Jessica Biel: Then
Over two decades ago, we met the rising star on the fan-favorite TV drama 7th Heaven, and immediately fell in love with her. Jessica Biel has had a very successful career ever since starring as Mary Camden for about a decade. Before she was in the longest-running WB and family drama in television history, she worked as an aspiring vocalist.
The series followed a Protestant minister, Eric Camden, and his family of seven (but eventually nine) living in a fictional California town. Playing one of Eric's daughters, Jessica Biel was a primary character on the show for six seasons until her character left to live with her grandparents. Thus, she became a recurring star in season seven and a special guest in later seasons.
Jessica Biel: Now
While 7th Heaven garnered some fame for the young actress, Biel's big break truly came for her role in the 1997 drama Ulee's Gold, which landed her the Young Artist Award for that year. Her presence only grew as she landed bigger and better roles, including the cult horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Jessica Biel is still turning heads on the red carpet after all these years. Her transformation from a sporty, fresh-faced beauty to a polished, fashion-forward lady is remarkable. From The Rules of Attraction and Valentine's Day to Blade: Trinity and Total Recall, Biel has done and can do anything. Plus, she was an executive producer and actress for The Sinner in 2017, which landed her multiple nominations and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress.
Matthew Lewis: Then
This is the glow-up to end all glow-ups. Seriously. Matthew Lewis is the reason "glow-up" is even a famous phrase. Famous for his role as "Neville Longbottom" in the Harry Potter series, this former child star quickly became a fan favorite over the decade of filming the series and attending red carpet premieres.
For Harry Potter, Lewis attended an open audition in Leeds, which led to him performing a screen test for Christopher Columbus and landing the role of Neville. For the first film -- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- he had to wear a set of false teeth, shoes two sizes too big, a fat suit, and ear prosthetics. No wonder he was so goofy and lovable!
Matthew Lewis: Now
By the fifth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Matthew Lewis had developed into the handsome and confident actor he is today. Lewis is still working on his acting career, but mainly starring in hit British TV shows like Ripper Street, Girlfriends, and Happy Valley.
On top of his impressive acting career, Lewis has had a successful time with his romantic and professional life outside of Hollywood. In 2018, he married Angela Jones after being engaged for two years. They met in 2016 at the annual Celebration of Harry Potter even in Orlando, Florida. Jones was a manager for the resort as well as the beloved event. Plus, Lewis is the vice-president of Leeds Rugby Foundation charity.
Abigail Breslin: Then
Little Miss Sunshine may be considered one of the greatest movies of the last 20 years. The young and talented actress, Abigail Breslin, stole everyone's hearts back in 2006 with her role as Olive Hoover, and she's only been rising through the ranks of Hollywood since this nationally beloved film.
Before Little Miss Sunshine, this New York native began acting in commercials since she was barely six years old and made her official film debut in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs in 2002. This role landed her a nomination for a Young Artist Award and led her to more big movie roles, like in Raising Helen and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
Abigail Breslin: Now
Abigail Breslin's transformation over the years is quite impressive. Breslin hasn't slowed down one bit. In recent years, she has starred in Scream Queens, New Year's Eve, Dirty Dancing, Zombieland: Double Tap, and -- most recently -- the true-crime drama Stillwater alongside Matt Damon, which was released in July 2021.
Aside from her film roles, Abigail is a fierce advocate against sexual assault and a national supporter of victims of such crimes. Open about her own experiences with sexual assault, she confessed to suffering from PTSD after an ex-partner assaulted her in April 2017. Her work as an advocate is supremely important, especially as she spoke out about how difficult it is to report such crimes out of shock, denial, and fear of not being believed.
Selena Gomez: Then
Born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, actress and singer Selena Gomez won her first role as one of the cast members on Barney & Friends. "I was very shy when I was little...," she recalled to People. "I didn't know what 'camera right' was. I didn't know what blocking was. I learned everything from Barney."
Barney is also where she met fellow future Disney stars, such as Demi Lovato. Gomez sang and danced with the purple plush dinosaur for two years before dabbling in the Disney scene. In 2003, she cameoed in kids film Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and guest-starred in a 2006 episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
Selena Gomez: Now
Gomez already snagged a recurring role in Hannah Montana, but she really got her big break in 2007 on one of Disney Channel's most popular TV series, Wizards of Waverly Place. Suddenly, she was no longer a Barney baby, but a bonafide Disney teen! Thus, she went on to release her first album with former band Selena Gomez & The Scene, star in various hit films, and eventually become an executive producer for the Netflix series adaptation for Thirteen Reasons Why.
Selena is no longer the little girl casting spells at Waverly Place. She's grown into a beautiful woman with goals and aspirations of her own. Now Gomez is a singer, actress, producer, fashion collaborator, owner of Rare Beauty, and a passionate mental health advocate. You can check her out now in the Hulu comedy-mystery series Only Murders in the Building.
