Anyone who has been paying any attention at all during their lives would likely be able to tell you that the vast majority of famous people are very good-looking. However, that doesn’t mean that holds true for everyone who manages to become a well-known entity as there are still some unattractive people that make the cut on top of others that are more typical-looking. Still, there is a lot of pressure on celebrities to look their best, and some of the time, their image goes through a transformation that makes people take note of how much more attractive they’ve become. Realizing that is what inspired us to put together this list of twenty stars whose looks went from ‘meh’ to ‘wow.’
In order for someone to be up for possible inclusion in this list, he/she first and foremost needs to have been able to turn himself/herself into a star at one time in the past. It doesn’t matter what he/she did to gain a following so you could find actors, athletes, musicians, YouTube personalities, or any other kind of famous person included here. Next, he/she needs to have been considered pretty unremarkable in the looks department at one time in the past. That doesn’t mean that people needed to see them as ugly as that doesn’t matter, nor does any vocal minority that considered them attractive at the time. Finally, he/she needs to have undergone a change at some point that made him/her become much more impressive-looking in the eyes of most.
20 Zooey Deschanel
An actor that a lot of people feel could aptly be described as delightful, Zooey Deschanel’s unique energy has made her a major star. Previously seen in movies like Almost Famous, The Good Girl, Mumford, and Big Trouble earlier in her career, she wasn’t a star yet and could be seen as looking pretty plain in all of them. These days best known for starring in the show New Girl that is set to come to an end later this year, she has also made her mark with flicks like Elf, Yes Man, and (500) Days of Summer. Changing her look in the last several years, it seems like she puts a lot more effort into her image these days which has made her look fantastic, but at the same time isn’t overly polished which we like.
19 Miley Cyrus
Someone who started out her career when she was just a child, Miley Cyrus was a part of the Disney star-making machine since she starred in Hannah Montana which aired on their network. Leaving the family-friendly side of things when she became an adult, it seemed like she had felt quite stifled during her time as a sitcom star based on how overtly she appeared to rebel against it. Altering her look drastically, she started wearing outrageous clothes, constantly posing with her tongue out, and it felt like she was trying her best to shock the world which we found tiresome. Lately taking on an image that seems like an amalgamation of her innocent days and recent look, we have to say it is working for her as she seems like a much more mature and good-looking woman.
18 Jordin Sparks
A singer that was introduced to the world when she competed as a part of the sixth season of American Idol, at that time, the show was still a sensation and Jordin Sparks was chosen as the winner that year. Since then continuing to perform on a regular basis, she hasn’t reached the heights of Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood but she has done quite well for herself nevertheless. Best known for songs like “No Air,” “Tattoo,” “One Step at a Time,” and “Battlefield,” among many others, there is little doubt that she is talented at what she does. Someone who has transformed her body over the period of time in which she has been a star, beyond that she now carries herself with a lot more confidence, and her fashion game has been hugely upgraded.
17 Rashida Jones
Someone who first rose to prominence when she was cast in The Office, that show featured actors who were different because they looked like average Joes and Rashida Jones mostly fit in. Still a pretty person at that time, she wasn’t exactly a stunner, and we are not just talking about when she appeared in character. Since then able to take her career in many impressive directions including screenwriting, producing, and starring in several major movies, her career is better off today than it has ever been in the past. On top of that, we think that she is a great deal hotter today than she has been in previous years in large part because she seems so comfortable in her own skin and has upped her style game.
16 Brie Larson
One of the most respected actors of her generation, let alone of all time, Brie Larson hopefully still has decades of good work in front of her, and she has already accomplished a great deal. Fantastic as a part of the show United States of Tara early in her career, since then, she has been amazing in movies like 21 Jump Street, Short Term 12, and The Spectacular Now among others. Able to win her first Oscar for her work in the movie Room, she has yet to take home another at the time of this writing. But considering how talented she is, we believe it is only a matter of time. Somebody who has always seemed like a lovely woman on the inside and out, up until recently, she seemed like the girl next door but now has become an exquisite beauty.
15 Emma Roberts
The daughter of veteran actor Eric Roberts and the niece of acting superstar Julia Roberts, from an early age, it seemed like this performer was destined for big things in that industry as well. Debuting in the movie Blow where she played the daughter of the film’s lead, Emma Roberts would go on to star in other films throughout her childhood years like Aquamarine and Nancy Drew. Since then making a name for herself in the horror genre above all else, she has starred in movies like Scream 4 on top of series including Scream Queens and American Horror Story. Just like the focus of her career changed as she continued to mature, her look transformed even more so since we never expected her to seem as dazzling as she does today.
