The idea that Hollywood is all about looks, appearance, and having a perfect body image is either a major known fact or a stereotype, depending on who you ask. Many of our favorite television actresses might have first attracted the directors and producers of the show with their looks before showcasing their major talent of playing the role of someone else. However, we were still surprised to see some of the actresses who were chosen to play the bombshell beauty in major television shows.
Let’s be clear, we are in no way saying that these women are ugly or even unattractive. They’re just the ones who look a little more average than their counterparts and wouldn’t necessarily be described as a hottie. Some of them have even been told they were not hot, sexy, or attractive enough to make it big in Hollywood. Still, they have signed on to some of the most popular roles in television, won several Emmy Awards, have been featured in major motion pictures, and are probably very happy with their appearance.
While beauty is in the eye of the beholder (there have been ongoing debates and arguments on whether some actresses are really hot or not), for the most part it has been decided that a certain group of women have yet to amp up their sex appeal, despite playing the role of a heartthrob on the small (or big) screen. So, join us as we take a look at some of Hollywood’s biggest actresses who didn’t quite manage to make their way into the “hot” category.
15 Calista Flockhart
This Hollywood actress has been able to ink deals like the lead role in Ally McBeal from 1997 to 2002 and Brothers and Sisters from 2006 to 2011. More recently, she starred in Supergirl in 2015. Still, Calista Flockhart isn’t quite a Hollywood hottie. She has been said to have one of the least attractive set of lips in Hollywood. Photos of Flockhart without makeup surfaced and got people talking about her looks even more. Interestingly enough, there has been speculation of whether Flockhart, who turned 50 back in 2013, went under the knife for a bit of plastic surgery in the cheek area of her face to improve her appearance and make her look younger is. She has yet to speak on the rumors but it’s no secret her image has changed over time (but then again whose hasn’t?). Whatever the case, her average looks didn’t stop her from tying the knot with Harrison Ford in 2010.
14 Ellen Pompeo
Hear us out on this one. We absolutely love and adore Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo and we were team Derek and Meredith from the beginning. But we have to say that Meredith doesn’t necessarily score on the hot meter, especially when it comes to having someone with the nickname McDreamy fall in love with you over the course of several seasons of the hit ABC show. In fact, it’s Pompeo’s every day, average woman look that makes her more attractive as her character. The show just wouldn’t be the same if creator Shonda Rhimes cast a stereotypical blonde beauty as the role of Meredith Grey. We might be the only ones brave enough to admit out loud that Pompeo really isn’t a stud muffin. But Pompeo has said in the past that she at least wishes she could gain a few more pounds after being dissed for her petite physique
13 Sarah Jessica Parker
She might have been the front woman for the six seasons of mega-popular show Sex and the City, but Sarah Jessica Parker is not really known for being hot. Cute? Sure. But not at the status of a hottie. Yet her infamous character, Carrie Bradshaw, never lacked when it came to having a gorgeous boyfriend, from Aiden Shaw (played by John Corbett) to the infamous John James Preston who we all know as Mr. Big. It might not have hurt that she also served up some of the best television outfits of all time. But that didn’t help when it came to Maxim magazine’s 2007 edition of the “Unsexiest Woman Alive” list that had Parker at the top, something that she made clear she did not appreciate or see coming. Interestingly enough, the magazine changed its position shortly after and dubbed Parker its “Unexpected Crush.” In case you were wondering, other women who made the list were Madonna, Pompeo’s former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Sandra Oh, and Britney Spears
12 Lea Michele
This actress was the crush of many teenage boys, including the popular quarterback on the school’s football team at William McKinley High School on Fox’s hit show Glee. Still, Lea Michele made her way to this list because she was once told when she was 13 that she would need to get rhinoplasty (also known as a nose job) at the tender of 15 in order to go far in her career. She has made it clear that she didn’t take the unsolicited advice, and has had a few choice words for the woman who gave it to her. It looks like she didn’t need to because she still went on to star as Rachel Berry, the female lead for the juggernaut series. Still, Lea’s glow up has definitely made a difference in her appearance since her early Glee days. She has made headlines after posting revealing and nearly nude photos on social media sites like Instagram
11 Mischa Barton