Jaleel White: Then
Surely you remember the famous Steve Urkel from Family Matters, right? Jaleel White played the super nerdy role of Steve for nine seasons since his original casting for the part in 1989. Fun fact: Urkel was only supposed to appear once on the show, but viewers loved him so much he became a recurring role and practically the protagonist!
White also played a few other roles on the show, including alter ego Stefan Urquelle and Myrtle Urkel. But what was good for him them couldn't last forever, and he eventually grew tired of , and somewhat disturbed by, his ties to the character to the point that he resented he couldn't land other roles. In 1999, he told The New York Times, "If you ever see me do that character again, take me out and put a bullet in my head and put me out of my misery."
Jaleel White: Now
Although his looks back then were a wee bit questionable, his fans loved him and he simply embraced his nerdy look. Ok, the only word for this glow-up from young nerd to beautiful man is: wow! Who would have thought that one day little Steve Urkel would be a piece of eye candy?
Along with his looks, his attitude toward the role also matured. In a 2011 Vanity Fair interview, White said, "I loved playing those characters... But the fact is that I was maturing... To be honest, I was [stunting]my own growth as a man to maintain the authenticity to what I thought that character should be." As for a reprise, he said, "I'll always say never say never; I'm a pretty creative person. I can't envision how I could do it in a way that would be irreverent and fun for both me and the viewing audience"
Zac Efron: Then
Everyone remembers Zac Efron from Disney's High School Musical, and even during that franchise, he was a total teen heartthrob. But growing up, he was a total nerd no matter what way you spin it. The California native told BOP in 2006 that he'd "flip out" if his grades were less than stellar yet also described himself as the "class clown" in order to make friends in his classes. He garnered the attention of talent agent Robyn Metchik from his performances in The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville theaters, and the rest is history!
Based on his numerous successes at such a young age, Efron obviously cared a lot about performing his best in all realms of life. In early 2002, his first on-screen appearances were comprised of guest roles on Firefly, ER, The Guardian, and Summerland, a series he would eventually join full-time. And despite the fact that Efron won a Young Artist Award in 2004 for Miracle Run, his Disney Channel debut as Troy Bolton in High School Musical is what skyrocketed his acting career.
Zac Efron: Now
Now, he's been cast in everything, from critically acclaimed movie musicals like The Greatest Showman to stuck-up frat boys in movies like Neighbors, Neighbors 2, and Baywatch. His starring role in The Greatest Showman proved to be nerve-wracking for the actor, admitting to The Tribune that the show tunes made him both "nervous" and "excited to sing again" after a music hiatus after High School Musical wrapped. "[My] voice... It’s been out of commission for a while," he said. "I’ve lowered my register. I went back basically to square one and started vocal lessons."
Today, Zac Efron is one of the most notable actors in the industry, most recently starring serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (which he nailed, by the way). But what might be the most notable changes over the course of Efron's career is his looks! For Disney, he was the epitome of dreamy. But now that he's a proper adult in his mid-30s, we sense a "Sexiest Man Alive" cover feature coming his way soon. Oh, wait, he already won the title -- twice!
Hailie Mathers: Then
You probably recognize Hailie Mathers's name from her father's rap lyrics. Hailie Mathers grew up in the spotlight thanks to her dad, Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem. Eminem met Hailie's mother Kimberly Scott at a house party when they were teenagers. Funnily enough, his rapping caught Kim's attention as he put on an amateur performance of LL Cool J's "I Am Bad."
After Kim fled her abusive household with her twin sister Dawn, she quickly developed a serious romantic connection with Eminem. while giving at his mother's house, she soon fell pregnant. Unfortunately, their relationship fell apart as quickly as it started once Eminem gained notoriety as a rapper. Over the years, fame repeatedly tore their relationship apart despite their best efforts to married for the sake of their only shared child Hailie.
Hailie Mathers: Now
Today, Hailie Mathers is still in the spotlight as an Instagram influencer with more than 2 million followers on the platform. She uses her Instagram page to keep followers up-to-date on her career, personal life, and fashion-forward posts. She got in a relationship with executive investigative manager Evan McClintock whom she met in college and began dating in 2016. While Hailie is attempting to make a name for herself without direct influence from her father's success, she can't ever truly be separated from Eminem's music.
Not one of her 200+ pictures features a shot with her father, yet her Instagram comment sections are filled to the brim with his rap lyrics! But he knew when she was barely six years old how beautiful she'd grow up to be, rapping in the 2002 hit "Cleanin' Out My Closet," "Hailie's gettin' so big now, you should see her she's beautiful."