It is funny to think, but at this point, there are millions of kids out there that have are obsessed with pop culture but have no idea whatsoever who Snooki is. The best-known person to come out of the “reality” show Jersey Shore, that series has been off the air since 2012 and the spin-off she had with Jwoww concluded in 2015. Both continuing until relatively recently in the grand scheme of things, neither show has been a regular part of the zeitgeist since they first faded away in the early 2010’s. Memorable on those shows for her drunken antics and unique look, it seems as though both of those things have changed about her in recent years. Dropping a lot of weight by the time her shows came to an end, she has hugely altered the way she dressed, and it was a huge improvement.
13 America Ferrera
Someone who became a big deal when she was cast in the titular role of the show Ugly Betty, they made her less attractive when she was a part of it but America Ferrera wasn’t your typical star at that time. Playing the character to perfection and with a lot of heart, she was able to win the respect of her peers which is why she won at the Golden Globes, Primetime Emmy, and SAG Awards. Also a part of several memorable movies in the past, she was featured in films like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and How to Train Your Dragon franchises, as well as End of Watch and Tinker Bell. Another example of an actor that was able to take off some weight and upgrade her wardrobe to great effect, these days, she could play a film bombshell which is a large difference.
12 Mae Whitman
We just looked at an actor that was cast as a character described as ugly, but that is nothing compared to what has been levied at the people that Mae Whitman has played during her career. Remembered by many for her recurring part in the show Arrested Development, she played Ann Veal and was constantly described as bland. As popular as that show was, it isn’t her most notable credit as that probably should go to her lead role in the movie The DUFF, where she was said to be “the Designated Ugly Fat Friend.” Able to do a wonderful job in both roles, she must have been able to muster a great deal of confidence to take them on without feeling beaten down by them. Fortunately, she really shouldn’t be haunted by casting agents choosing her for those roles since she has become a cute and comely person now.
11 Anna Paquin
An actor from a very early age, Anna Paquin isn’t just your typical former child star as she was able to take home an Oscar for her work in The Piano when she was eleven. The second youngest person to ever take home a trophy handed out by the Academy, as a result, it seems obvious that she was a natural. Able to remain gainfully employed as an actor into her adulthood, she has made her mark in the movie world as a part of the X-Men franchise of films and others like Almost Famous or 25th Hour. Also a former television star that played the lead in the show True Blood for many years, that series made a lot of people aware that her figure is now dynamite and she no longer looks awkward.
Someone whose singing abilities are absolutely beyond reproach, there are a lot of people who have been fully invested in the career of Adele ever since they first heard her perform. Able to become one of the most successful performers in that industry, as a result, she is the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have “three simultaneous top 10 singles as a lead artist.” Best known for songs like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” “Hello,” and Skyfall,” when she puts out a song, there is a good chance that it will leave her peers in the dust. A massive star today, that has allowed her to have access to some of the best fashion in the world and that, along with losing some weight, has helped her become the picture of glamour.
9 Ellen Page
A performer who never belonged among the actors that seem as though they were chiseled out of granite they look so good, Ellen Page was able to become a star because of her powerful performances. First turning a lot of heads in the film Hard Candy, it was a difficult movie to watch but it showed off how great she is at what she does. Since then able to land roles in some blockbuster movies, she was a pivotal part of the X-Men franchise as well as Inception, on top of appearing in smaller films like Juno or Super. A woman who stands at only five feet one, in the past, she often looked as though she may have just rolled out of bed during public appearances, but as of late, she has packed a lot of beauty into her tiny body.
8 Lea Michele
First introduced to most of the world when she was made one of the stars of a TV series that was a high school musical called Glee, that was a mixed bag for the career of Lea Michele. A type of show that turned off some people that aren’t fans of entertainment where people break out in song and dance, in some ways, it has limited her appeal for some ever since. That is a real shame too as she has been pretty great in other things like Scream Queens or The Mayor if those people would give her another chance. Also someone whose image was set in stone for some early on, at first, her looks were unremarkable but she has since had a makeover that we can only describe as extremely impressive.
