Ah, the yearbook photo. Remember how stressful yearbook photo day was at school? You had to pick the perfect outfit, or at least the perfect shirt since that’s all the photo would capture. And your hair needed to be on point. You had to capture the best style and the trendiest look. Makeup needed to be perfect. In fact, the girl’s bathroom was always packed on the morning of yearbook photos with everyone trying to do final touch-ups of their hair and makeup. And of course, you had to work on your poses and your smile. Are you going to look over your shoulder? Are you going for the slight head tilt? Will it be a big toothy grin or just a demure smile? So many decisions! And then you have to live with however that photo turned out not only for the rest of high school but for the rest of your life. Yearbook photos are perfect relics of years gone by.
Rather than digging up our own yearbook photos, we thought it would be way more fun to look at celebrity yearbook shots and see how our fave actors and actresses have faired over the years. We’ve got the best of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s right here for you. We’re talking big hair, bushy eyebrows, and clown makeup. Get ready!
16. A Mullet Is Never A Good Idea
Wow. Just, wow. It’s hard to be anything but shocked when looking at this awful mullet that Peter Dinklage was rocking back in the day. The mullet was a terrible look on anyone but it seems to have hit Pete here especially hard. Luckily, he’s found a much more flattering hairstyle these days as the witty Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Peter grew up with a love for performing. His brother was a violinist and the two would put on musical puppet shows for their family. In 5th grade, Peter stared in The Velveteen Rabbit and immediately fell in love with acting. He continued to pursue acting at his all-boys Catholic high school and in college at Bennington. After graduating, he moved to NYC with a friend to start their own acting company. Sadly, the company didn’t work out and Peter resigned himself to a job in data processing. Luckily, he returned to his dream of acting and we get to see his face on our screens.
15. Is This A Mugshot?
Um, so why does James Franco look like he’s posing for his mug shot? He looks a little scary, no? What high school teenager needs to look this serious and upset for a yearbook photo? It’s a little disturbing. And quite frankly, it looks nothing like him! We’re used to James’ big goofy grin and floppy curly hair. Without those things, he just looks kind of displaced and sad. I can sort of see him as the loner kid in the back of the classroom. His expression says, “Why do I have to pose for this stupid photo anyway?” James looks like he might have blended in back in the day. Where’s the wild and chaotic actor we’re used to seeing on our screens and posting weird stuff on Instagram? Well, at this point in his life James was dabbling in some high school plays. But he was also dabbling in underage drinking, graffiti, and stealing. So maybe that explains why this yearbook photo looks like a mug shot!
14. Horrible Perm
Okay, Paul Rudd. You easily take the cake for worst hair in a yearbook photo ever. This is truly horrendous. How did you even get your hair to do this? It’s like someone got a perm and then tried to cut it into a mullet shape. Yuck! Luckily, Paul is looking much more handsome these days and he has his hair under control. He still has the exact same grin today as he did in this old school shot. Some things never change! While Paul was born in New Jersey to Jewish parents of English descent, the family eventually settled in Kansas after spending some time in California. As a child, Paul loved reading comics. After graduating from high school, Paul majored in theater at the University of Kansas. He also took acting classes in LA and in Britain. To support himself during college, Paul worked as a Bar Mitzvah DJ. How cool would it be to have Paul Rudd DJ your Bar Mitzvah? Especially if he was still rocking that haircut.
13. All That Retro
How can we not start with the hair? This hair is just screaming retro! It’s not 100% Amy’s fault since this was in style at the time. But boy, this photo has not aged well. We bet Amy cringes anytime this photo shows up on the interwebs. The old school hairstyle was just not very flattering on her. With her golden hued tresses, she’s giving off a lion mane type of look. It kind of looks like she was sitting right in front of a super powerful fan or she walked through a windstorm before the photo was taken. Luckily, Amy’s hairstyle has improved in the time that we’ve known her as the funny lady of Parks n Rec and Saturday Night Live. She said buh-bye to these ridiculous whispy bangs and crazy pouff. But that smile is still the same!