Shia LeBeouf: Then
Shia LeBeouf began his acting career in the early 2000s with his role as Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel series, Even Stevens. He basically grew up before our eyes on that show! But you might not have known that this geeky pre-teen's entertainment career really began not on the silver screen, but on the stage.
At just ten years old, he marketed himself as a stand-up comedian who had a "50-year-old mouth on a 10-year-old kid" with "disgustingly dirty" material, according to Los Angeles Times. Time reported in 2006 that the only reason this scrawny kid got into the acting biz in the first place was out of necessity for money and a strong desire to break the cycle of "five generations of artists who never made it"
Shia LeBeouf: Now
Shia LeBeouf may have fallen off the radar over the last few years, but he's working on building his career back up. LeBeouf even presented an award at the 2020 Academy Awards with his Peanut Butter Falcon co-star, Zack Gottsagen. But that development isn't nearly as interesting as his glow-up from the Even Stevens days! Too bad outward appearance doesn't reflect personality. As reported by The New York Times, ex-girlfriend of two years FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against LeBeouf for sexual battery, assault, and "infliction of emotional distress."
Margaret Qualley -- LeBeouf's most recent ex -- notably told Harper's Bazaar that she believed Twigs' allegations. LeBeouf responded to the Times piece in an email, writing, “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel. I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years. I have a history of hurting the people closest to me. I’m ashamed of that history and am sorry to those I hurt. There is nothing else I can really say.”
Melissa Joan Hart: Then
Melissa Joan Hart made her screen debut at only four years old in a commercial for the bathtub doll Splashy. She went on to star in over 25 commercials before her fifth birthday and built up her acting repertoire enough to land minor roles in series like Kane & Abel, The Equalizer, Christmas Show, and Another World.
But Hart is best known as Clarissa or Sabrina from when she seriously started her acting career at 15 years old. Her first acting gig was Clarissa in Clarissa Explains It All. Hart was later cast to play the titular role in ABC series Sabrina the Teenage Witch inspired by the original Archie Comics series.
Melissa Joan Hart: Now
Melissa Joan Hart has remained a firm fixture on television even decades after her peak playing Sabrina. Not all was lost, however, after the end of her witch phase. One of her most popular roles as an adult was on the sitcom Melissa and Joey that aired from 2010 to 2015. We're just glad she decided to grow out her bangs since her Clarissa Explains It All days...
Aside from television, she starred in two ABC films with a similar premise about faking a relationship to please family: the 2007 original Holiday in Handcuffs with Mario Lopez then My Fake Fiancé in 2009. And in terms of her failed candy business SweetHarts, she told People Magazine in 2019 that it had been her "childhood dream" to run a candy store. After barely six years and reshuffled ownership, the business closed permanently. At the very least, she still looks super sweet!
Hilary Duff: Then
Every young girl who grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s looked up to Hilary Duff's character, Lizzie McGuire. Disney Channel's hit TV series, Lizzie McGuire, is what put Hilary Duff on the map and allowed her to replicate success for the 2003The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which launched her to the coveted status of "teen idol."
From Cadet Kelly to A Cinderella Story, Duff was Disney's golden child in the early 2000s. Four years after Disney retired Lizzie McGuire's character, Duff switched her focus from preteens to more adult-themed content. These included the film According to Greta and TV Land's longest-running seriesYounger, the latter of which landed two nominations for People's Choice Awards.
Hilary Duff: Now
Today, Hilary Duff is still acting—she had a short stint on Gossip Girl and went on to star in the aforementioned Younger. Plus, she's still releasing new music every few years, but these days she stays busy with her two kiddos, Luca and Banks. Lizzie McGuire fans everywhere were stoked for the possibility of a reboot, but rumor is that the reboot was more of a pipe dream and was likely canceled.
Duff has one of the more positive reputations for former-Disney child stars. Where Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan had their decades-long wild phases, Duff jumped right into serious acting and raising a family. The worst she's done is wear a Native American and Pilgrim couple's costume during Halloween 2016. Not to say that isn't atrocious, but pretty tame compared to "Wrecking Ball."
Dylan and Cole Sprouse: Then
Dylan and Cole Sprouse (AKA the Sprouse Brothers) started their acting career at only 8 months old when they were cast in their first diaper commercial. But the identical twins' first big role was in 1999 when they were cast as Julian McGrath in Adam Sandler's comedy, Big Daddy. They pulled a Full House and switched places every so often to circumvent California's child labor laws and allow the character more screen time.
However, most people recognize the twins from Disney Channel's popular show, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, which debuted in 2005 and ran until 2011. But their characters Zack and Cody got another shot on screen in the spin-off series Suite Life on Deck. Around this time, they became the face of Danimals yogurt -- a random fact that most childhood fans still remember.