7 Jennifer Hudson
The second person linked with the show American Idol included on this list, at times, it is hard to fathom that Jennifer Hudson did not reign supreme in her season considering the power of her voice. However, she was able to take home several accolades for her work in the movie Dreamgirls soon thereafter, including an Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG Award. On top of that, she was also a part of other films like The Three Stooges, Chi-Raq, and Sing, the last of which heavily incorporated her singing talents. Also well-known for songs including “Spotlight,” “If This Isn’t Love,” “Trouble,” and “Where You At” among others, she has a lot of accomplishments to be very proud of. Among them is the fact that she has been able to completely alter her cosmetic appearance in a great way.
6 Hilary Duff
If you are of a certain age and grew up alongside Hilary Duff, then you may be outraged that we saw her as being unimpressive in the looks department in the past, and we get that. After all, if you watched hours on end of her show Lizzie McGuire or saw her in movies like Agent Cody Banks, A Cinderella Story, or the Cheaper by the Dozen films, you may have been smitten with her. However, for many of us, she was just a kid at that time, and once she became an adult, there wasn’t anything about her that piqued our interest too much. However, something has changed in recent years. Seemingly developing curves for the ages overnight, her figure blows us away now far more than we ever expected and has a beautiful face.
5 Khloé Kardashian
A famous person despite all reason, Khloé Kardashian is pretty much a household name these days, and her path to fame is about as hard for us to understand as any in history. The daughter of a man that helped defend OJ Simpson in court and the sister of someone who had a recording of her during an intimate moment leaked to the world, we wouldn’t know her otherwise. One of the stars of the “reality” show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, that series made her a star, and her family got to appear in it for the aforementioned reasons. Sadly, she was often ridiculed by cruel people when she first became well-known as most saw her as the least attractive of the Kardashian sisters. Thankfully, those people have mostly been shut up as she is far more attractive today than anyone you are likely to come across in real life.
4 Nicole Richie
From one “reality” star to another, this time around, we are looking at Nicole Richie, someone whose claim to fame early on is just as befuddling to us as the person we just looked at. The adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie, she was also the best friend of Paris Hilton who became famous for a private tape of her own, and the two of them were given a “reality” show for those reasons. At one time a sensation because of that show which was called The Simple Life, it featured the two of them living like regular Joes and showed how ridiculous they could be. Since then changing her image, she is now an actor with a long list of roles, and she looks next to nothing like she once did since she has become a standout on any red carpet for good reasons.
3 Demi Lovato
Someone who has done a lot over her career and is still a young woman, Demi Lovato should still have decades in front of her, and we look forward to seeing where she takes her career in the future. First of note as an actor since she starred in the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock, in it, she was also able to perform her music which introduced the world to the thing she is best known for today. Also someone whose opinion has been respected enough that she spent time as one of the judges and mentors on the show The X Factor, she is still best known for songs like “Heart Attack” and “Neon Lights.” Impressing the world when she went public with the fact that she has suffered from bulimia during her life, we really respect that and how she has recovered. That kind of emotional maturity has also allowed her to figure out what looks best on her, and it is working wonders as she looks amazing far more often than not these days.
2 Kelly Osbourne
The daughter of an absolute legend of the rock world, Kelly Osbourne’s dad Ozzy was the lead singer of the band Black Sabbath during the prime years of its existence. On top of that, he also had an incredible solo career and was a part of some moments that became urban legends which is why MTV was interested in chronicling his day-to-day life. As a result, the “reality” show The Osbournes came into existence and made a star out of Kelly who at first seemed like a spoiled brat we would never want to get near, but she has changed a lot since then. Still extremely outspoken, she still seems true to herself but she is less irritating and outrageous. On top of that, her look could not be more different based on her weight loss and the fact that she has embraced high fashion, and we love the results.
1 Sara Rue
An actor that caught the eye of casting agents early in her life, at first, the thing that made Sara Rue stand out so much is that she weighed far more than almost any of her peers. Cast in shows like Popular and Less than Perfect early in her career, both parts were based on the fact that the world can be cruel to people of her size at the time. However, over the span of the latter of those series, she began to lose a great deal of weight and proved that she didn’t deserve her acting career because of her size, but instead should be cast for her acting skills. Now a gorgeous woman who looks very little like she once did, there was always something appealing about her. But, there is no doubt that society sees her as hotter today than in the past.