For some reason, people expect that celebrities that are good looking have never had an ugly phase in their life. They also assume that celebrities were never hated on in high school, or that child actors don’t get horrific blemishes and have never taken a bad photo. Not only is this impossible, it has been proven to be wrong. Celebrities will tell you how serious their glow up has been, especially when they know they came from a ROUGH place. There have been a number of celebs on social media that have exposed their own awkward phases, quickly followed by a photo of their amazing glow up. Yes, fans know that a majority of their glow ups is due to makeup tricks, plastic surgery and great lighting, yet, they still can’t help but be shocked as they see the before and after. Some celebs will be honest and talk about how awkward they looked in their younger years, some even make jokes about it, but then there are the ones who choose to not even acknowledge that they were ever a teenager. Maybe the memories are too painful for them.
Regardless, there is no way someone hasn’t had that one awkward phase in life, whether it is in childhood, adolescence, or even as an adult. These awkward celebrity high school photos are sure to make anyone reading feel a tiny bit better about their awkward phase in life.
15 Amy Poehler
At first, we assumed that this was Amy Poehler in costume for an SNL skit or on the set of one of her films. Then we realized we’ve never seen this character before. After a lot of digging, we discovered that this is an actual photo of Poehler in high school. The funny woman looks like a hot mess and we can’t help but love her even more for looking like this. Honestly, we believe that she never truly left her awkward stage because she pulls it off so well. However, there are times when her glow up truly shines and she looks like a brand new person. Poehler probably doesn’t even see this photo as awkward. She probably sees it as her living her best life at that moment. Why can’t we all be like the comedienne?
14 Joe Manganiello
By now this photo of Sophia Vergara's husband, Joe Manganiello, has made the rounds online but let’s be honest, it will never get old. He just looks like a guy who is dying to be a jock but lacking every physical requirement. Compared to today, he looks like the kid that would grow up to still be a nerd but be worth a lot of money. The money part isn’t totally wrong, but the still-nerdy part is *definitely* wrong, at least in the physical sense. There are two great things about this photo: One, the glasses. Those are so in currently. He should try to find them again. Second, he doesn’t even seem to realize that he’s a little nerd. He looks like he has so much confidence – dare we assume he was somewhat of a mack with the ladies? All that practice came in handy.
13 Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest was a little chubster in his day; how adorable! He looks like the kid who would sit with the girls that everyone considered losers and eat snack packs with them. How can you not love him in this photo? We may even prefer him in this state than his current state. There is just something about chubby boys – they are just so appreciative of everything and everyone. Seacrest currently comes off a bit cocky. For sure, there is no denying that he has transformed himself and we appreciate every minute of it, but there is something about young Ryan Seacrest that has us buzzing. The glasses, the braces, the fluffy hair and those big, adorable, rosy cheeks. It makes want to say, “Awwwwww!”
12 James Franco
Ah, James Franco looks like a completely different person. It actually took us a minute to realize who it was AND we had to do research to make sure we were correct. It definitely looks like him, but does anyone else look at this photo and see wannabe rapper? The smug look on his face, the button-up shirt, and the one raised eyebrow... Are we crazy or does he look like a guy who is hardcore into Beastie Boys and totally wrapped up in the Biggie/Tupac drama at the time? Looks wise, he got over this awkward bald-headed, round-faced look but personality wise, he’s still a bit…off. Does he look like a guy with a genius mind? Or even someone who could apply to and get into Harvard on grades alone?
11 Victoria Beckham
We aren’t saying that Victoria Beckham looks jacked up but, she looks jacked up and it’s mostly the teeth. She looks cute in an awkward, hasn’t-come-into-her-prime kind of way. This is a far cry from the Victoria we know now. Hell, this is a far cry from the Victoria we knew as Posh Spice. We commend her glow up, but we know a lot of it is in part to plastic surgery (she’ll admit it). The side ponytail is everything and there is no chance in hell this photo would look this awkward without it. That being said, she stayed true to her fashion girl heart by having bomb AF hairstyles to make her photo unique.
10 Colton Haynes
Fans know Colton Haynes as a hard body cutie from Teen Wolf and a bunch of other random things. But, this Colton Haynes is one that we had no clue existed. He almost looks like a joke with this Josh Hartnett circa The Faculty haircut, and it’s as if he just missed the flash with that goofy smile. What’s great is that he still has the same smile and generally looks the same – just a little nerdie,r and hasn’t quite got the camera timing down. Something he no doubt has now perfected. Haynes probably looks at this photo and laughs which is what we would do. The only thing that does look a bit different is his eyes they look smaller but that could be because he may be squinting.
9 Chris Evans
Chris Evans looks classic. The necklace with a black rope, the shirt-on-top-of-shirt style, and the mushroom cut. Oh dear, he still looks so cute! Just a different kind of cute; like a kid brother cute. Now, he’s a rock-hard body, every guy's man crush kind of cute. It’s funny that his smile is the same, he just grew into it. He still has those perfect teeth and even in his teenage years he had great skin, curse him. We have to wonder where he fit in in high school. Was he a nerd? A jock? A geeky kid that was into Star Wars or Star Trek? It’s like he can’t be put into a box. There is one undeniably awkward thing about this photo, though: His ears. They are big, they stick out, and even now, he hasn’t grown into them.
