Megan Fox burst onto the Hollywood scene after starring alongside Shia LaBeouf in 2007. The image of her character, Mikaela Banes, bending over the engine bay of a yellow Camaro will go down in history as one that sold infinite posters to infinite teenage boys of the era.
But as with any actress who is suddenly launched to superstardom, Megan Fox had been working her way through the Hollywood grinder for a few years, appearing in some sit-coms and landing a few smaller film roles before hitting it big. So, what happened?
From acting lessons to simply growing older, or maybe a style makeover, there are many potential explanations for why an actress all of a sudden blows up. Looking over Megan Fox's history, though, there has been a serious transformation over the years.
From the earliest unrecognizable childhood pics to shots of a young up-and-comer, keep scrolling for 20 early photos of Megan Fox before she became a star.
20 Growing Up
In this early pic of Megan Fox, her youthful good looks are starting to shine through. Hints of the movie star she would eventually become are there, along with the teasing, suggestive expression that she'd become famous for turning on at just the right times in films like Transformers. Of course, she'd become a little more angular in the coming years.
19 Baby Boomer
Megan Fox shared some photos from her earliest days on social media that provided fans with a glimpse into her young childhood. In this grainy shot, she's got short hair and a bit of baby fat and it would be fairly hard to predict that this kid would grow up to become a star, even if the distinctive eyebrows and blue eyes pop out immediately.
18 Stars In The Making
At what point do parents start to think that their children might one day be movie stars? For most parents, their kids look like the cutest, most adorable things on the planet—and they're more than happy to tell everyone that their child is the most advanced, most intuitive baby ever to grace the face of the Earth.
17 The Awkward Years
Everybody has photos from their childhood that they'd prefer their parents would just toss in the fireplace—the awkward years may have been long or short but they always felt like an eternity. In this yearbook pic, Megan Fox is smiling big with teeth coming in and exuberance that seems out of place compared to the looks she gives out these days.
16 Wear Sunscreen
Today, Megan Fox is rarely caught in public without layers and layers of makeup caked onto her face, which looks radically different than in this photo of a younger version enduring a sunburn. While the general outline of her face looks recognizable, the more aggressively angular features wouldn't emerge until many years later.
15 Young Cheerleader
In this picture of Megan Fox as a cheerleader, the future star has clearly begun to realize how much power her looks would provide her in the years to come. But at this age, could she imagine just how much of a transformation she'd make? Or, more likely, was she just enjoying her time as the toast of the high school town?
14 Makeup Trailer
This picture of Megan Fox is borderline unrecognizable, with her rounded features standing in stark contrast to her face as it has become known these days. Clearly, younger Megan was sampling how different makeup usage could affect the perception of her looks—though her expression certainly suggests she knows what might be coming down the line.
13 Prom Queen
This yearbook photo of Megan Fox seems likely to have been taken the year she ruled the school and won prom queen after dating the varsity football team's starting quarterback. Maybe those experiences would help prepare her for the role of a creepy teenage queen in Jennifer's Body, one of the great cult films that are so bad they almost become good.
12 New Model Shots
Just about every model or actress on the planet has a binder full of early headshots and photoshoots that turned out completely embarrassing—especially if they were of the right age during the 1990s. Sure, youngish Megan Fox could have had a low-level career if she'd been photographed looking like this all the time, but without major changes, she'd never have become the superstar she is today.
It's almost hard to tell how early in her burgeoning modeling and acting career this glowy shot of Megan Fox might have been taken. The image is suffused with lighting that renders her face almost doughy and plasticine—her vacuous eyes certainly don't help the overall effect. Compared to her sultry looks today, this must be fairly early, though.
10 Growing Up
At some point, Megan Fox must have come to the realization that she'd get to spend the next couple of decades enjoying serious power over the men in her life. Unlike many other photos of the actress in her earlier years, this one is instantaneously recognizable, even if the details would slowly change over the years between then and now.
9 Happy Kid
One thing that definitely stands out in most photos of Megan Fox, from the earliest days right up to the present, is that she's rarely caught surprised in a candid shot where she's unhappy or making some kind of stink face. She's typically smiling or holding her face in perfect model stillness so that the light catches all of her features perfectly.
8 The Same Smile
When someone has had their photo taken as often as Megan Fox, they develop a sort of go-to pose and posture that they know will always look good, regardless of the photographer's talents. This slight head tilt with a bright smile and steady eyes matches a few other pics over the years, no matter how much her face may have changed in the interim.
7 Young Actress
The tan and makeup in this shot makes it seem like this picture of Megan Fox was probably taken on the set of a cheap sitcom in the late-90s or early-2000s—not to mention that stringy hairdo that looks perfectly of the era. Throw in the strange top that she's wearing, and there's good reason to think she'd rather this pic didn't circulate too widely.
The flat lighting of this black-and-white headshot reveal the outline of Megan Fox's face at the time, combined with her piercing expression that's capped off by bright eyes and arched eyebrows. Yes, she looks like the Megan Fox that fans know and love today—but some things have definitely changed with time, as well.
5 Valley Girl
This pic of Megan Fox with David Gallagher was taken at the New York premier of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, a Lindsay Lohan movie that Fox costarred in for a 2004 release. That means this musical comedy was released in the same year as Mean Girls, a Lindsay Lohan movie that would earn much more, and more lasting, popularity.
4 More Headshots
Young actors and actresses trying to break into the Hollywood scene have to sit through countless sessions while trying to put together the perfect collection of headshots that will best provide them the opportunity to star in the kinds of films they want to star in. While this shot of Megan Fox looks pretty good, it's not quite nailed the perfection of her features—though maybe her features weren't quite perfected at the time.
Megan Fox definitely went through a period where she used dark eyeliner to highlight her bright eyes, tan skin, and dark hair. But looking back on the phase, she must wince and think how much she just seemed to be glomming San Fernando valley girl style, complete with what looks like a fishnet top in this shot.
There are so many photos of Megan Fox on the internet that hope to reveal just how much alterations she's had done over the years that it gets hard to tell what phase of her career any one shot might have been from. In this pic, she's clearly in sit-com attire once again, though she seems to be looking pretty natural, nonetheless.
1 It Has Begun
This photo of Megan Fox with husband Brian Austin Green reveals the beginning of what would become tabloid fodder for years. Her skin looks a little taut, her nose maybe slightly narrower, and her jaw a bit more defined—though plenty of actresses would say all those things can come from a healthy lifestyle including lots of exercise and maybe a few Japanese sweet potatoes a day.
Sources: IMDb, Us Weekly, and Wikipedia.