We all go through changes in life. We’ve all wasted afternoons going through old pictures of ourselves, reminiscing on the past and laughing at outdated clothes and hairstyles.
The same is true for celebrities. For example, it’s hard to believe Chris Pratt has been both Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy as well as Andy from Parks and Recreation. And who would have thought Miley Cyrus would stray so far from her Hannah Montana roots?
Let’s take a look at some truly stunning celebrity transformations. Prepare to be amazed!
An incredible 25 years ago, many of us remember bopping along to Billy Ray Cyrus’ mega hit, “Achy Breaky Heart” and, if you were around during that time, you likely remember the birth of his daughter, Destiny Hope Cyrus.
It was heartwarming to see father and daughter, who changed her name to Miley, starring together in the Disney hit, Hannah Montana, years later. She was wholesome and talented — everything parents could want in a role model for young viewers.
It was a shock when she shed her squeaky clean image in favor of barely-there stage outfits, raunchy song lyrics, drug use, and interviews about how much she loves having sex. With songs such a “Wrecking Ball,” and “We Can’t Stop,” she left her Hannah Montana days far behind her.
Recently, Miley has undergone yet another transformation and has returned to a softer, drug-free existence. She’s focusing on love and says she’s left those wild days behind her. With the release of her much-tamer “Malibu,” her style is clearly evolving yet again.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 11 years since Taylor Swift released her self-titled album and it’s even harder to believe how fresh-faced and innocent she was back then. With tracks like “Love Story,” and “15” she emerged as a sweet, budding country singer.
Then, she won the Best Female Video prize for “You Belong with Me” at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and her life changed. Rapper Kanye West, was none-to-please about her victory and stormed the stage to let everyone know that Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” was one of the “best videos of all time.”
Maybe the situation hardened Swift, who soon after changed her image almost entirely. Gone are her country songs and sappy lyrics. Today, she’s a huge pop star whose tracks, including “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Bad Blood” give fans a glimpse inside her string of failed romances and growing number of celebrity feuds.
There was a time when no one would have described Chris Pratt as a leading man. Overweight and largely overlooked, he took on secondary roles such as Andy in Parks and Recreation and Vince Vaughn’s best friend in the critically-panned film, Delivery Man.
After being cast in the lead role of superhero flick, Guardians of the Galaxy, Pratt was able to show off both his comedic skills and his impressively transformed physique. His performance won over audiences and led to more box-office success with films such as Jurassic World.
The actor, who is married to comedienne Anna Faris, with whom he shares a son, said when he was overweight, he struggled with depression and low sex drive. Today, he may not always enjoy his diet but he’s definitely enjoying the benefits!
Not long ago, Ivanka Trump was just a teen pursuing a modelling career in an attempt to flee boarding school. She knew this wouldn’t be her “endgame,” of course, and enrolled in Georgetown and later the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Following in her father, Donald Trump’s, footsteps, Ivanka plunged into the world of business and, eventually, served as a boardroom judge on The Apprentice.
As she continued to build her own brand and empire, she married businessman, Jared Kushner, converted to Judaism, and welcomed three children. Today, the couple act as advisors to her father, now the President of the United States, traveling to boardrooms around the world.
When Megan Fox first burst onto the scene, it was in a very big way. As Shia LeBeouf’s co-star in the highly-anticipated live-action adaptation of Transformers, Fox was introduced to a huge audience and quickly became a household name.
Unfortunately, she and director Michael Bay, had some sort of falling out and she was not invited to return to the franchise and ended up being cast in low-performing films like Jennifer’s Body.
Today, the actress is rarely in the spotlight and instead, is focused on raising her three boys, Noah, Bodhi, and Journey, with husband, Brian Austin Green (who many will recognize from the original Beverly Hills, 90210).
As a young kid growing up in Canada, Justin Bieber competed in local talent shows until he started uploading videos of himself to YouTube. Against all odds, it worked. He eventually gained the attention of Usher and, well, the rest is history.
While he launched his career with syrupy teen songs such as “Baby,” his life has taken many surprising turns. He’s had run-ins with the law, fights with paparazzi, high-profile romances (including his long-term on-again-off-again relationship with Selena Gomez), and gotten countless tattoos.