Dylan and Cole Sprouse: Now
AfterThe Suite Life on Deck ended, Dylan and Cole Sprouse took some time off from their acting career to attend college at NYU. Fans were sad to see them go, but their acting hiatus was only temporary. Cole immediately jumped back into acting after graduation and was cast as Jughead Jones in the hit series, Riverdale.
It took Dylan a little longer to get back in front of the camera, but in 2017 Dylan was cast in the movie Dismissed and later in the Netflix original After We Collided. But most importantly, the twins are real head turners now, aren't they?! They've come a long way from diaper commercials!
Candace Bure: Then
Candace Bure's first taste of fame came with the debut of everyone's favorite TV show, Full House. Starring as D.J. Tanner, Bure basically grew up on that show, as it aired for eight years straight and largely featured her character for many plot points. Everyone wanted a big sister like D.J.!
We're not kidding about everyone loving D.J. In 1990 and 1994, Bure hosted the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. But after the show ended in '95, Bure stumbled around Hollywood for odd roles in films and guest appearances in random sitcoms. But in 2014, she competed on Dancing with the Stars and landed in third place at the finale.
Candace Bure: Now
Talk about a glow-up! Candace Bure has aged exceptionally well. Bure took a break from acting to raise her children, but now she is back to directing and acting. She might just be the queen of Hallmark movies and she just wrapped up the reboot of Full House, known as Fuller House. As what happens with age, Bure has become more vocal about her political and ideological stances, especially when it overlaps with her acting career.
When questioned by Huffpost on how she'd handle a gay plotline on Fuller House, she replied, "I’m always defending religious freedom... But I’m an actress on a television show and I support all things that we go through as human beings and would love all our characters to explore whatever issues that are current in our culture and our society today and I’m 100% on board with that.”
Miley Cyrus: Then
Miley Cyrus is possibly the most famous former Disney star thanks to everyone's childhood favorite Disney Channel show, Hannah Montana. Born in Tennessee as the daughter of famous country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and goddaughter of Dolly Parton, it's easy to say that she got a headstart in her singing and acting career.
According to Cineplex Entertainment, Miley decided that she wanted to be an entertainer in 2001 after her father took her to a live production of Mamma Mia!, saying, "This is what I want to do, daddy. I want to be an actress." Later in her career during 2010, Cyrus starred in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation of The Last Song, and she hasn't looked back since.
Miley Cyrus: Now
Miley Cyrus was everyone's favorite teen idol, but we all know what happened after Hannah Montana wrapped. Former Disney stars are notorious for going "bad," and Miley is example A of parents freaking out over Disney teens growing up. She grew up having the best of both worlds, and to be honest, she still kind of does.
She shed her Disney roots and surprised her fans by transforming into a "bad girl" phase for a bit, releasing infamous singles "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball." From country chic to alternative rocker, Miley's look has changed drastically over the years, but she is slowly returning to her country girl roots.
Emma Watson: Then
Emma Watson joined the Harry Potter cast at 10 years old and she's always been adorable. Taking on the role of the infamous Hermoine Granger was no small task as it forced her to spend most of her life in the spotlight. Watson was in her prime awkward years when she joined the Harry Potter cast, but she embraced it perfectly for the role of mega-nerd Hermione.
According to her old website, Watson claimed that she wanted to be an actress starting at age 6, so her parents placed her in Stagecoach Theatre Arts to train for being a triple threat of dancing, acting, and singing. And like her fictional persona, Watson was an excellent student, receiving all As on her high school exams and graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature in 2014
Emma Watson: Now
Emma Watson's Harry Potter days are long behind her, but she is beautiful as ever with her Hollywood glam. From acting to activist, today Watson uses her platform to speak out about women's issues, gender equality, and human rights. And her acting career hasn't stopped, either, though it has slowed down a bit.
Watson received critical applause for her role in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, became an official Disney princess as Belle in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and, most recently, joined a star-studded cast for the 2019 adaptation of Little Women as Meg March. And she's only gotten more beautiful with time! In fact, she was featured as part of People's countdown for the World's Most Beautiful Woman in 2017.
Vanessa Hudgens: Then
Vanessa Hudgens began her acting career at a young age, but like Zac Efron, her big break didn't come until Disney Channel's High School Musical film series was released. Hudgens's role as Gabriella completely changed her personal career plans. She was a teen idol for many years, so she was forced to maintain a clean image.
So when private photos of Hudgens posed in lingerie as well as nude were released in 2007, she was forced to apologize to her fans or risk losing her role in High School Musical 3. But Disney ultimately stuck beside her, saying, " Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson," as reported by The Boston Globe.
Vanessa Hudgens: Now
Hudgens eventually broke free of her Disney persona and has starred in many popular movies such as Spring Breakers, way too many iterations of Netflix's The Princess Switch, and Bad Boys for Life. She's also become the unofficial style icon of Coachella, dubbed the "Queen of Coachella" by routinely posting photos on Instagram of her desert garb alongside ex-boyfriend Austin Butler at the annual music festival.
