Sometimes we get caught on film under bad lighting, at bad angles or wearing ugly outfits. Maybe we’re having a bad face or hair day and someone wants to take our picture. We feel obliged to let them because we don’t want to be a Scrooge around Christmas, even though we know today’s regrettable snapshot will be tagged and multiplied on social media a hundredfold tomorrow.
Celebrities are even more at risk of bad snaps going viral because cameras are always around them and photographers are keen to capitalize on earnings from even a regrettable pic.
Let’s have a look back at some Christmas pasts in the lives of the rich and famous, while cringing over 15 embarrassing Christmas photos these celebrities surely regret.
15 Harry Styles makes only an okay elf
It’s probably not a compliment for certain grown men to hear that they’d make a good elf. Elves are generally the opposite of what a full grown burly man aspires to be. Elves are slim, lithe and built like teenage boys. Also, elves don’t seem too intelligent. Their relationship with Santa sounds exploitative, really. Why don’t they rise up against his tyranny and bring anarchy to the North Pole?
Harry Styles makes a passable elf, we suppose, but he doesn’t seem elf enough because he’s missing a hat, for one thing. He looks like a human teenage boy dressed up as an elf because that’s pretty much what he was here. It must make him cringe, though, to see this pic of himself dressed as a half-*ssed elf.
14 One of Justin Timberlake’s few regrets
It must be kind of tortuous growing up in the public eye, having your awkward teen years globally broadcast and saved for eternity. Awkward though he once might have been, Justin Timberlake’s done really, really well for himself. No one could argue that. He’s super talented in many ways (singing, dancing, acting) and has been in the public eye for a very long time. And he’s no train wreck! Not at all. He does, however, have to endure some embarrassing snaps as he looks back at times such as this when he was captured as a gangly teen wearing a garland noose around his space jacket. Luckily, this look never caught on, but Justin’s so talented he transcends having to live down a silly pic here and there.
13 Blink and you’ll miss Katy Perry’s bad snap
Katy looks super cute in her Santa’s helper getup. She’s a world famous pop star and she checks off all boxes here for looking smokin’ hot, which is something she rarely fails at. The only problem with this pic is the camera caught Katy having a really bad face moment. She’s got a Bugs Bunny overbite with a wink and an eye roll all combining into one unflattering facial expression. Maybe she’s hitting a high note and knows from experience that an overbite while simultaneously rolling her eyes up will help her nail it. You know how it is when you’re applying mascara and, for some reason, your mouth has to be a little bit open to really do it right? Maybe this situation for her is like that.
12 Happy Holidays from O.J.
Some of us are old enough to remember O.J. when he was a sports hero and champion. As 1968’s Heisman Trophy winner, O.J. was once beloved by fans worldwide. He was handsome, likable and funny. He ran through the airport in Hertz car rental commercials and was hilarious in The Naked Gun movies. If those murders had never happened, O.J. would totally be worshiped as a bona fide sports icon today.
In short, O.J.’s fall from grace cannot be overstated. He may be a laughingstock and butt of grisly jokes nowadays, but once upon a time, ridicule seemed the furthest thing from his spotless public persona. Good thing a knife’s missing from this picture because that would heighten its irony by about a bazillion.
11 What’s this about, again?
When it comes to Paris Hilton’s Christmas card, the “Merry Christmas” greeting seems an afterthought and her own image is front and centre. That seems to be the theme of much of the first 30 or so years of her life. Whatever talents Paris may have had (apparently, she’s DJing these days) as a really young woman sat undiscovered because she was a socialite having fun, going to parties, making a s*x tape and appearing in the tabloids. She became famous mostly by being out and about and being seen. Like a Kardashian, Paris had mainly tabloid celebrity. Also much like a Kardashian, Paris knew how to milk her fleeting celebrity as seen in this seductive pic where, of course, Paris poses front and centre and Christmas takes a back seat.
10 Arnold, Maria and the maid…
Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver were a power couple in Hollywood and the political sphere. Schwarzenegger, of course, is the bodybuilder and famous actor who also served as California’s governor; his wife, Maria Shriver, is a member of the politically influential Kennedy family, (Shriver’s mother, Eunice, was President John F. Kennedy’s younger sister). Schwarzenegger and Shriver were married for many years before it was revealed in 2011 that Schwarzenegger had had an affair with the family’s beloved long-time maid Mildred Baena. In fact, Schwarzenegger fathered a child with Baena, keeping it a secret from his wife. Schwarzenegger and Shriver divorced soon after the truth came out.
This photo’s embarrassing because it shows Maria and Arnold next to a picture of Maria with her good friend and trusted housekeeper, who just happens to be her husband's mistress. Yikes!
9 Andy Murray poses in his Christmas jumper
Murray’s probably not embarrassed whatsoever by this pic because he posted it to his Twitter account on December 25, 2014 with the comment: “As you can see I'm chuffed to bits with my Christmas jumper #FireInTheBelly.”
While most public figures might be too embarrassed to post pictures of themselves first thing in the morning, (still in PJs with messy hair), sports figures like this tennis champ tend to be an exception since they’re used to sweating it out on camera with mussed hair while grimacing and making tortured facial expressions on the court. So, while many might be embarrassed by such a photo, for a stellar tennis champ like Andy Murray (who also seems to have a great sense of humor), this is nothing.