Now, he’s trying to set boundaries with his fans after feeling burned out. Although his intentions might be great, he often makes headlines when he refuses to pose for pictures or scolds his followers for trying to push him past his limits — which doesn’t do anything to improve the bad reputation he’s earned.
Believe it or not, there are people out there who remember watching Selena Gomez as a child on Barney & Friends (where she co-starred with Demi Lovato). Rather than disappear into the shadows, Gomez continued to find work and went on to star on the hit Disney show, Wizards of Waverly Place (she’s even discussed a revival).
Of course, she wasn’t going to stay a teen star forever and her on-again-off-again relationship with Justin Bieber helped mark her transition into adulthood. She gained recognition as a solo artist (and narrowly missed making Forbes‘ World’s Highest Paid Women in Music list in 2016) with hits such as “Love You Like a Love Song,” and “Come and Get It” but, despite her success, Gomez was struggling on the inside.
After taking a break from the spotlight, Gomez has revealed a struggle with both lupus and depression. By focusing on herself, she says that she has found peace and just wants to focus on being happy.
Catherine Middleton came from a good family but she could never have known how famous she would eventually become. Her parents, Carol and Michael, own a very successful party planning business, allowing them to send Kate, as well as her siblings, Pippa and James, to some of the best school the United Kingdom has to offer.
It was during her time at St. Andrew’s College in Scotland that something very fortuitous happened. While they had been friendly while attending the school, it wasn’t until Kate modeled a see-through dress for a 2002 charity event that she caught the eye of Prince William.
Today, she’s the wife of the future king of England as well as the mother of the heirs to the throne, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. In addition to her royal duties, Kate’s sense of style and penchant for affordable items have made her a fashion icon for women of all backgrounds.
You wouldn’t be alone if you hadn’t heard of Meghan Markle until recently. While she was featured as a “briefcase girl” on Deal or No Deal and has starred on the USA Network show, Suits, for years, it wasn’t until recently that her popularity began to rise.
After committing to humanitarian efforts with the United Nations and working hard to empower women and minorities, Markle met Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto where she lives while filming Suits. The pair clearly hit it off since their romance has been building ever since.
While she works in Canada and he’s obviously based in London, the pair travel back and forth to spend time together, and he even brought her to Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception. It’s very possible she could be the next commoner to become a princess.
Dark-skinned and fierce, Lil Kim was widely regarded as one of the best female rappers as she emerged with the group Junior M.A.F.I.A. in the 1990s. She established herself as an artist after releasing her solo album, Hard Core, in 1996, wowing critics with her “raw, unapologetic flow.”
While she spent a year and a day in prison after being found guilty of perjury and conspiracy for lying to a jury about a gun-related incident, fans were just as shocked by her changing appearance. Suddenly, she had much lighter skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, and breast implants.
In discussing her physical changes, Lil Kim said, “Think about it. The girls that [men] dated when I was younger were light-skinned and tall. I’m short and brown-skinned. I’ve always wondered… how do I fit in? I think being Lil’ Kim the rapper helped me deal with it better. I think doing photo shoots and seeing all the people respond to me has helped. [But] I still don’t see what they see.”
Robert Downey Jr.
As a young actor, Robert Downey Jr. was a cast member of Saturday Night Live and appeared in light-hearted ’80s films such as Weird Science and Back to School. He wowed audiences and critics alike, however, with his performance in Chaplin. He took on several big roles and, by all accounts, it seemed like his star was just going to continue rising.
Unfortunately, he began struggling with addiction, had some run-ins with the law, and even landed in jail for a while. He made several attempts to get his life back on track but continued to struggle for years. Eventually, no one wanted to hire him because his reputation was ruined.
That is, of course, until Jon Favreau took a gamble and cast him in Iron Man. Downey Jr. brought new life to the role of Tony Stark which led to major box-office success for the actor, as well as Marvel Studios. Who could have known that he would be leading the Avengers someday?
Born to evangelical parents, Katy Perry had a very conservative upbringing and wasn’t allowed to listen to mainstream pop music. After piercing her nose and taking singing lessons, she released a gospel album that saw very limited success.