Aside from cheesy Christmas flicks and Coachella pics, Hudgens caused quite a stir online in early 2020 for her controversial comments regarding Covid-19. She released her thoughts on Instagram, which included a clip where she ignorantly babbled that "Even if everybody gets [Covid-19], like yeah, people are going to die, which is terrible... but inevitable?" At first she defended her comments, saying they were "taken out of context," but soon did a 180 and admitted on Twitter that her "words were insensitive and not at all appropriate."
Zendaya Coleman: Then
You may recognize Zendaya Coleman from her teen modeling career for brands like Macy's and Old Navy. She later danced her way into a lead role on Disney Channel's Shake It Up series when she was 14 years old. It's insane to think about how far the gangly teenager has come!
Before finding success as a Disney star, Zendaya was able to attend the Oakland School for the Arts and perform in numerous plays and musicals. Ranging from Once on This Island and Caroline, or Change to Shakespearean hits As You Like It and Twelfth Night, she garnered plenty of stage credits to pad her resume before her early teens.
Zendaya Coleman: Now
Like most child stars, Zendaya eventually left Disney Channel, but her career isn't going to end any time soon. She skipped the rowdy phase and has accomplished more than most in her 22 years. The avid dancer, singer, and actress has written a book, designed her own clothing line, and become a fashion and beauty icon!
Plus, she's unstoppable in the world of TV and film. She starred alongside Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman, joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with beau Tom Holland, and is set to act alongside Timothee Chalamet for countless adaptations of Dune. And if that's not enough, she is also an activist and feminist fighting for diversity and equality.
Demi Lovato: Then
Demi Lovato began modeling and singing at 5 years old, and it was obvious they were destined to be in front of a camera. Along with young Selena Gomez, Lovato landed their first gig on the TV show Barney & Friends. Lovato later got the lead role in Camp Rock, a Disney Channel Original Movie, and that was truly the beginning of their career.
They went on to star in a sequel Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, which led to their titular role in the Disney series Sonny with a Chance. After two years, they left Disney to pursue a music career full time and released numerous Billboard music hits such as "Skyscraper" and "Confident."
Demi Lovato: Now
Lovato has been open about their many struggles with drugs, gender, and body image. Not only did they go to rehab for anorexia, bulimia, ADHD, self-harm at the ripe age of 18, but they suffered from a life-threatening drug overdose back in 2018 after six years of sobriety. Lovato told CBS News, "The doctors told me that I had five to 10 minutes, like, if no one had found me, then I wouldn't be here."
Despite all that Demi Lovato has been through the last few years, they have come out on top and gone the extra mile to share their story with their fans. Lovato's glow-up isn't only beautiful on the outside but on the inside, too. In March 2021, Lovato came out as pansexual stating in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "I've always known I was hella queer, but I have fully embraced it." A few months later, they publicly came out as nonbinary and officially changed their gender pronouns to they/them. We were always rooting for you, Demi!
Josh Peck: Then
Josh Peck was always known as the funny fat guy on Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh sitcom. But he actually began his career on The Amanda Show alongside the infamous Amanda Bynes back in the late '90s and early 2000s. And have you seen him now? He's a total hunk who's married with kids!
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's outline a few more of Peck's career highlights. Back in 2010, he told About.com and ComingSoon.net that he took an interest in stand-up comedy starting at eight years old because he had asthma and stayed home to watch sitcoms.
Josh Peck: Now
Peck has continued his career on TV and in films, and he sure looks good doing it these days. Talk about a serious glow-up! After a few failed pilot episodes and canceled TV series, Peck shifted his focus from mainstream entertainment in Hollywood to the online sphere of digital entertainment.
Peck dabbled in short-form videos on Vine and made a few appearances in top Youtuber David Dobrik's vlogs as a temporary member of "The Vlog Squad." He went on to start his own channel and is a creator on Instagram and TikTok, respectively. Most recently, he jump on the newest content trend with his podcast "Curious with Josh Peck" where he interviews other celebrities.
Keke Palmer: Then
Keke Palmer is best known for her role in the Nickelodeon show True Jackson, VP. Palmer was among the top five highest-paid child stars at that time, earning $20,000 per episode. Her breakthrough role was the critically praised film Akeelah and the Bee, which landed her a Black Reel Award and an NAACP Image award.
For Nickelodeon, Palmer wrote and performed the title song for her show True Jackson, which let her become a partner with Walmart for a fashion line inspired by the show and designs approved by Palmer. The peak of her career occurred from 2008 to 2013, where she was ending her run on Nickelodeon, starred in films like Joyful Noise, and released her own mixtape.