8 Russel Brand
We won’t say he looks amazing currently, but we respect his glow up. He was once a chunky kid with all dark features. To be honest, he kind of looks like Pugsley Addams. He’s grown into those thick eyebrows and his hair looks way better. He looks like he may have even gotten a nose job. Regardless, his glow up is one of the best we have ever seen. It’s not that he looks like a completely different person (because he doesn’t). And, it’s not that he oozes sex appeal now (because to some, he doesn’t). It’s more like, he grew into his looks then used yoga to sculpt his body. Clearly, he has put a lot of time and effort into his glow up.
7 Jonathan Cheban
Kim Kardashian’s best friend and occasional publicist, Jonathan Cheban can’t truly be considered a star. We will say he is known around the reality world. However, there was no way he wasn’t going to be on this list after we caught a glimpse of his high school photo. One has to seriously question if this is him because, my word, he looks VERY different. There are still glimpses of the new him in this photo, but plastic surgery has really done a number on him. His entire face shape has changed. We can’t even say this photo is awkward... what’s actually awkward is the fact that he has changed so much. He doesn’t even look bad in this picture; he has boyish good looks. All he really needed to do change up that hairstyle.
6 Minka Kelly
Minka Kelly’s high school photo looks like something straight out of the '80s, which is impossible because she isn’t old enough to have been in high school in the '80s. Her bangs are crazy. She has one of those bangs that include too much side-bang and her some up, some down hairstyle is killing it. Of course, she still looks gorgeous. It’s just awkward to see her looking so… what’s the best word to use... messy. Her hair is in her face, and she has a lot of it, so it looks like it is all over the place. To top it off, it could be the sketchy quality of the photo, but it looks like she is rocking that lipstick style where the lip liner is a shade way darker than the lipstick. If she is even wearing lipstick. At least her beauty and fashion is up to date.
5 Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder looks like a boy. We aren’t going to mince words here. She looks like a boy with a punk spike hair cut. If this isn’t awkward then what is? This photo is more awkward then the time she got caught shoplifting. People always wonder what they would look like if they were a different gender. All Winona has to do is look back at her high school yearbook. She’s cute but in a tomboyish kind of way, which isn’t horrible. Her ears stick out of her head and we can’t help but wonder if that is still happening today, just strategically hidden by her hair. This photo is everything. There is no way that anyone can deny that she has had one of the best glow ups
4 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a physique that many people would die to have. He is one of the most sought-after actors currently. He has a beautiful family, and he isn’t just looks, he’s got personality as well. So, one can see why it’s hard for anyone to imagine that he went from this to what he is now. The photo with the suit isn’t too bad, although that mustache is hilarious. It’s the photo with the chain and fanny pack that has us howling with laughter. The turtleneck is a whole different story but what would this outfit be without it? At least he got rid of the mustache and he has fully grown into his looks. One thing is for sure, he still has that great smile and that “I can kick your butt” look.
3 Taylor Swift
Here we go again with Taylor Swift and appropriating culture. People have long suspected that Swift was somewhat of a nerd in high school and if this photo isn’t a slight bit of proof, well, what is? In addition to throwing up gang signs in a suburban, rich neighborhood with a redheaded boy by her side, she also has a goofy AF look on her face that screams ridiculous. It’s a mixture of shocked and WEST SIDEEEEEEEE. The sad part is, we can totally see her reverting to this any day now especially with the new music she has put out. she strikes us as the type of chick to be totally embarrassed by this picture. Meanwhile, the boy she is with probably tells everyone he meets that he took Swifty to prom or junior prom – whatever this is.
2 Charlize Theron
We will start off by saying that Charlize looks stunning in this photo. The only reason why she is on this list is because she looks like the mom from Little House on the Prairie or The Walton’s – one of those two. The pinned-back hair with the little whisps that frame the face, the large rimmed glasses that cover more than just her eyes. It just seems so old timey and to be honest, would anyone else have noticed how big her forehead is if they hadn’t seen this picture? Either way, she can’t seem to ever look bad in a photo. She is just wearing awkward things that make her look like she was a teenager in the 1800s and not in the '80s. And her smile is still perfect, damn her.
1 Mariah Carey
Is it just us or does Mariah Carey resemble David Cassidy in his prime? Seriously, take a look the hair, the pose – even the smile (to an extent). It’s a crazy comparison but then again, maybe it was done on purpose. He was an icon while she was growing up. She looks cute and all, but she just isn’t the Mariah Carey that the world is used to. She isn’t glammed up. In fact, she doesn’t have a lick of makeup on. While her hair has body, it isn’t voluminous, with her signature beautiful shiny waves. It’s hard to imagine Mariah as anything else other than what she is today. She still has those cheekbones though; high and prominent and this photo should confirm that she has definitely gotten a nose job.