Sometimes, it feels like the cult of celebrity is a new thing but in reality, that isn’t true. In previous centuries, it was playwrights, royals, great thinkers, military leaders, and composers, for example, that became stars but there have always been famous people. However, that isn’t to say that being a celebrity hasn’t changed in some big ways. For instance, these days, people can become well-known for things like being a YouTube star or appearing in “reality” shows, which was unheard of not too long ago.
In our opinion, the biggest way that perception of celebrities has changed over the last couple of decades is that they seem far more accessible than ever before. Between social media avenues like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, fans get to see images of famous people that are supposedly indicative of their everyday lives all the time. Additionally, they get to write directly to them in response which makes them seem all the more human. On top of that, there seems to be oodles of pictures fans take with celebrities they meet in the street or at events, since most of us carry cameras with us at all times. For instance, we’ve all seen selfies of stars with their fans that are heartwarmingly cute but sometimes, attempts at these pictures go horribly awry. Realizing that is what inspired us to put together this list of twenty celebrity selfies with fans that’ll make you cringe.
In order for a picture to be considered for inclusion here, it first has to be a selfie. Since these images are candid shots taken in a spur of the moment, it is typically pretty obvious that we are looking at one, but a judgment call may be required in some cases. Next, somebody famous also has to be a part of the image and at least one everyday person. It doesn’t matter if a crowd is present or if the famous person or regular Joe is the one holding the camera. Finally, the resulting image needs to be one that feels painfully awkward, off-putting, or unfortunate in some way.
20 Robert Pattison
The lead actor in the Twilight series of films, which are equally beloved and reviled, Robert Pattison might be hated by a lot of people if he didn’t seem like a really cool guy. After all, if you love those movies, he is your guy and if you hate them, don’t worry, based on his interviews, it seems like he does too. That is also why we don’t find it surprising in the least that he seems like he was more than happy to take a selfie like this one. Unfortunately, that other man has his eyes elsewhere, ruining the photo that was taken. There is another possibility, though, that guy may be clutching a phone that he is focusing on, and it may be the woman we can barely see between them who owns the camera this photo was taken from. However, that would make this selfie even worse, as we can’t think of a result worse than being totally obscured by some jerk in your dream photo.
19 George Clooney
One of the biggest movie stars alive today, George Clooney has starred in a long list of hit movies over the years and has generated as many fans as anyone on this list. Also a man who is getting older and seems to cherish his privacy, he still seems like he was relatively accommodating when he asked to be a part of this image. Unfortunately, it seems as though the fan that George is standing by couldn’t quite hold it together. Pursing his lips in an expression we can only describe as a combination of duckface and abject fear, we’re sad to say that he looks awfully goofy. We get it; this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and he buckled under the weight of that, but still…
18 Kate Middleton
This picture was so close to being cute that we actually find ourselves sad that we included it here. Showing a youngster who was standing feet away from Kate Middleton, arguably the most popular royal, it seemed like everything was good as she was perfectly smiling at his camera. Unfortunately, some other lady behind him just couldn’t keep a look of irritation off of her face while looking at this young man, and she is totally in the frame. In fact, if we were this little dude, we’d probably experiment with cropping her right out of this image without making the dimensions seem silly.
17 Justin Bieber
One of the biggest pop singers alive today, Justin Bieber’s career seems to have been a non-stop rocket ship. Starting out by releasing videos of himself singing on YouTube, he was discovered by Usher who would give him the opportunity he needed to become a star and heartthrob. Releasing a slew of hit songs ever since, his fan base who are sometimes called Beliebers, seem to embrace and defend him no matter what he does. At times, he has made that hard for them by acting like a jerk so he should treat those fans like they have given him the life he leads today. We’re not saying that he doesn’t do that since we have no idea, but while he poses for a snap with overjoyed fans like these young women, would it kill him to crack a smile instead of keeping up a cool façade?
16 Miley Cyrus
A singer who clearly has some pretty great vocal chops, it is interesting to see the fact that it is Miley Cyrus’ antics that have received the lion’s share of the attention over the last few years. Actually, we see it as a total shame and would like to be able to sit in judgment of the media. However, since she constantly sticks her tongue out, twerked all over Robin Thicke, and acted interestingly, to say the least, who could blame them for focusing on that? We know we’re no better since we can’t help but think about how high she looks in this cringe-inducing image that otherwise would have just seemed like a sweet moment of an artist and fan meeting.