Keke Palmer: Now
Palmer made the leap from child star to Hollywood icon look easy. The young actress, singer, TV host, and writer is still going strong. In 2019, she had a starring role in Hustlers alongside Jennifer Lopez, and now she has her own ABC talk show, Strahan Sarah and Keke.
In 2019, Palmer was included on theTime Magazine's 100 Next among "rising stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more." She's more than a singer; she's an inspiration. At the 2020 VMAs, she used her monologue to advocate for Black Lives Matter: "Enough is enough... we can’t stop that we can never tolerate police brutality, or any injustice, we must continue the fight to end systemic racism... Music has that power, music can help us heal..”
Lacey Chabert: Then
If you don't recognize Lacey Chabert from the 1990s classic TV Drama, Party of Five, then surely you know her as Gretchen Wieners from everyone's favorite teen cult classic, Mean Girls. It was clear after Mean Girls debuted that Chabert would become one of our favorite celebrity child star glow-ups.
Before her catty high school drama days, Chabert began her acting career in the early '90s as young Cosette in the Broadway production of Les Misérables. Being a Broadway star at such a young age is already impressive as it stands and makes the ultimate course of her career all the more interesting.
Lacey Chabert: Now
Lacey Chabert is like a fine wine; she only gets better with age. Chabert is still busy working as an actress. So if you didn't know she was a Mean Girls star, then you probably know at least one of the nearly 20 Hallmark movies she's starred in over the last 10 years. Widely dubbed the "Queen of Hallmark Christmas Movies," Hallmark personally identified Chabert as "one of the best young actresses of her generation" going on to say that her "resume is as extensive as it is versatile."
Even Dr. Phil loves her Christmas movies! Chabert expressed her love for the Hallmark Channel to E!, saying, "...you’re guaranteed a happy ending... I think in the world we’re living in today, to be a part of a project that adds a little love and light and levity into the world is something I’m very proud of."
Anna Paquin: Then
Anna Paquin won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Piano at only 11 years old. Paquin has always been one of those annoyingly talented actresses that seem to be able to do no wrong. She wasn't the cutest kid, but that didn't really matter because the girl had talent.
When you're the second-youngest Oscar-winning actress in history, your "cuteness" isn't that important. Plus, Paquin's early success is all the more flabbergasting when we realized that she had a million hobbies as a kid but none were related to acting. From viola, cello, and piano to gymnastics, ballet, and even downhill skiing, she routinely practiced everything except acting. She's a natural-born talent!
Anna Paquin: Now
Anna Paquin has been flying under the radar lately, but she's still been busy with a few upcoming debut films. But who knew that little pale-skinned child star would grow up to look like this? Wow! She's barely recognizable -- and in a good way, too. That blue dress is too beautiful for words!
But Paquin doesn't rely on her early-age Oscar to fulfill her. She told The Guardian that she's still hoping for the highlight of her career. "I hope [the highlight is] yet to come. My Oscar? That was a combination of Holly Hunter being an amazing actress, Jane being an extraordinary director, and me being in the right place at the right time. I had no idea what I was doing. It’s given me this amazing life, but it’s not the highlight of my career."
Ariana Grande: Then
Ariana, is that you?! In 2009, Grande got her first big gig on Nickelodeon's sitcom Victorious alongside lead actress Victoria Justice. She played the innocent and ditzy teenager Cat Valentine who never seemed to quite know what was going on. But her voice? Even then it was absolutely breathtaking!
Since Victorious, the actress and singer hasn't stopped pursuing her dreams. Like many kids who later turned to on-screen acting and entertainment. Grande really started her singing career on the Broadway stage in musical 13. Her impressive resume and four-octave range allowed her to sign a record deal with Republic Records in 2011. She's since been compared to the likes of Mariah Carey!
Ariana Grande: Now
Now, this is what we call a serious glow-up. She doesn't even look like the same person. Grande went from a quirky preteen actress to a powerhouse performer, and we are here for it! Where she was once known for her fire engine red locks, she now sports an iconic high ponytail that any normal girl could only dream of wearing. Honestly, how does she avoid chronic migraines with that thing?!
While Grande started her career as an actress, she's proven that she's a vocal performer through and through. She's the most streamed female artist ever, all of her albums are certified platinum and higher, she's the first artist and woman to secure five number 1 debut singles, and countless other mind-boggling achievements for an artist so young.
Michelle Trachtenberg: Then
Michelle Trachtenberg has always looked oddly old for her age even as a teenager. Trachtenberg starred in several famous movies back in the day such as Harriet the Spy and as a recurring role in Gossip Girl, the hit drama TV series centered around a group of elitist upper east side New York private school kids. Most famously, she starred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Buffy's younger sister Dawn Summers from 2001 to when the show ended in 2003.