12. Is That The Future Queen Of Pop?
Madonna? Is that you? What? How? This sweet smiling ordinary woman would go on to rock a cone bra, sing about losing her v-card and make-out with two female pop stars during a live broadcast. Um, how did we get there? Does this doe-eyed little school girl look like the future Queen of Pop? Not exactly. In fact, in high school, Madonna was known best for her straight-A average and for being a cheerleader. So wholesome, right? Well, her rebellious ways had begun to sink in. Madonna loved to cartwheel down the halls and in elementary school, she enjoyed flashing her panties to the boys. Eventually, she left high school and headed to the University of Michigan on a dance scholarship. After attending college for a short time, she dropped out, moved to New York and began dancing with local troops while waitressing to support herself. And from there, a pop star diva was born!
11. Forever Goofy
How adorable is Emma Stone? We’d recognize that cute little grin anywhere! Modern day Emma still has this goofy look that her teenage self-mastered so well. But turns out, it’s hard to get a yearbook photo of Emma because she only attended one semester of high school. Emma was homeschooled for two years during which she appeared in 16 local plays. She went to an all-girls Catholic school for high school but decided it wasn’t for her. Emma was set on becoming a Hollywood star. So, like any ambitious 13 year old, Emma prepared a PowerPoint presentation for her parents called Project Hollywood. The presentation was all about Emma convincing her parents that she should be allowed to move to LA and pursue acting. Finally, they relented. In 2004, Emma and her mom moved to LA where Emma went out on every audition, completed high school classes online, and worked at a dog treat bakery.
10. All-American Girl Next Door
Aww, what a sweetheart! Here we have Jennifer Garner a bit before she grew into her beauty. Her mousy haircut and overgrown eyebrows aren’t doing her any favors. But those dimples are always going to win us over. She looks like the classic all-American girl next door. Jennifer grew up in a pretty strict household where she wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, pierce her ears or dye her hair. She attended church every Sunday and bible camp in the summer. In high school, Jennifer played sax in the marching band and was the water girl for the football team. How adorable is that? At the same time, she was taking parts in local musical theater productions and taking dance lessons. By the time she got to Denison University, Jenn quickly changed her major from chemistry to acting. Chemistry? What were you thinking Jennifer?
9. A Success From The Start
Aww, how sweet is this shot of Oprah? She just looks like such a baby! I wish we could go back and tell this little sweetheart that she would one day be a huge media mogul, super successful talk show host and all-around boss babe. Would she have believed us? Maybe not. But that’s okay because she is looking as cute as ever. Look at those peace-sign earrings and choker necklace! And what about those perfect flipped out curls? So chic, Oprah. Despite her sweet look, Oprah had a really hard childhood. She was born to an unwed teenage mother who left her with other relatives whenever she didn’t want her. She suffered abuse at the hands of her family members and ran away at the age of 13. Without any help from her family, Oprah managed to make honor roll, join the speech team, and get a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. Yeah, maybe she did know she was destined for success.
8. How Ya Doin?
Look, it’s Joey! How adorable is Matt LeBlanc in this shot? He was such a cutie back in high school! He just looks so young and sweet. Even the expression on his face is a little dopey – like he doesn’t know he’s a cute guy. We’re loving the messy hair and untamed eyebrows. Also, the guy rocked a full-on suit for his yearbook photos, so you know he’s a keeper. Matt attended Newton North High School in Massachusetts and graduated in 1985. You know who else is a Newton North alum and graduated at the exact same time? Louis CK! How cool is that? We’re hoping Matt and Louis were friends. We can just see the two of them going out for school plays and cracking each other up during class. They probably served a couple detentions together since we’re assuming these two were total clowns and pranksters. After graduation, Matt started getting acting work in commercials and soap operas. And it wasn’t too long after that when a little show called Friends came around and made Matt a star.
7. Bad Boy Band
Let’s just say we’re all thankful that Chace Crawford grew out of this stage and became the hunky Hollywood actor we all know him as today. Because washed-up surfer dude was not really working for Chace back in the day. Sure, he’s still a good looking guy, but he’s really working hard to hide it. Let’s start with the awful bleached blonde hair and Bieber-esque haircut. Not a good look! And then we’ve got those caterpillars above his eyes that are just dying to be waxed, tweezed or threaded. Clearly, Chace wasn’t into personal grooming yet. That little patch on his chin is giving us the creeps. And then, because this was the 2000s, we have to have a choker necklace and Abercrombie shirt. Oh, Chace. We are so glad things got better for you after this photo. Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen would never waste their time with a mess like this.