8 Kiefer Sutherland’s classic Christmas tree dive
Back in December 2005, Kiefer was filming a documentary in Europe called I Trust You to Kill Me. During a London stop, tabloid footage surfaced of a seemingly inebriated Sutherland tackling a Christmas tree in a hotel lobby went viral. In the 10-second clip, a voice off camera says: “Kiefer, you’re a pirate, man,” to which Kiefer responds: “That would explain everything.” Then, Kiefer turns from the camera and runs towards a nearby Christmas tree and tackles it, knocking the tree down.
Needless to say, this is some classic festive footage for the annals of drunken celebrity hi-jinks. Kiefer later posted a holiday card on Twitter which showed him posed as if ready to pounce on another Christmas tree with the caption “just joking.”
7 When the Grinch stole Santa’s hat…
Okay, we’re pretty sure this Santa hat was Photoshopped onto Bob Dylan’s head for this image because we Googled Dylan’s Christmas album, Christmas In The Heart, on Amazon and this is not the album’s cover. Anyway, whether or not Dylan actually legitimately posed for this, his face is not flattered by a Santa hat. You see, sometimes and on some faces, Santa hats bring out the natural jolly in one’s looks—though, unfortunately, that’s not true of Dylan here. He looks more like a Scrooge doing a grouchy impersonation of Santa.
Even though Dylan may have had no hand in this pic, it’s still got to be embarrassing because it’s many years later now and we still have no idea whether or not it’s a joke.
6 Prince Harry’s probably the only one who cringes when he sees this…
Of course this picture is totally adorable and not embarrassing to anyone at all—except for maybe Prince Harry.
Growing up in the public eye as a royal, and especially now with technology and social media, it’s like the world can dip into his embarrassing baby pictures whenever they want to at any time, any place. We only have to Google Prince Harry’s name and find a treasure trove of baby photos.
You know when you bring a new love interest over to meet your parents and get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when Mom whips out the old baby pictures? Of course, we were all adorable as tots—but still, it’s embarrassing! Who wants their latest love interest to see them in diapers?
5 Starship Enterprise crew wins the ugly Christmas sweater contest
It was obviously ugly Christmas sweater day on the Starship Enterprise when these pics were taken. Spock and Kirk were having an ugly sweater showdown and the whole crew joined in. Based on these pictures, it looks like Spock wins (versus Kirk) with his knitted pullover of headphone-wearing and apparently dancing robots. We wonder what would happen if they landed on an alien planet and exited the spaceship wearing these. Would aliens think they’d come in peace or see them as a bitter enemy, based on these knitted eyesores? That’s assuming aliens have the sense of sight. Who knows whether aliens have developed other senses undetectable to humans. We bet that even with altered senses, outer space aliens would still find these hideous sweaters offensive.
4 Tsk-tsk Ronald Reagan
Some of us may be old enough to remember when Reagan was the American president since he held office for two terms in the 1980s. There may even be elders among us who remember Reagan’s days as an actor before he went into politics. He was quite well known as in Hollywood, too. He may not have been on the A-list, but Reagan remained solidly on the Hollywood B-list with a full career of filmmaking, dating and marrying fellow actors, before moving on to an even more successful political career that culminated in him being elected U.S. president.
Reagan, however, probably would have regretted being featured in cigarette ads such as these when it came to light publicly around the mid-1950s that cigarettes were dangerous for anyone’s health.
3 Regrettable Christmas card
When former British PM Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, posed for this Christmas card a couple of years ago, it provoked a lot of negative response online due to Blair’s fierce facial expression. What was up with the look on Blair’s face here, people wondered. To think the photographer who took this probably took many pictures of the Blairs that day to get just the right image for their annual Christmas card and this was the photo that won out? What does that say about the reject pile from the rest of this shoot?
We think that Blair maybe was actually trying to smile here but neglected to turn up the corners of his mouth so he looks to be baring his teeth at the camera.
2 Jimi Hendrix makes a bad Santa
Jimi Hendrix never intentionally recorded a Christmas album. These tracks of him playing Christmas tunes are only 16 minutes in total and consist of impromptu Hendrix jamming renditions of “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Three Little Bears,” “Auld Lang Syne” and “Silent Night." They were recorded in December of 1969 and Jimi apparently was only messing around in the studio at the time. Of course, after Hendrix’s premature death in 1970, everything he ever recorded turned to gold and these tracks were ultimately released as a Hendrix Christmas compilation.
That story kind of makes sense because, as you see on the cover of what ultimately was released circa the mid-1970s, they must have used an old joke photo of Jimi posed as a slapdash Santa for the album’s cover.
1 We get it, it’s snowing
Wow, it’s really snowing. The snow’s like a flood, really. It’s like after Hurricanes Irma and Maria where people rafted down city streets because flood waters were so high—except in this case it’s snow.
Roger Whittaker clearly just came in from a blizzard with snow piled ten feet high. He had to dig furiously just to get to his car. Then, with the snow over everyone’s head, he realized driving was impossible so he crawled back up his driveway, burrowing and feeling his way to his front door and lo and behold, the photographer waited there to take the cover shot for Roger’s upcoming Christmas album. Roger’s such a trooper he didn’t even brush the snow away—he just stood there and let the lens man shoot.