She told BBC how lucky she felt to join the cast of her favorite show and how it helped her play Dawn. "What really helped and was very lucky was the fact that I was such a huge fan of the show that I understood how things were going to play out," Trachtenberg admitted. "Not that I knew what was going to happen during the course of the season, but I could guess."
Michelle Trachtenberg: Now
Michelle Trachtenberg hasn't been seen on the big screen lately, but she has still been busy despite what the tabloids say. She has a passion for fashion, and that's exactly what she's been pursuing. Sounds pretty Gossip Girl to us! We aren't sure if she will return to her acting days, but one thing is certain: she's simply stunning!
Way back in 2011, Trachtenberg told Livingly about her fashion interests. Around the time of her first collection, the amateur designer described the style of her pieces: "Just very romantic. The perfect things for 'ooh what do I wear when I have to go on a movie date', 'what do I wear when I'm going on an ocean cruise?"
Anna Chlumsky: Then
Anna Chlumsky will always be remembered for her heartbreaking role in My Girl as Vada Sultenfuss back in 1991 as well as in the '94 sequel My Girl 2. But nobody cares about the second film. Chlumsky stole our hearts in '91, and she has no problem holding onto them to this today.
Chlumsky entered the entertainment industry by modeling with her mother in ad campaigns, but she quickly shot to fame as an actress after My Girl. She went on to star in star-studded films like Trading Moms and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain before taking a brief hiatus to attend college.
Anna Chlumsky: Now
Chlumsky returned to acting after university in 2005 and hasn't stopped churning out outstanding performances since. Blood Car and In the Loop were a modest success, but she really sparked interest in her acting abilities again with her 2012-2019 role of Amy Brookheimer in HBO's Veep. She received six Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance.
Plus, Chlumsky looks better than ever and is in the best shape of her life! After giving birth to her first daughter in 2013, she shared her post-baby health routine with People. "I exercised a lot while I was pregnant," Chlumsky admitted. "I did pregnancy workout tapes five days a week... I was exercising, and it was the best thing... Getting that oxygen, getting that blood flowing, it’s the best thing to do."
Taylor Swift: Then
Taylor Swift entered the spotlight when she was only 16 years old and there's barely a soul on the planet who doesn't know her name. Swift was the teen country superstar. Her songs were always at the top of the charts and she even earned her first Grammy award for Best New Artist in 2008!
Originally born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift's family relocated to Nashville so Taylor could release her first album. Swift was always singing but that wasn't her career focus from the beginning. She attended NYC acting classes until she realized country musicians like Shania Twain inspired her to create, telling The Guardian that she wanted "to just run around the block four times and daydream about everything" because of Twain's music.
Taylor Swift: Now
Taylor Swift's career hasn't slowed down a bit over the years. In fact, her career has only improved. But her image has definitely shifted. She went from everyone's favorite country singer to everyone's favorite pop star. And we are loving her new look! Where she was once a curly-haired, gangly teenager singing about Tim McGraw and crying heartbroken tears on her guitar, Swift has really grown up.
Sure, she's been dragged into a few controversies here and there, Swift always manages to make the most of her situation and bounce right back. Most of her music is based on her personal life, relationships, and experiences, so anything that happens to her is ultimately a creative vehicle to produce more hit music that just might make you cry in a club somewhere.
Kristen Stewart: Then
Kristen Stewart is one of the iconic actresses from our childhoods, and we bet she made a mark on your younger years, too. She is one of the few actresses who had a glow-up that wasn't a Disney Channel child star. Stewart has always looked and dressed sort of "tom-boyish," but the style has honestly worked for her throughout her career.
As a child born in Los Angeles with parents in the entertainment industry, it was easier than usual for Stewart to break into the industry. At 12, she won a Young Artist Award for her performance as the daughter of Jodie Foster's character in Panic Room. She acted in numerous films before reaching 18 years old when she landed the lead role in Twilight as Bella Swan opposite Robert Pattinson.
Kristen Stewart: Now
Kristen Stewart has certainly experimented with her outfits, hairdos, and overall style since her teenage years. when Twilight reached its peak and she was the highest-paid actress in the industry. But everyone likes to switch things up now and then, especially after major life events. Stewart has turned into a quirky, queer artistic icon and quite honestly, we love it! After her bombshell cheating scandal with her Snow White and the Huntsmen director when she was dating Robert Pattinson, Stewart shifted her acting focus from blockbuster to indie.
In fact, she's the only American actress to win a César Award for her supporting role in Clouds of Sils Maria. But she hasn't given up big-budget acting entirely. She starred in a heartwarming LGBTQ Christmas film Happiest Season in 2020 and is already set for critical acclaim for portraying the late Princess Diana in the 2021 autobiographical film Spencer.
