” she went on to say,
“So they got me with a nutritionist and had me, like, on all these supplements, and I was injecting myself – this is a common thing ‘the girls’ do all the way – it makes your body only need certain calories, so I ate 500 calories a day. It was the most unhealthy thing I’ve ever done. I felt like, ‘If I don’t do this, my album won’t come out.’ Which it didn’t! So it’s not like it even worked!”
JoJo was released from her contract in October 2009 and proceeded to sue the company for $500,000.
When talking about what has changed in her life with her latest album, JoJo admitted “[I] listen to other people’s opinions. Listening and following are different things. I think listening and showing respect to people you respect it works for me. What you think about yourself and the decisions you make is what’s most important.”
2. Whitney Cummings
Whitney Cummings has had some success as a comedian, so you may not be shocked that her story with a former agent is going to leave you laughing,
“I remember my agent at ICM at the beginning of my career telling me that I wasn’t pretty enough, that I was always going to be a quirky sidekick. And he was an ogre of a man. He should have been carrying a torch. If he was in a bar, he couldn’t have come near me, and then he was deciding my fate,” said Cummings in a past interview. Needless to say, she did not stay with that agent for long.
Whitney Cummings may not step in front of the camera for 2 Broke Girls, but she did help create it and by looking at her, you know it is clear that she made an active choice to not prance her beautiful face in front of the camera on a weekly basis.
1. Chrissy Metz
We’re going to wrap up our list with perhaps the most unique situation on our list and it just happens to be a really positive story.
Chrissy Metz is a relatively new actress to Hollywood who landed a role on This is Us in which she plays heavyset woman Kate. But one of the huge parts of her character’s arc is her losing weight, something Metz said was worked into her contract.
“In our contract, it did state that that would be a part of it, to lose the weight in the trajectory of the character as she comes to find herself. That was a win-win for me. Because it’s one thing to try to do it on your own. But as human beings, it’s an ego thing: We’re more likely to do something for someone else.”
But don’t think that means that Metz (or others) don’t find her attractive as a bigger girl, as she ended the interview by saying “Whether or not I lose weight or stay the same, it’s purely a choice of mine for health. Not because I think that plus size, curvy, voluptuous, big bodies aren’t attractive — because I think they’re awesome and sexy.”