It’s no secret that actress Mischa Barton went through a bit of an awkward phase during her days as the popular girl on The O.C. She was the center of affection for several popular guys and of course hit it off with Ryan, the new bad boy next door who would go on to be her love interest for much of the rest of the series. Interestingly enough, she has said in the past that she only dates unattractive men who don’t care about their looks nearly as much as she does. In case you were wondering, in the past she has been linked to guys like Taylor Lock, Josh Hartnett, James Regan, Ali Love, and Sebastian Knapp. As for what she looks like now, she is hardly recognizable. The actress made headlines after she suffered a mental breakdown in early 2017
10 Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart is not necessarily unattractive. But we’re convinced we aren’t the only ones wondering how someone like Stewart’s character snagged up the super-hot Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson) and Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) in the Twilight trilogy. Like, her character Isabella “Bella” Swan seriously had these guys literally trying to kill one another for years. Still, it’s safe to say that Pattinson wasn’t just playing a role as his character tried to get close to Stewart. There is no way we could forget that Stewart and Pattinson were a real-life couple for years. What’s even more interesting is that they broke up after she was caught cheating on him with Rupert Sanders, who was the director for the film Snow White and the Huntsman that starred Stewart as Snow White. She might not be known as a hottie but Stewart definitely knows how to keep things interesting on set
9 Cameron Diaz
Oh, Cameron Diaz. She has starred in roles as the hot girl in so many movies from The Mask in 1994 (alongside Jim Carrey), There’s Something About Mary in 1998, and Bad Teacher in 2011. She even played the beauty that Julia Roberts’ crush was set to tie the knot with in My Best Friend’s Wedding in 1997. But many have agreed that she’s not hot, at least not nowadays. She has been said to have not necessarily aged very gracefully and suffer from a “bloated face.” Even though some might not think she’s hot, she has dated some of the hottest guys in Hollywood, sports, and entertainment from former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez to singer Justin Timberlake. She has also shut down Hollywood’s standards of beauty and said the midlife crisis should be changed to the “midlife celebration” to salute women as they get older instead of condemning them. Good for her!
8 Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is an audience favorite after her breakout roles on The Office and The Mindy Project. While her character on The Mindy Project, also named Mindy, is known as the goofy girl, she never has a problem pulling hot guys. Still, Kaling herself was told she was not hot enough to star in a major role before she took on the part of Mindy. One network gave her the green light for a comedy sketch series, but there was a catch because she had to audition. Once she did, she was turned down and told she wasn’t pretty enough. Well Kaling definitely has thick skin and bounced back because she ended up inking a major deal with The Mindy Project. She said of the experience, “I feel karmically, I was vindicated, but at the time it felt terrible.” She also stood up to a reporter who said that her “ugly” and “fat” appearance was “refreshing” to see
7 Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl is also another actress who has played the role of a hottie, but is not really considered hot. You might remember one of Heigl’s earliest characters as the much more attractive older sister in the teen film Wish Upon a Star back in 1996. She was the most popular girl in school and of course was dating someone equal to her caliber. But Heigl is arguably not that hot. And her alleged bad attitude hasn’t exactly helped. She went on to star in movies like The Ugly Truth and 27 Dresses and most notably in the earlier seasons of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. She parted ways with the show for reportedly being extremely difficult to work with. She has since expressed her regret with being a diva on set. Heigl has remained out of the spotlight in recent years. No word on if she plans to return to the small screen
6 Zooey Deschanel
This actress landed the lead female role in the popular show New Girl, but she has been dubbed one of the strangest looking actresses in Hollywood. Zooey Deschanel has been called out for her interestingly large eyes, hair choices that have been described as hair don’ts (she is also said to be unrecognizable when she doesn’t rock her iconic forehead bangs), and of course her unique voice. It looks like Deschanel isn’t completely oblivious to not being seen as a hot girl in Tinsel Town. She defended herself after being criticized for the way she speaks and said, “I am an intelligent person. Sometimes I lean into California-speak more for entertainment value. It’s not that I can’t live in a world without the word ‘like.’” Still, she added that she hopes her critics and others will begin to embrace their softer side and act with more compassion instead of "attacking who I am."
