10 Celebrities who were told they weren't 'pretty enough' to make it in Hollywood
The glitz and the glam of Hollywood all seems so exciting and dreamlike, but in reality, it's actually quite a harsh place. Yes, the paparazzi and gossip columnists watching your every move must be annoying to deal with, but actually "making it" in the biz can be the most harrowing part of all.
These 10 well-known celebrities were all told they weren't "pretty enough" or "skinny enough" to make it as an actress, but given the list of awards and other amazing initiatives behind their names now – they can stick it to their early nay-sayers!
1. Reese Witherspoon
"When I first came here (to LA), all I heard was, 'No, not right – not tall enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough," she recalled. Now, the Oscar-winner has her own female-focused production company that supports women hoping to break into the industry, without all the scrutiny she experienced.
2. Meghan Markle
The humanitarian/actress/entrepreneur/future princess was rejected time and time again. "Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not ethnic enough, while also being too thin, too ethnic, too pretty the very next day," she recalled casting directors saying. Look at her now!
3. Viola Davis
A journalist once called the Oscar-winning actress "less classically beautiful" than her fellow Hollywood peers. In response, she said she's been called other "fancy terms of saying ugly" since birth, but it doesn't affect her now that she's realised that "at the end of the day, you define you."
4. Selena Gomez
Selena told her fans during a concert one time: "I have to tell you, I get it all day, every day... That I'm not sexy enough, or I'm not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted." But the sexiest thing, she said, is to have "class".
5. Jennifer Lawrence
Lawrence was once told early in her career to lose 15 pounds in two weeks. She was forced by a different producer to do a "nude lineup" among other (skinnier) women and was told to use a photo of the lineup as "inspiration" to get thinner. Now, Lawrence is known and loved for her no-bull attitude and refusal to comply with such absurd demands.
6. Jessica Chastain
The double Oscar nominee said it's only been in the past five years that people have told her how stunning she is. "Before then, I wasn't getting parts because people kept telling me I wasn't pretty enough," she recalled.
7. Mindy Kaling
Weirdly enough, Kaling was told she wasn't "attractive or funny enough" to play... herself... in a sketch show. She said that it was a humiliating experience, but now that she's got her hit sitcom The Mindy Project, the Indian-American woman is killing it.
8. Meryl Streep
Streep had a horrifying audition when she was 26, when the son of iconic producer, Dino De Laurentiis, invited her to try out for a role in King Kong. "And the father said to his son in Italian – because I understand Italian – he said, 'Que bruta? Why do you bring me this ugly thing?'". She called it "sobering", but countless Golden Globes, Oscars and other industry awards later, who's laughing now?
9. Kate Winslet
The Oscar-winning actress said a drama teacher told her when she was 14 that "I might do OK if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts". After winning her third BAFTA award in 2016 she said "Look at me now, look at me now", and dedicated her win "to all those young women who doubt themselves" saying, "because you shouldn't be doubting — you should just be going for it."
10. Winona Ryder
"I remember one time in particular," she said of when she was younger. "I was in the middle of auditioning, and I was mid-sentence when the casting director said, 'Listen, kid. You should not be an actress. You are not pretty enough. You should go back to wherever you came from and you should go to school. You don't have it.'" Pfft.
Well, these women showed everyone that the beauty "standards" of the entertainment industry mean nothing. Even though they had a lot of nasty comments and people doubting their talents purely based on their looks, they've gone on to achieve some incredible things. And who can say that each of them isn't beautiful in their own way?