January 9, 2019 | Dancy Mason

43 Pictures Of Celebrities Before They Were Famous

When it comes to celebrity, you can never tell who's going to make it.

Some people have 'the look' from the very beginning. Some take a little while to grow into their features. We've got both kinds of pictures in this collection. Have a look.

43. Jason Mamoa

Before he became the most handsome ruffian under the waves, Jason Mamoa was just another fish in the sea.



jason mamoaPinterest

Of course, he had model-level good looks even then... but young Jason looked less like Aquaman and a whole lot more like Barnacle Boy (shoutout to Spongebob for that reference).

Let's be clear: he was still a stud. But where are the bulging muscles? The wise and yet somehow boy-ish beard? He looks like the long-lost 5th member of One Direction.

42. Meghan Markle

The teenage years are awkward for everyone... except for future princesses, apparently.

meghan markle

I mean sure, she's not exactly modeling yet. But still, that is a put together look for high-school. I mean, where is her acne?

Seriously, where is her acne???


41. Chrissy Teigen

Here's two facts about what Chrissy Teigen looked like as a little kid:

  1. She was god-dang adorable
  2. She was liiiiiitle bit spotty

Chrissy Tiegen YoungInstagram

I'm sure Chrissy would have no problem with me pointing that out. We all deal with some acne or spots at some point, and Chrissy has made a point of being body-positive throughout her career.

So, if you're going through a bit of a breakout, think of this as motivation. You could marry John Legend too!

40. Bella Hadid

Bella's iconic look is all about cheekbones, great brows, and a smidgen of sulk.

Bella hadid youngInstagram

Turns out, she's been rocking it since the early days.

bella hadidInstagram Blue Steel before Blue Steel was a thing

In her defense though, the look might not be entirely up to her. In a 2018 interview with Harper's Bazaar she said, “People always say I have the same facial expressions,” Hadid said. “But what they don’t realize is that for a long time I looked that way because photographers on set would direct me to look ‘bored’ or ‘very nonchalant.’

39. Kanye

It's hard to imagine a man with Kanye's ego as anything other than the Yeezy we know and love (and sometimes love to hate).

Baby KanyeInstagram Just clownin' around

But when Kim Kardashian posted this pic for Ye's birthday, it was a much-needed reminder that he really is just like us. Look at those cheeks!

38. (Even More) Kanye

What, you thought that's all we had for Kanye?

No way.

Image result for teenage kanye

While we're on the subject, here's a fun question:  if you had to associate Ye with one brand, what would it be?

Yep, it's The Gap.

Long before he was making waves with his own collections, Kanye was hanging polos and khakis at everyone's mom's favorite outlet. True story!

37. Zac Efron

If Zac's acting career ever hits a wall (as long as those abs stick around, he's probably safe) he'll always have a fall back in baseball.

Zac Efron KidInstagram

Look at that form! No wonder he knocked it out of the park when he was playing Troy. The guy's been an athlete from the beginning.

36. Taylor Swift

Before T-Swift wiped her Instagram clean in late 2017, she was the undisputed Queen of the well-constructed throwback pic.

Want proof?

Young Taylor SwiftInstagram

Are you kidding me! That's too cute. I mean it. That should be illegal.

Young TswiftInstagram

Of course, what's even better is this flawless Teletubbies get-up. I would pay real money for adult Tswift to break out this costume for a music video. Someone get her on the phone.

35. Adele

Young AdeleInstagram

Fun fact: when she was a little kid, Adele's favorite hobby was chewing bricks.

Just kidding. But those teeth are something else! Luckily she's grown 'em all back now, and is looking better than ever these days.

Adele factsImágenes y fondos

34. Justin Bieber

Justin's been in the spotlight so long, it's easy to forget he had a pretty normal childhood before Usher and YouTube brought him into the sun.

Here he is practicing his boxing:

Bieber youngInstagram

And here is the Justin that stole the heart of a billion tween girls:

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 2.31.38 PMInstagram

33. Rihanna

Riri is a goddess, and if this picture proves anything, it's that her confidence is nothing new.

Young RihannaInstagram

That's the coy smile of a girl who's already composing Work in her head, and getting ready to swerve Drake like it's her job.

32. Reese Witherspoon

Reese started her career when she was just a teenager, which makes you think it might be hard to find a photo from before she hit the silver screen.

Think again!

Reese Witherspoon kidInstagram

My god, talk about a cuteness OD. She was precious!

Of course, she also grew up fast. Here she is on the set of her second movie:

Prefame Reese WitherspoonInstagram

31. Jamie Foxx

It's tempting to believe that a man with the suave and sophisticated air of Jamie Foxx was simply born that way.

jamie foxx hairFlickr

NOPE. Even Foxx had his awkward stage. In this case, it's an unfortunate experiment with Jheri curls, which were all the rage back in the dirty '80s.