Emily Osment: Then
Here's another young actress who got her first big break on Disney Channel. Emily Osment was cast in a lead role in Hannah Montana, and she has never looked back. While some kids remember her as Lilly Truscott, others remember her first from the early 2000s films Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.
After her Disney days, Osment didn't have a wild streak like former co-star Miley Cyrus, but she did embark on a few projects of her own. Most notably, she was the lead character in ABC Family's heartwrenching film Cyberbully and as the protagonist of Freeform's Young & Hungry for four years. For the latter, she snagged three nominations for Teen Choice Awards.
Emily Osment: Now
Even with her independent success in Young & Hungry, Emily Osment briefly struggled with her own mental health. Fortunately, she was able to make a positive turn-around and inspire others. Osment shared her story with her fans, and they look up to her for that. She's back to her normal, upbeat self and we are sure she has a very bright future ahead of her.
After the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was released, which depicts a young teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes behind to the people who caused her demise, Osment released the following statement on Twitter: "[13 Reasons Why] reminded me of my own journey shooting Cyberbully... Cyber-bullying doesn’t have an age limit, even a  year old can be a bully... Please think before you speak, let your words and your actions come from your heart and your heart only. "
Kirsten Dunst: Then
Kirsten Dunst launched her acting career when she was only 7 years old and landed her first major role at 10 for Interview with a Vampire alongside Brad Pitt. At such a young age, it was honestly a little creepy that she shared her first on-screen kiss with Pitt who was two decades older than her.
In 2002, Dunst dished to The Age that she was equally weirded out by the kiss during the time of filming. "I thought it was gross, that Brad had cooties. I mean, I was 10." Despite the cooties and creepiness, she couldn't have been a more perfect child star. You couldn't help but fall in love with the young actress.
Kirsten Dunst: Now
Dunst has always been best known for her role as Torrence in the movie musical Bring It On even though she has played many other roles. But Dunst has officially grown out of her awkward cheerleading stage and is truly stunning in more recent roles, including Bachelorette and Hidden Figures.
Spider-man, Mona Lisa Smile, and Elizabethtown helped her truly launch her serious acting career and helped her land on numerous "Most Beautiful People in the World" lists. Everyone loved her and everyone wanted to be her. Most recently, she's starred in the dark comedy On Becoming a God in Central Florida and landed nominations for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for her performance.
Beverly Mitchell: Then
Beverly Mitchell might be an actress you haven't thought of in a while, but she's had as impressive of a glow-up as any other. She is best known for playing Lucy Camden in the television series 7th Heaven. She was a bit of a quirky child star, but she certainly had her own fan base.
In 2006, she launched her dream career of becoming a renowned country singer. Her debut album Beverley Mitchell was produced by D. Scott Miller in Nashville, on which Mitchell co-wrote most of the songs including her most popular single "Angel." The single was inspired by her late friend who was killed in a car accident in 1997.
Beverly Mitchell: Now
Mitchell is still acting, most notably in The Secret Life of the American teenager. Plus, she quickly started a family and is a mom of three children -- two daughters and a son. In fact, she's confessed to several media outlets that acting is way easier than being a stay-at-home mom.
In July 201, Mitchell posted an unfiltered snapshot of her life on Instagram confessing how hard being a mom can be. "I find myself struggling lately. Comparing myself to everyone else, to everyone so put together, to those out enjoying their lives and traveling while we are still at home, to the clean houses, to the perfect mommies who seem to be killing the game and I have to be honest I feel like I am drowning!" At least she still has natural beauty on her side!
Natalie Portman: Then
Natalie Portman has always been one of the most beloved actresses in Hollywood. She has been stealing hearts ever since she was just a kid. It didn't take her long to claim fame as she was only 12 when she starred in her first major motion picture, Leon: The Professional. Her success in the film industry "came as a big surprise" to Portman's mother, reported The New York Times in '96. Unfortunately, the experience wasn't all positive.
In 2018 at the Women's March, Portman spoke up about the "sexual terrorism" she experienced because of the role. “At 13 years old, the message from our culture was clear to me. I felt the need to cover my body and to inhibit my expression and my work in order to send my own message to the world: That I’m someone worthy of safety and respect. The response to my expression from small comments about my body to more threatening deliberate statements served to control my behavior through an environment of sexual terrorism.”
Natalie Portman: Now
Despite the repercussions of acting in a mature film at such a young age, Portman was able to pull herself up by her bootstraps and become a world-renowned actress in her own right, and not just as a sex symbol. From V for Vendetta and Black Swan to Thor, Jackie, and No Strings AttachedToday, Portman has done it all.
Plus, it's impossible to ignore her natural beauty, which has only blossomed with time. Fans everywhere try to replicate Portman's gorgeous look; her hair, her style, and her flawless skin. Portman is now thought of as a loveable actress, activist, feminist, and beauty icon who continues to stun crowds on and off the big screen.