It must have been a shock to everyone, then, when her first big break came after she released the song “I Kissed a Girl” (which Miley Cyrus claims is about her). As her popularity grew, her image became even more daring with her “California Gurls” music video including some pretty suggestive themes.
As her music career soared, she found heartache in her personal life. Her marriage to Russell Brand abruptly ended by text message and her on-again-off-again relationship with John Mayer ultimately failed (although, he admits that he still misses her). Perhaps, for this reason, she’s undergoing yet another metamorphosis.
Perry has openly admitted she’s struggling with this alter-ego. That she’s strong as Katy Perry but sometimes weaker as Katheryn Hudson (her real name). She shared her journey through counseling and meditation with her fans and even admitted that she cut off all of her hair in an attempt at giving herself a fresh start. Something tells us an even bigger transformation is yet to come.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Growing up, Dwayne Johnson came from a family with a wrestling background but aspired to become a professional football player. After a back injury cost him his dream of entering the NFL while playing for the University of Miami, he changed directions.
He didn’t give up on fame. Instead, he retrained his focus and found himself enjoying an immensely successful career as a WWE wrestler. This was when his persona, “The Rock,” was born along with the catchphrase “can you smell what The Rock is cooking?”
Who could have imagined that he’d transition, again, into a Hollywood actor? He’s not a one-note performer, either. We’d expect to see him in action movies such as Fast & Furious but he’s also taken on dramatic roles in Walking Tall as well as appearing in family-friendly fare including, Tooth Fairy.
Most recently, he’s even talked about running for president!
Born in Israel, Gal Gadot intended to get a law degree after serving two years in the military where she trained other soldiers in combat. Things started to change dramatically, of course, after she won the title of Miss Israel after reluctantly entering the pageant.
Gadot’s knowledge of weaponry helped her win the role of Gabrielle in Fast & Furious despite the fact that she had never acted on film before. She went on to appear in subsequent movies in the franchise before getting her big break.
Producers took a gamble and cast Gadot in the role of Wonder Woman, much to director Patty Jenkins’ dismay. While she’s grateful for the decision in retrospect, she says she would have chosen someone more “American.” After being hailed as the best thing about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gadot nailed her performance in the standalone Wonder Woman film, winning over audiences and critics alike.
After endearing television audiences with her portrayal of Sookie St. James on Gilmour Girls, Melissa McCarthy put her own name on the map with her incredible performance in Bridesmaid. She showed depth as well as humor and, before long, was starring in hit films such as The Heat, Tammy, and the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters.
Along the way, she did reveal that, as a plus-size woman, she struggled to find designers who were willing to dress her for red carpet events. As a result, she created her own line of clothing for women of all sizes.
Now, she’s lost some weight and revealed the secret to her slimmer figure. “I truly stopped worrying about [my size],” she said. “I think there’s something to kinda loosening up and not being so nervous and rigid about it that, bizarrely, has worked.”
In the ’80s, Bruce Jenner was wildly popular. He became “the world’s greatest athlete” by winning the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal. He was on the Wheaties box and even had his own board game.
While Bruce was one of the most recognized faces in the world, that quickly changed when he underwent plastic surgery. Little did anyone know, however, that an even bigger transformation was still to come.
In 2015, the former athlete emerged as Caitlyn Jenner and, after ending Bruce’s marriage to Kris Jenner, has since undergone gender reassignment surgery. The transition has not been without challenges, even from within the LGBTQ community.
At just 5 years old, Michael Jackson was navigating a successful music career. Despite being much younger, his star quality as the lead singer overshadowed his older brothers who comprised the remaining members of the Jackson 5.
It wasn’t a surprise, therefore, that he was able to make a name for himself as a solo artist with insanely successful hits such as “Thriller” and “Bad.” What was shocking, however, was how much he changed physically over the years. His skin lightened and his features changed, but nothing rocked his world like being accused of sexual molestation.
After being cleared of all charges, Jackson became reclusive, especially after welcoming three kids of own. In addition to wearing a mask in public, he also shielded the faces of his children from the public eye. His life came to a sudden end after being given a fatal dose of prescription medication by his doctor, who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.