Side note: name a more iconic duo than the 1980s and frickin outrageous hair.

30. Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth was apparently one of those people that just never had to deal with looking silly.

liam hemsworth

That's him hanging out with his high-school girlfriend (who, rumor has it, he dumped as soon as he met Miley Cyrus).

29. Beyonce

Even 'Yonce once looked a little bit silly...

Young BeyonceInstagram

JUST KIDDING. Are you insane?? Beyoncé was a goddang adorable little kid, because of course she was.

You should know better.

28. Kylie Jenner

The Jenners might honestly be the best in the game when it comes to throwbacks.

kendall & kylie prefameInstagram

Too cute! And look at Kylie's outfit. She was stunting even then.

kylie jennerInstagram

This one is... admittedly a little less flattering. Still, though, that hair is pretty fly.

27. Drake

Drake is my favorite entry on this list.

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 1.39.32 PMInstagram

In fairness to Aubrey, he doesn't actually look much different these days. He has one of those blessed faces that remains unravaged by the passing of time.

Young DrakeInstagram

That being said, he did look like THE nerd. Where are his muscles?

26. Gigi Hadid

There are so many adorable pictures of the Hadid sisters growing up, it was honestly hard not to put them all in this list. I guess when your mom is a model you're just destined to be photogenic.


That one is pretty great, but it's got nothing on this:

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 2.38.37 PMInstagram

That is the best of them all. Remember: just because you're a family of models, doesn't mean it's easy to get everyone to sit still and take a freakin' photo.

25. Ariana Grande

Before you look at the photo, I want to warn you: it turns out Ariana was not rocking the ponytail her whole life.

I know.

I know.


Now if that's not the most ridiculously cute little kid you've ever seen, you should consider yourself blessed.

24. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is an ageless monster.

Hugh Jackman high schoolInstagram

Seriously. There is absolutely no difference between his graduation photo and any given photo of him today.

The question is: what's his secret? Clearly Hugh is holding on to some kind of futuristic, sci-fi-style elixir of youth.

23. Nicole Kidman


Whoa! Talk about a change. Nicole Kidman had a serious Hermoine thing going on back in the day.

Compare that to her curls now...

Nicole Kidman quizGetty Images

And sure, there's some similarity. But she doesn't have quite the same 'do anymore.

22. Khloe Kardashian

The Kardashians are the undisputed Queens of the glow-up, and here Khloe proves that yet again.

Khloe Kardashian KidInstagram

Don't get us wrong, she was adorable...


But look at her now! (And try to name a cuter kid. I'll wait)

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 4.25.01 PM

21. Nick Jonas AND Miley Cyrus

"#tbt When you're 13... hanging with your first crush and you're trying to play it cool. #wheresmydeodorant"

That was Nick's caption when he posted this spicy pic on IG. What else can we say?


I remember being a 13-year-old boy. That armpit stain is the most relatable content I've ever seen.

20. Christian Bale

If you think Christian Bale's constant weight changes make him unrecognizable today, just take a look at this throwback:

christian bale kidWikicommons


Whoa! Hard to believe that kid is just a few short decades from pummeling the Joker.

Of course, he grew up pretty fast...

christain bale youngFlickr


19. Sarah Silverman

This is Sarah Silverman, minutes before one of the first auditions of her career:

sarah silverman

Now that is a great photo. Not just because it shows that Sarah was absolutely slaying it back then, but also because it shows the funny lady in a bit of a more vulnerable moment. You can just see how nervous she must have been!

18. Amanda Seyfried

If this photo doesn't make your heart melt, I just do not know what to do for you.

Amanda SeyfriedInstagram

That is 100% pure A-Grade cuteness. Chubby cheeks? Check. Pre-braces teeth? Check. All-around adorable-ness? Check check check.

17. Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez OldschoolInstagram

Is this one cheating? Maybe. Technically speaking, Selena was already "famous" at this point (after all, does it get better than Barney?).

That being said, I think it's fair to say this shot came about before most people knew just how big Selena was going to be.

16. Lindsay Lohan

A girl like Lindsay Lohan has been partying it up and breaking it down for so long, it's easy to forget she was once just a little kid.

Here she is as Princess Jasmine:

Young LohanInstagram

Beautiful. And it makes me even happier now that she's back on the straight and narrow.

15. Chris Pratt

Young Chris PrattInstagram

That's the face of a kid who was born to crack some jokes.

Chris Pratt HighschoolInstagram

And that is the face of a man born to break some hearts.

