Before they were topping the music charts, running the country or solidifying themselves as Hollywood A-listers, most celebrities were just like everyone else. They got their driver’s licenses, they hung out with friends, they participated in sports and other activities, and, before graduating from high school, they underwent the rite of teenage passage that is the prom formal dance.
Yes, while many have fond memories of going to prom with their high school sweethearts, so do most celebrities. And before there was glitz, glamor, and fame, many of these celebrity prom photos are just as unflattering as that of the average American. On that note, we present the following 32 celebrity prom photos. Some you just have to see to truly believe.
1. Taylor Swift
Today, T-Swift is dominating the pop charts, hanging with her squad and feuding with the Kardashians (and their significant others). But back in high school, you’d think she was poised for a career in rap based on her prom photo. And seriously, what guy wears a backwards hat – or any type of hat – to prom? C’mon.
2. Jimmy Fallon
Before he couldn’t contain his laughter in just about every sketch he did on “Saturday Night Live,” and way before he hosted “The Tonight Show,” Jimmy Fallon was your typical average, dorky-looking high school student. At least, that’s what this prom picture implies.
3. Bruno Mars
Oh, you know it. Before he performed at the Super Bowl and racked up Grammy Awards, Bruno Mars was doing the reverse prom pose with his date before the big dance. And he was clearly loving it.
These days, Rihanna is one of pop music’s biggest sensations. And as you can see from this prom photo, she was sizzling back in high school too. Her date? Not so much, but at least he’ll always be able to say that he went to prom with Rihanna. There are likely millions of other men out there that wish they could claim that.
There’s really nothing wrong with pop music phenom Beyonce in this prom photo (even with those punched out holes in her dress), but we’d imagine it would make Jay-Z jealous.
6. Blake Lively
Oh, Blake. That prom pic is so 2000s. And that dress shows a little too much, no? Lively has come a long way from this forgettable photo. Today, she’s not only carved out a successful film career, but she’s also the mother of two and the wife of fellow A-lister Ryan Reynolds.
7. Will Ferrell
It appears that everyone’s favorite funnyman was also quite the class clown. Wearing a tiara to his high school prom? Well played, Will. Well played. Bonus points, as it appears his date was totally on board with Ferrell’s prom shenanigans.
8. Kellie Pickler
We don’t even know where to start on the prom photo for the country singer and former American Idol standout. A belly dancer prom dress? What high school would even allow her to attend the dance looking like that? This tops the “dresses to never wear to prom” list if we have our say.
Is Fergie going to prom or auditioning to be a part of the British Royal Family? Based on those gloves, we’d bet on the latter. Different strokes for different folks, we suppose.
10. Jessica Alba
Millions of moviegoers fell in love with Jessica Alba for her great looks and girl next door persona. And while she’s never placed Alice from Alice in Wonderland, it appears that’s the look she was going for when she attended her high school prom.
11. Ellen DeGeneres
The popular actress and talk show host is one of the older celebrities on this list – and this prom photo sure does prove it. The mullet, the plaid… the horror! We love you Ellen, but if that prom look is anything short of forgettable, we’ve got nothing!
12. Danielle Fishel
The “Boy Meets World” and “Girl Meets World” star gets a special spot on this list not just because of her somewhat scandalous looking prom dress, but because of who she went to prom with. Yes, for all you children of the 90s, that bleach blonde bro is none other than Lance Bass of N’Sync.
13. Lady Gaga
Is Lady Gaga wearing a bikini to her prom? We suppose it would make sense if it was beach themed, seeing as how she and her date are both sporting the sunglasses. Or maybe it was just real bright in the banquet hall. You decide.
14. Michelle Obama
You can’t deny that the First Lady has style, but her prom dress is a little bit out there. The thigh slit is a little scandalous and the whole dress itself is a tad unusual. But just wait until you see what her husband looked like in his prom picture.