5 Tori Spelling
Tori Spelling is most known for her role in the original Beverly Hills: 90210 from 1990 to 2000. Her character, Donna Martin, was one of the main roles in the extremely popular show. But her appearance was hit or miss sometimes, especially when she rocked the extremely short bob that landed just below her ears and right above her chin. But Spelling’s appearance has even changed since then. And not just from growing up. She is nearly unrecognizable. It’s safe to say this could possibly be thanks to the plastic surgery she has allegedly received. Spelling has admitted to getting breast implants (and regretting them), but there is speculation that she has gotten even more cosmetic surgery from a nose job to a possible face-lift, not to mention her appearance made headlines after she and her husband starred in a reality show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood on Oxygen from 2007 to 2012
4 Miley Cyrus
Miley, Miley, Miley. She might have played the role as the loveable Hannah Montana on the Disney series of the same name, but she definitely grew up in front of our eyes when she traded in her teenage, good girl image for one full of twerking and wearing revealing outfits. Her appearance faced lots of scrutiny after her unforgettable MTV Video Music Awards performance with Robin Thicke back in 2013. Still, some fans have learned the hard way to never call Cyrus “ugly.” She’s okay with being called other things but ugly is just unacceptable, if you ask her. She once tweeted, “I get called an ugly lesbian a lot more than one would think. Or maybe not. Can u at least call me an interesting lesbian. I hate the U word.” Well, we want to go on record and saying we’re not calling Cyrus ugly. She’s just a television star who isn’t exactly hot either
3 3. Renee Zellweger
Renee Zellweger played the sexy woman in the very successful movie-musical Chicago. She has also starred in Jerry Maguire, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Bridget Jones’s Baby. She has starred with men like Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, and Tom Cruise. But can we all come to the consensus that Zellweger is not a hot woman. And while she might not have been seen as attractive when she starred in those movies, her new appearance has gotten even more attention. She has been accused of going under the knife and getting tons of plastic surgery such as botox and even an eye lift. But she denied those rumors and wrote an open letter to discuss “self-acceptance” and “women succumbing to social pressure to look and age a certain way…” She added that whether she did or did not get plastic surgery, it is not “anyone’s business” and that the “double standard” about women needs to go away sooner rather than later
2 Lisa Kudrow
While Zellweger denies having plastic surgery, Friends star Lisa Kudrow has embraced her nose job and even credited it for changing her life after not being considered a hot celebrity. She said the cosmetic surgery helped her go from “hideous” to “not hideous.” But it was long before we got to know her as Phoebe on the long-running sitcom. She actually got it just before switching high schools. She has described the surgery as “life altering.” While we have Kudrow on the list, we definitely don’t think she was ever “hideous.” She just isn’t considered a hot woman. Despite getting the surgery, Kudrow is still often described as a woman with a unique appearance. But that didn’t stop her from landing major roles. Kudrow starred in Friends, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, and Lucky Numbers opposite John Travolta. She also had a recurring role on ABC’s Scandal more recently
1 Mayim Bialik
She is an actress whose personality outshines their looks. Mayim Bialik got her start on Blossom as the lead female star, one who was known as being very cool and hip. While she was an average looking teenager (especially when compared to the teens we see on television these days), she was said to have grown up to be quite an unattractive adult. But while Bialik is known for her smarts, thanks to her role in the highly successful show Big Bang Theory, she’s actually a real-life scientist with an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies from UCLA. She even did Ph.D. research at UCLA about people who have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and the Prader-Willi syndrome. We’re guessing this definitely helped Bialik land her role on Big Bang Theory. Considering it’s a show about nerdy scientists (who aren’t necessarily hotties themselves), her own average looks probably didn’t hurt as she portrays Amy Farrah Fowler.