14. Harry Styles

Young Harry Styles is less "Mr. Steal Yo Girl" and more "Mr. Too Nervous To Talk To A Girl".

harry stles

Sorry, that's a little mean. Let's be honest: even back then, Harry was cute as a button.

13. Lady Gaga

Most of us know Gaga for her... unique style. I'm thinking meat dress.

Then again, with movies like A Star Is Born (absolutely incredible, by the way) she's starting to remind us that behind the wild persona, there's still just a regular woman.

Pictures like this help to make that connection:

lady gag babyInstagram

And pictures like this one...

lady gagaTwitter

and this one...

lady gaga oldInstagram

Help to remind you that even world-conquering popstars went through the same slightly awkward phase in high-school.

12. Kim Kardashian

Young Kim KardashianInstagram

When Kim threw this picture up on IG, the internet nearly exploded.

Even better was her caption: "Catholic School Girl 8th Grade"

Simple. Plain. Tells the whole story.

Young KimInstagram

Meanwhile, this pic shows Kim with Nicole Richie, back when both were clearly working through a little bit of tween cringe.

Just a little bit, though.

11. Hillary Duff

Here's a reminder that Hillary Duff was famous from a crazy young age:

Hillary Duff YoungInstagram

10. The Rock

Back when the Rock was just a pebble, he posed for this photo:

The Rock KidInstagram

Clearly, his confidence is nothing new. That's a kid with a ton of swag.

Of course, he did have his awkward years.

the rock

That photo is... less flattering.

9. The Rock (Evolved)

Oh, you thought that was all the pictures of Dwayne that we had?

No way.

the rock teenFacebook

Shown here in a picture he put on Facebook, we can see that The Rock was tacking on mass at a young age.

Great 'stache too.

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 1.36.37 PMInstagram

And then, of course, there is this absolute gem. Where would the internet be without this pic?

I've got just three things to say:



Fanny pack

8. Katy Perry

Are you ready for this??

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 1.33.33 PMInstagram

Whoa! Not that it's a bad photo, but that looks almost nothing like the Katy we know.

Of course, it also proves she was belting it out when she was still just a spring chicken.

Here's another fun one:

katy perry

Katy posted that to her own Instagram, with the caption, "When ur face is desperate for likes".

7. Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds is hot. I'm not afraid to say it.

Then again, it's good to remember that hotness can be a little controversial. So with that in mind, take a look at one of the most polarizing photos of all-time.

Young Ryan ReynoldsInstagram

Bam! When Reynolds posted that on his IG, the internet was divided. Some thought that boy-band Ryan was even more attractive. Others were not afraid to absolutely roast him in the comments.

It's hard to be handsome, I guess.

6. Blake Lively

Don't think that Ryan brings all the oldschool cool to our favorite celeb power couple. Blake has a funny side herself.

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 2.05.50 PMInstagram

Now that is how you do a throwback. Turns out Lively isn't just gorgeous: she's funny as heck too.

P.S. Where do I buy cat goggles? Asking for a friend...

5. Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde is the closest thing to perfection we can possibly imagine. Even as a teenager she was absolutely killing it.

Related image

Seriously--- that picture makes me angry. Leave some pretty for the rest of us, Wilde.

4. Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner wasn't always the best arrow-shooter on a team of actual superheros.

He used to have a pretty sweet mullet, too.

Young Jeremy RennerTwitter

Boom! When I think style, I will now think mullet and white tux. When Renner wore this get-up to his prom, he raised the bar for everyone. We just didn't know it.

3. Matthew McConaughey

Before he was famous, Matthew McConaughey worked on a golf course. At first, he was just in charge of raking sand traps... but before long the groundskeeper had convinced him to make some extra dough by shooting the armadillos who liked to eat the greens.

That's right. Gaze upon the face of a full-blown, professional armadillo murderer.

matthew mconaugheyPinterest

Pure evil.

2. Cardi B

Cardi B is the Sass Queen.

By the looks of this photo, that attitude is nothing new.

Cardi B YoungTwitter

Are you kidding me? Work it, Cardi. She's got so much spice in this photo, I feel like I need a glass of milk.

Bravo, I say. Bravo

1. The Whole Clan

Here it is. The final masterpiece.

Old pic kardashian family

The Kardashian-Jenners, way back before they'd made Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook into their own personal kingdoms. A good reminder that even the world's most famous family is, at the end of the day, just a family.

Bonus Round: Penn Badgley

Yeah, that's right: Former Gossip Girl star, Penn Badgley, used to be pretty darn emo.

Penn PadgleyFanpop

To be fair, who didn't used to be a little emo? One minute you're straightening your bangs, the next minute you're the star of your own Netflix show.

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