15 Gerard Butler
An actor who seemed poised to be one of the biggest action stars of his generation not too long ago, for the most part, Gerard Butler’s career has hit the skids these days. As a result of that, we could totally understand why he might feel like he could go out in town for a drink without garnering too much attention. Looking as though that was his plan the night this image was taken, it really seems like he couldn’t keep his eyes open for even a moment with a fan. That may not be the case as he could have just been in the midst of blinking. Nevertheless, the results here make us laugh at him even though we’re guessing he’d be chuckling with us.
14 Justin Bieber (Again)
The second Justin Bieber selfie with a fan that was chosen for this list, the reason this made the cut is remarkably similar. Yet again, he finds himself in the crosshairs of a fan’s camera, and this time around, the end result is exactly the same. Copping a cool guy look instead of looking even slightly pleased or touched to be in the presence of someone that has boosted his career, we really wish he could act like he wasn’t having his teeth pulled. We can never know in both cases, as he might have been having an awful day, although we just wish he realized that this moment is going to stick with his fan for a long time, if not forever, and make it about her.
13 Nicolas Cage
An actor that was widely respected at one point but has recently come to be seen by many as an overacting punchline, some of Nicolas Cage’s early work deserves quite a bit of respect. After all, if you ask us, films like Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation, and The Rock are all impressive. That is exactly why we’d be excited to get a selfie with him too. Seemingly on an airplane when this picture was taken, considering that it seems like he was stuck with this woman for a while when this was taken, we totally understand why he may not feel the same way. Still, open your eyes dude and if our assumption is true, when that lady saw this image, why didn’t she ask to snap one where Nicolas doesn’t look half dead.
12 Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen of England is a woman that the world at large generally seems to see as quite dignified even if she is out of touch with the concerns of the rest of us. One thing that we have to totally respect about her is the fact that she always seems happy to give a moment to one of her people whenever we see footage of her among them. That is why we are not surprised at all that she took a moment to pose for this selfie. On the other hand, this never should have been a selfie. With a fence standing between these young ladies and the Queen, you’d think they prioritize getting a halfway decent shot of her instead of obscuring her majesty just so they can be a part of the picture.
11 DeAndre Jordan
An NBA center that has spent years playing the game in front of legions of fans, you’d think that DeAndre Jordan would be used to dealing with fan requests for photos. On the other hand, you’d think that any true fan would be aware of how taxing playing the game at the highest level would be for the athlete. Well, it seems like neither of those things held true as this photo of a fan and DeAndre oozes awkwardness in our view. With the fan totally beaming and the star looking anything but impressed, we totally get DeAndre’s reaction as he has clearly just stopped playing and must be exhausted based on all that sweat on his forehead.
10 Jordin Sparks
Set to make a return to television soon, there has been a lot of discussion of American Idol in the media lately, and we wonder if that will result in this photo popping up again. An image of the winner of the sixth season, Jordin Sparks, on the field at the University of Phoenix Stadium, she was caught in this selfie flipping off a fan. Not a fan of hers, however, as he was there for the game, and it seems as though she may have taken offense that he was a Seattle Seahawks booster. Either way, whatever happened just prior to this photo being taken, it is clear that this man pissed Jordin off and then took a picture at the perfect moment for us. However, we have to say that it is pretty cringe-inducing that this pro singer couldn’t hold her anger at bay, at least until she walked off the field.
9 Donald Trump
A picture of Donald Trump, the man who would become The President of the United States of America, if you get the opportunity to take a picture of someone in that position, it likely isn’t going to happen again. Well, at least, if you aren’t a major donor. As such, if you support them, then you’re going to want to make sure you take full advantage and get a good shot of him and you. If that isn’t possible, then hopefully, you can take a picture where at least one of you looks great. If not that, you’ll have a photo like this one where it looks like it would have fit in the plot of a movie like The Hangover. We know that this shot would have fit in perfectly in the montage of shots of the Wolfpack’s crazy night at the end of that movie in our view.
