7 talented celebrities who were told they weren't pretty enough to succeed Advertisement

7 talented celebrities who were told they weren’t pretty enough to succeed

Oh, how they proved their critics wrong

By ELLE team  December 28th, 2017

If these talented celebrities could tell you one universal truth, it might be this: you could be famous, smart, funny, accomplished and there will still be that one person who will say that you’re not the right size. Or maybe you’re not the right colour. That your nose is too big, your eyes too small, your hair too thin and your thighs too fat.

The criticism is endless.

And while you’re busy working out to get a butt like Malaika Arora to set the haters straight, the haters are busy criticising just that. If these stunning women listened to every opinion they’d received, half of them wouldn’t have the self-esteem to leave their beds in the morning.

But the only way to chase your dreams is to get up and get at them, which is exactly what these talented ladies did. Right lips or not. From Anushka Sharma being told she’s too “plain-looking” to Priyanka Chopra being criticised for the shape of her nose, these women learned to love themselves to achieve their goals. 

7 talented celebrities who faced body-shaming:

Anushka Sharma

The first time Karan Johar saw Anushka Sharma, his reaction was that 'this girl doesn't have the looks to be a leading lady'. Anushka has said that when she entered Bollywood, many directors and casting directors would criticise her for being plain-looking. But after watching her in Band Baaja Baraat, Karan personally called the actress to tell her he was blown away and couldn't believe that he hadn't seen her star power. Now sitting on top of an empire that includes a production house and her own clothing line, Anushka has proved that she truly belongs.  

Malaika Arora

It's ridiculous to think that anyone would call Malaika Arora unattractive. From pulling in crowds by featuring on item numbers, to busting her butt off in the gym with the results to show for it, Malaika has become synonymous with 'sexy'. But there was a time when the actress, model and entrepreneur was criticised by the industry. In the early days of her modelling career, she was told she would never make it big as she was "too dark", "too short" and "too hip-heavy". The actress has learned to love her curves and so has the rest of the country, making her the star she is today


Rekha is a legend who's is the benchmark for timeless beauty and style, but it wasn't the case at the start of her career. When asked to whom she owed her success, Rekha credited her haters, saying that their criticism is what motivated her to excel. “I am grateful to those who smirked and said, ‘Tu itni kaali aur moti hai, apni shakal kabhi aaine mein dekhi hai?'" Rekha told the Hindustan Times, while quoting feedback she received on entering Bollywood.

Gigi Hadid

Try telling Gigi Hadid's 37 million Instagram followers that she's not a supermodel. At one point in her career, Victoria's Secret tried to. Gigi was rejected not once, but twice, by the lingerie brand for being too big and athletic. It wasn't her curves they had an issue with, because — let's be honest — boobs sell bras, it was her frame. Gigi was a professional volleyball player at the time and was told she had "too much muscle" and was "bulky". But after her Instagram following couldn't seem to get enough of her, Gigi went on to earn her wings as a Victoria's Secret angel.

Meryl Streep

At the start of her career, a 27-year-old Meryl Streep was told she was too ugly to act in King Kong“This was a pivotal moment for me. This one rogue opinion could derail my dreams of becoming an actress or force me to pull myself up by the boot straps and believe in myself," the actress has been quoted saying about the experience. Eighteen Academy awards later, and Meryl Streep could act like she was more conventional looking and we would believe her. 

Tyra Banks

Everyone who is familiar with Tyra Banks knows that the model is thick, black and proud. But there was a point in her career when she considered dieting to lose weight because a curvy black girl just wasn't a "good fit". Her mother was called in and handed a list of eight brands that wanted to drop 21-year-old Tyra as she was gaining too much weight and she was getting "too big". In response, Tyra's mom took her out for a slice of pizza and made the model write down a list of clients who wanted fuller models. Companies like Sports Illustrated, Victoria's Secret and Pepsi were part of the list they came up with, which was then presented to Tyra's agency. The agency responded saying that none of these brands really work with women of colour but Tyra persisted and went on to be the first black female on the cover of the Victoria's Secret catalogue and Sports Illustrated

Priyanka Chopra

You would think that after winning Miss World, the entire globe would agree that you're fine the way you are. But haters will hate. Priyanka Chopra approached a producer about the possibility of going into acting and received criticism against her saying that everything about her was "wrong". "He said my nose was not proportionate, the shape of my body was not proportionate." And that was after she was crowned Miss World. But Priyanka's mom taught her an important lesson, "You can't be like anyone else, because you're born as you. You need to find what's unique about yourself and make that your strength." Armed with that advice, PC took on both Bollywood and Hollywood and conquered.