Awkward family photos — we’ve all got them, or maybe they’re hiding at mom and dad’s place, waiting to be taken out and displayed at gatherings of the clan on holidays. For most of us, that’s about as public as they become. When you’re a celebrity, though, those horrible old pics are just more fodder for the insatiable appetites of fans and haters alike.
From funny faces to silly Halloween costumes and more, those old pics are out there waiting to embarrass even the most glamorous and accomplished of celebs, like time bombs waiting to explode on social media everywhere. Some of it is just fan curiosity — or obsession — but some of the interest is probably more about scratching beneath the surface of all those perfectly posed and styled pictures of famous people that we usually see.
After all, don’t you feel just a little bit better knowing that the likes of Gigi Hadid and Tyler Posey were once just awkward little kids? Here’s a few celebrity photos they probably wish were never dragged out into the light of day.
15. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande and bro Frank sure look cute in this family snap, don’t they? We just love that bug eyed baby look. The pony-tailed pop princess still has a cute baby face, at least we think so – as do her zillions of fans worldwide. Ariana’s probably embarrassed by this baby pic from her past floating around the internet, but aren’t we all just a little freaked when the parents haul out those old family albums? She began her career on Broadway at the age of 15 in the musical 13, then got her breakout role as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s Victorious and the spinoff Sam & Cat, building her legion of fans. She launched her musical career back in 2011 and hasn’t looked back.
14. Bruce And Rumer Willis
Walter Bruce Willis has made a lot of money in and for the movie biz over the years — his films have grossed about $2.5 billion. He’s starred in some of the iconic action movies of the past few decades. So why has he starred in a string of second-rate B and C flicks over the last few years? Perhaps it’s the seemingly endless string of feuds he’s had with stars and directors, including Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Smith, and many more. But, before all the madness, when he was still just an actor on the way up, he was a family man, trying to teach daughter Rumer how to skate. Even d-bag, millionaire actors have a goofy side, we guess.
13. Cara Delevigne
Cara Jocelyn Delevingne has won “Model of the Year” award at the British Fashion Awards in 2012 and 2014. In addition to repping the likes of Burberry and Chanel on the catwalk, she’s launched an acting career, most recently starring in sci-fi flicks like Suicide Squad and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. But before all that, this graceful swan was a silly kid doing silly stuff with her sis. Family pics really do capture us at our most candid, don’t they? Making funny faces, probably fighting with siblings, proving even the most glamorous celebs are people just like us. Except for the glamour that is.
12. Colton Haynes
Colton Lee Haynes-Leatham began his career modeling at the age of 15 in NYC, appearing in ads for Abercrombie & Fitch and Ralph Lauren, among others. He graduated to acting, and nowadays is best known for his starring roles as Jackson Whittemore in MTV’s Teen Wolf and as Roy Harper/Arsenal in the CW series Arrow. On Teen Wolf, he was a self-hating dude who turns into a kanima instead of a werewolf after getting bitten. As Arsenal, he’s street wise and has super human qualities like super-strength and endurance, and speedy cell regeneration. But, way back when he was growing up in Kansas, he was a mopey kid who didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas, making faces until mom and dad gave him a puppy.
11. Gigi Hadid
Gigi’s mom Yolanda was a model back in the day, (long before starring in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,) which explains why she looks so fab and stylish in this pic with young Gigi. Gigi, on the other hand, was a cute but awkward kid, wearing a rainbow of colors, clashing patterns, and black rimmed glasses as she squints into the sun. Gigi — or Jelena Noura, properly speaking — got her start in modeling at the age of two, (but we’re betting not in this get-up, and without the goggles,) and became the face of Baby Guess. After quitting to finish school, she got back into the game in 2012, and the rest, as they say, is history.
10. Jessica Alba
Jessica Marie Alba is a genuine California girl, born in Pomona. With dad Mark Alba in the Air Force, the family moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, and Del Rio, Texas, but then came back to Claremont, California, by the time she was about nine. So this pic, taken with her cousins at a family event, could have been taken just about anywhere between those locations. Jess doesn’t look all that thrilled to be in the picture, but at least she’s the only one with her eyes open. She had an early interest in acting, and after several years of bugging her parents, talked her Mom into taking her to a competition in Beverly Hills at the age of 11 in 1992. She got the grand prize — free acting lessons — and her first movie role followed about nine months later.
9. Lea Michele
Lea Michele Sarfati with a child star on Broadway, appearing in Les Misérables and Fiddler on the Roof, among other musicals, before her breakout role of Rachel Berry on Glee from 2009 to 2015. Her early start in show biz probably explains this pic of Lea, mom, and dad clowning around with a musical theme. Looks like dad might have been the one to get her into acting, going by this image. Let’s face it, a kid needs parents behind them if they’re going to make it on Broadway. Since the end of Glee, she’s still going strong. Lea’s currently starring in the sitcom The Mayor, and she released her second album Places earlier in 2017.
8. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber’s early life is the stuff of legend. Raised by a single mother in low-income housing in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, he took to music early and began making videos of his covers of hit songs at the age of 13. In 2008, at 14, his Youtube covers were discovered by a talent manager, and he’s sold about 150 million records since then. Somewhere before Youtube and the fame that followed, though, he was a cute baby and then an awkward little kid making faces for the camera. We’ll note, though, that he’s taken plenty of goofy pics since then, including a number of candid mug shots for his various arrests. But, the records keep on selling, so who are we to judge?
7. Lena Dunham
Her HBO series Girls may be over, but Lena Dunham sure knows how to keep herself in the news. Just back in November 2017, she found herself in the public eye yet again after defending a writer on her show who had been accused of assault. There was a loud and immediate backlash from all directions. It wasn’t the first time Lena’s been raked over the coals in the media and has had to apologize for something she’s said. We’re wondering whether she would feel like apologizing for this pic, which we’re assuming was taken on or around Halloween with a cousin. She has a long history of wearing menswear with nail polish, we’ll note, although it doesn’t look so bad in this old photo.
6. Miley Cyrus
From Hannah Montana to bubblegum pop to Bangerz, naked videos and rebellion, right back to her current, more wholesome image, it’s hard to remember that Miley Cyrus is still just 25. Her given names were actually Destiny Hope, but she got the nickname Smiley, shortened to Miley, when she was a kid, later changing it legally. Mom looks great in this Cyrus family photo, but what with the mullets on the boys and some awkward posing from the girls (Destiny Hope is the one in the pink sweater), no one else really comes off so good. If you’re a fan, the Cyrus clan apparently does group photos every year, so you can keep up with the clan as they age.
5. Ozzy And Kelly Osbourne
Daughter Kelly looks pretty cute in her baby pic with dad way back when, but we’re wondering whether he actually remembers taking the photo. Ozzy has a weird glassy-eyed stare — maybe it’s why he took to wearing shades indoors in his later years. He’s claimed in interviews that he was first introduced to cocaine in 1971, and subsequently, “The world went a bit fuzzy after that.” After being fired from his gig as lead singer with Black Sabbath in 1979, he apparently spent about three months in a hotel room surviving largely on booze and drugs of various kinds — in fact, he credits wife Sharon for saving his life when she offered to manage him as a solo artist.
4. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez is a beauty — apparently just like her mom, Mandy Teefey, according to this early family photo. Now dad looks a little like he’s about to make some kind of shady proposition, but he probably didn’t realize at the time that millions of people would be scrutinizing his old family photos years later, either. Selena is just a squirmy little baby with funny hair, but we love her anyway. The latest rumor mill has it that Selena and her mom have their issues — even aside from the on again/off again drama with Justin Bieber. Selena fired Mandy as her manager back in 2014, and supposedly there have been a lot of ups and downs since them. Selena also just had a kidney transplant in 2017, so here’s wishing her some peace and good health.
3. Taylor Swift
Did Taylor Swift always have that slightly smug look on her face? According to this old family photo, apparently so. And, it looks like permanent lipstick, too. Swift got her start in the music biz at the tender age of 14, when she moved to Nashville with her family. It was a move that worked for her, with her first album hitting number five on the charts back in 2006. She gets a lot of credit for her songwriting, but we’ll point out that she nearly always works with Max Martin, the middle-aged Scandinavian who is single-handedly responsible for most of what you hear on the radio. Recently, Swift attracted the haters with an Instagram post where she declared, “I couldn’t have asked for a better year.” Haters will hate, and Swift will continue to sell zillions of albums.
2. Tyler Posey
Tyler Garcia Posey, star of MTV’s Teen Wolf until it wrapped up earlier in 2017, is considered a heart throb these days. He’s got the 21st century hipster look down perfectly. Hanging out with his bro back in his early years, though, he was just another awkward kid mugging for the camera. Cameras are something Tyler quickly got used to, however. As an actor, Tyler’s been in front of the camera professionally since the age of 11, when he appeared in the Arnold Schwarzenegger flick, Collateral Damage. There, he played the kid who gets killed along with mom early in the movie — the incident that sends Arnie on his revenge rampage. His time on screen was short, but it led to a series of roles and then his big break on Wolf. Since the end of Teen Wolf, he’s announced that he’ll be joining the cast of MTV’s Scream series for their third season.
1. Zayn Malik
Sure, he’s got an uber-cool image nowadays, with an Instagram account full of pics that show him at his stylin’ best. But, Zayn Malik was once just a kids slumming around on the floor of his parents’ home in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK, checking out new pjs, by the looks of it. It gives us all hope. Zayn’s career in music got a kickstart in 2010 when he appeared on the TV talent show The X Factor. First eliminated as a solo artist, he came back as part of the boy band that would become One Direction. He split from the group in 2015 in favor of returning to his solo gig, a move that seems to have worked out well for him. In 2016, his first solo album, Mind of Mine, made him the first male British artist with a debut album that hit number one in both the US and the UK.
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