A singer with the voice of an angel and an ear for a hit song, it seems like every track Rihanna appears on is destined for huge success. As fantastic as her vocal ability is and how spot-on the production that surrounds her always seem to be, it would be ignorant of us to try and pretend that her looks and image don’t play a big part in her career. A very sexy woman who seems to be very comfortable in her own skin, from what we can tell from an image like this, it seems like she was feeling uneasy when it was taken. Looking like she is dealing with a man she would do just about anything to get away from, if we were across the room and things look so off, then we would feel the need to intercede on her behalf.
7 Kanye West
To say that Kanye West is a jerk would be an understatement. We know we’ve just given you an entirely new perspective on the man but stick with us here. He is an internationally famous rapper who attended the Super Bowl in 2015 and took a seat where people were able to see and approach him. It doesn’t even look like he is in the stadium; instead, just sitting in the midst of his walk. Then, he had a pair of fans walk up to him and take a selfie with him and what does he do? He projects like they just took a pee in his Cheerios. If he doesn’t like be being bothered like this, then maybe he shouldn’t have put himself in this situation and since he did, maybe he could at least fake a smile for a moment. Beyond that, this is even more baffling when you think about his gigantic ego. Considering that he seems to live on praise, shouldn’t this attention be his lifeblood? Either way, the guy ruined this shot as adeptly as he destroys an acceptance speech.
6 Ron Jeremy
Who knew that people like to take selfies with adult stars? We know we didn’t but there is more than one image on this list that proves that that is the case. A picture of arguably the most famous star of XXX films of all time, Ron Jeremy, the guy has let himself go so he isn’t as photogenic as he once was. Still, if you are going to take a picture of him, you could at least wait until he is awake. Clearly, this woman didn’t think that was the thing to do, however, and instead, we get this image that seems like a real invasion of his privacy.
One of the biggest rap stars of the nineties, if you don’t have a place in your heart for Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” we don’t get it. Irrelevant for years now, he still seems to regularly give performances to make ends meet and has a history of having fun with fans after his shows. Seen here walking among a crowd we presume were there to see him do his thing, taking this selfie with a fan didn’t work out as intended. First off, his eyes are completely shut which is always the mark of a bad picture, and on top of that, her drink is being poured all over him. We’re just amazed this didn’t take our top spot.
4 Bill Clinton
The second and final person who became the President of the United States of America to make this list, it seems fitting that a Clinton and Trump are connected once again. The subject of a selfie with this young woman, this time around, she seems to have it together perfectly based on her pose and demeanor. Unfortunately, it looks like Bill Clinton gave into his more base instincts here and sneaked a peek at what she was working with. Sure, it is entirely possible that he glanced down for the briefest of seconds as anyone might, but this photo certainly tells a different story than that.
3 Mia Khalifa
If you aren’t aware of who Mia Khalifa is, don’t worry about that. It just means that you aren’t aware of celebrity adult stars. A star of a select few videos, despite her short tenure in the industry, she managed to become a pretty big star. Now a webcam model and social media personality instead, she spends a lot of time interacting with fans and seems to have no problem with that. At least, that’s what appears to be the case when they don’t invade her personal space without asking first. The opposite of that, here we have a follower of hers who took a selfie of her without permission, and it is abundantly clear that she didn’t take that well since it was revealed that she punched him in the face for it. Taking the shot immediately after this shot was taken, he even claimed she bruised his cheek and in response to the controversy, Mia seemed to tacitly confirm it happened on her Twitter account.
2 Amy Schumer
One of the most famous comedians in the world, Amy Schumer rose to prominence over the last several years. Also an actress who did a marvelous job in movies like Trainwreck and in the show Inside Amy Schumer, it seems like she isn’t going away anytime soon to the pleasure of her many fans. No stranger to controversy, this shot of her resulted in just that when she wrote about her experience with it on social media. She stated, “This guy in front of his family just ran up next to me scared the ---- out of me.” She also revealed that she “asked him to stop and he said no.” Admitting it was within his rights to take the shot, she nevertheless refused to mince words about how much she hated the way he handled the situation.
1 Rihanna (Again)
When we put together this list, we put a lot of thought into the idea that it might be better to ensure that the picture that took our spot didn’t feature a star that had already appeared on this list. After all, we realized it may feel anticlimactic to see someone familiar at the climax of an article like this. Then, we saw this photo of Rihanna and a fan, and we instantly knew this couldn’t be listed anywhere but in the number one slot. Looking as though she has been frightened by the presence of this man, this situation seems everyday to us but Rihanna looks like she is doing everything in her power to put an end to this moment.