6. Extra Height Thanks To Her Hair
How cute is little Eva? The cutest! She is also rocking the old school pouf up top. How long do you think it took for ladies back in the day to get their hair to stay up like that? That extra height was probably really important to Eva since she’s not even 5’2″. And what about that giant white collar? Now that is super retro. Plus the dark lipstick and overplucked eyebrows? Yes, this photo is such a perfect reflection of the times. Eva grew up in Texas and worked part-time at Wendy’s during high school. After high school, Eva went on to study kinesiology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. It was there that she got involved in talent competitions that eventually led her out to LA. But Eva wasn’t done with school. In 2013, she returned to California State University to get her masters degree in Chicano Studies. What a smartypants!
5. Laughing At Herself
One of our fave ladies of comedy is probably falling over with laughter every time she looks at this picture. Chelsea is kind of rocking the same lion mane as Amy, only hers is more wild at the bottom and slightly lower off the top. She totally looks like an extra from Beverly Hills, 90210. Chelsea totally looks like she was the cool girl in school. She probably spent hours that morning getting her hair and makeup just right. And that expression on her face tells the camera she is way too popular for this. She’s not overdoing it with a big cheesy grin. She’s going with a more subtle expression to show that she’s so over all this high school stuff. But despite being too cool for school, Chelsea still wanted to make a good impression. So she’s rocking huge earrings to show off her trendsetting style. Chelsea may have been that girl in high school who had no clue you even existed.
4. There’s No Difference
Does she not age? The most shocking thing about this photo is this is Anne in high school and yet it looks EXACTLY like her right now! Seriously, what is this woman’s skincare routine? She’s 34 right now and still looks exactly like her high school self. That’s insane! We want those genes, please. Unlike many celebs, Anne actually has quite a bit of schooling under her belt. In high school, she played soccer and, of course, acted in many school plays. She even won an award for her role in Once Upon A Mattress. After high school, she studied English and Political Science at Vassar College and then transferred to NYU. At this point, Anne was already starting to get acting roles, including her famous breakout part in The Princess Diaries. Anne continued to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Anne says if she wasn’t an actress, she’d be a psychologist or English teacher.
3. Mop Head
Okay, so this photo is a huge shocker because we just aren’t used to seeing Stanley Tucci WITH HAIR! We know him as a beautiful bald man with a big grin and bigger glasses. But here he is with more hair than we’ve ever seen. Look at that mop on his head! That’s a full head of very thick, bushy hair. And can we talk about those eyebrows? Hello, bushman! So Stanley, where did it all go? To be honest, Stanley totally rocks the bald head so we’re not too sad to see all his hair gone in modern days. Stanley grew up in a very artistic household. His mom was a writer and his father was an art teacher. The family even spent a year living abroad in their native Italy. In high school and later in college at SUNY Purchase, Stanley studied acting. Shortly after graduating, Stanley got a little role on Broadway and soon found himself starring in big Hollywood movies.
2. That’s So 70
I think we all just need to take a moment and appreciate what is happening on Alec’s head. Yes, this was a very long time ago. We’re talking the 1970’s. But that hair is just too much! It’s hard to even recognize the Alec we know now in this photo. Granted, Alec in 2017 is pushing 60 while this guy looks like a high school sophomore. In high school, Alec played football and worked as a busboy at the local disco. He attended George Washington University and received a personal letter from Richard Nixon (a family friend) when he lost the student body election. But there was no stopping Alec. He transferred to NYU where he began to study acting and eventually landed a coveted spot at the Actors Studio. During his college years, Alec began to get work in soap operas, movies and on Broadway.
1. Bad Haircut
We did not believe that this was Pamela Anderson. Jessica Biel, maybe. But Pamela Anderson? No way! We are used to thinking of Pamela Anderson as the well-endowed Baywatch babe with the bleached blonde hair – not a cherubic little kid with a terrible haircut. Seriously, what is this haircut? Is she trying to rock a mullet? And what’s with the outfit? The Pam Anderson we know would never rock a neckline that high! After suffering abuse as a child, Pamela went on to play volleyball in high school with hopes of pursuing a career in stardom. After finishing high school, she moved to Vancouver, Canada and worked as a fitness instructor. It was there that she got her big break as a model – Pamela appeared on the jumbotron of a local football game wearing a beer company’s t-shirt and was hired by the company as a spokesmodel. That same year, she stared in Playboy.
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