15. Demi Lovato
There’s not a lot of bashing that we can do over Demi Lovato’s prom look. But we can question her choice to take a childhood friend, rather than the Jonas brother she was dating at the time. We suppose it was the right choice in the long run, as she’s no longer with a Jonas and she’s still presumably friends with her date.
16. Brad Pitt
Look at how young and happy he looks! Although we suppose that six children and two divorces (one to Jennifer Aniston and one soon-to-be divorce from Angelina Jolie) will certainly age a man. If only Pitt could go back to 1982 and do it all over again.
17. Claire Danes
Is she 12? OK, so the answer is an obvious no, but the “Homeland” star looks just a little bit too young to go to prom in this photo, does she not?
18. George Clooney
The silver fox of all silver foxes looks like he was quite the ladies man – even as far back as 1978. So suave, so confident – we can see why George Clooney is one of Hollywood’s most likeable leads!
19. Jennifer Aniston
Who doesn’t love Jennifer Aniston? We’re betting that her prom date – pictured here – isn’t one of the very few who deviate from the norm. Just look at how proud he looks to be accompanied by the future “Friends” star.
20. Jon Hamm
The star of “Mad Men” was a pretty big dork judging by his high school prom photo. And upon further examination, you might notice that his date is Sarah Clarke from this photo. Luckily, both stars had better days ahead of them.
21. LeBron James
The multi-NBA World Champion’s prom photo is reminiscent of his real life. That’s right, LeBron’s prom date is his high school sweetheart and real-life wife. As an added bonus, the future Mrs. LeBron James went to prom five months pregnant with the couple’s first child. It’s also worth noting that LeBron went right from high school to the NBA, so this was likely taken just months before he began his pro career.
22. Ryan Seacrest
Oh, Ryan Seacrest, how awkward you were. Thankfully, much brighter days were ahead for this star in the making.
23. Scarlett Johansson
Scar-Jo had already starred in a handful of films when she went to prom in 2002 – and this here prom photo was taken about a year before her breakout role in Lost in Translation. Kudos to Johansson for going to prom with another celebrity – Fun guitarist Jack Antonoff.
24. Britney Spears
Is that a mermaid or Britney Spears in a prom dress? It’s your call what the pop starlet is donning here, but it’s certainly unusual.
25. Taylor Lautner
The Twilight star has always been a bit of an enigma, and we’re guessing that hair gel and spray tan were Lautner’s aces in the hole on his prom night. Hopefully, the dance went better for him than his current acting career.
26. Ashton Kutcher
Kutcher has always seemed like a cool dude to hang out with and this prom photo does him justice with that perception. Can you say “life of the party?”
27. Courtney Cox
Another unusual prom look, we can’t tell if Cox is going to a formal dance or off to the orchard to go apple picking. Do you think at Cox’s prom they played Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark?”
28. Matthew McConaughey
Alright, alright, alright. Maybe this is where McConaughey “researched” his role in his breakout film, Dazed and Confused? Or maybe he was just like everyone else and went to prom. We’d bet on the latter by the looks of this picture.
29. Adam Levine
Not only is Adam Levine and his date dressed head to toe in white, but they both look very, very pale. Hopefully, both of them got some Vitamin D soon.
30. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has had his fall from grace the past several years, there’s no question about that. Another thing that can’t be disputed about the former golfing great – his looks haven’t changed a whole lot, just check out his prom photo.
31. Kim Kardashian
Quick, let’s get a hashtag trending on Twitter that pits Kardashian’s prom photo against Taylor Swift’s prom photo, just so these two can go at it again. Only, this feud might lack a little bit of the luster of the previous one if Kanye West isn’t involved. Let’s face it, it probably won’t take long to get him involved.
32. Barack Obama
We’ve already seen the current First Lady’s prom photo on this list and now we see the president himself. Like his wife, Barack Obama has always had some nice style in the White House, but the same can’t be said about his prom photo here. Bigger and better things were ahead, indeed!
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