7 Celebrities Who Ruined Their Career With A Makeover
Usually a makeover is a good thing: it makes people more confident and supposedly more attractive. However, it can make some people unrecognizable. To no surprise, that can be a problem—especially in Hollywood. These celebs all suffered major downturns in their careers after changing their appearances or going under the knife.
Nobody puts baby in a corner…except a money-hungry plastic surgeon, we guess. Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey stood out in the 1980s because of her distinctive (and adorable!) nose. When she went under the knife in 1989, her career shrunk with her proboscis. It was such a dramatic difference that even close friends didn’t recognize her. “I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous,” Grey lamented to the Mirror in 2012. “It was the nose job from hell. I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes because of a nose job.”
Tara Reid confessed that when she got plastic surgery in 2004, it had a negative impact on her career as well as her self-esteem, leaving her with rippled skin on her abdomen from liposuction and deformed nipples from her breast augmentation. “My stomach became the most ripply, bulgy thing,” she told CBS News. “I had a hernia, this huge bump next to my belly button. As a result, I couldn’t wear a bikini. I lost a lot of work.” Reid reportedly got her procedures reversed in 2006, but the damage to her career made her Sharknado-bound.
Lisa Rinna became virtually unrecognizable after lip fillers gone wrong in the mid-’80s. She reportedly got so tired of the public tirelessly focusing on her mouth, that she went under the knife again in 2016 to reduce the size of her upper lip. “My lips started to define who I am,” she told People. “That bothered me.” Many speculate her puffy pout cost her a lot of work in Hollywood. Rinna told Momlogic.com (via The Huffington Post), “When you change your face, you don’t look like yourself. Looking fresher is one thing. I look like a freak! I always said I wouldn’t change my face, but I did it.”
Mickey Rourke took a respite from acting in the early 1990s to pursue a boxing career. He won six out of six matches but paid a steep toll with his once devastatingly handsome face. He underwent a series of plastic surgeries to try to correct the results of his injuries, but the results hurt his prospects in Hollywood. “Most of it was to mend the mess of my face because of the boxing, but I went to the wrong guy to put my face back together,” he told the Daily Mail. “I had my nose broken twice. I had five operations on my nose and one on a smashed cheekbone.” Rourke finally got most of the bad work reversed, or at least minimized, by 2008, and his career has since picked up. He even earned an Oscar nomination for The Wrestler in 2008.
When Renée Zellweger surfaced in 2014 after four years out of the spotlight—an eternity in Hollywood—the press went wild over her seemingly altered face. Plastic surgeons who haven’t treated Zellweger speculated to Radar Online that the Oscar winner underwent upper eyelid surgery and Botox, as well as cheek fillers, a nose job, and buccal fat pad removal to slim the lower part of her face. Phew! The former standout isn’t working much lately, and that could have something to do with losing her signature look. Zellweger’s biggest project in years was Bridget Jones’s Baby in 2016, and seeing that she is Bridget Jones in the franchise, that job was a gimme.
Keri Russell’s trademark on Felicity was her long, curly mane. When she chopped almost all of it off in Season 2, the world went nuts. Russell’s cropped ‘do, along with a time slot change on the WB, caused a steep ratings tumble that never recovered, even when her hair grew back. Since then, the cut has become a pop culture reference everywhere, complete with a YouTube video about what would happen if she was forced to chop her locks again for The Americans. Thankfully, Russell’s career bounced back after her signature tresses.
Sure, a big part of what ended Ashlee Simpson’s career was the fact that her voice wasn’t as strong as her famous sister’s, and she was caught lip syncing on Saturday Night Live, but she also faced a lot of backlash for her own hypocrisy about her image. In July 2006, Simpson appeared on the cover of Marie Claire (via the Los Angeles Times) singing praises of self-acceptance. “Everyone is made differently, and that’s what makes us beautiful and unique,” she told the mag. “I want girls to look in the mirror and feel confident.” It’s a great message, except soon after the issue hit newsstands, she was spotted with a brand new nose. Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles revealed that they received thousands of letters about Simpson not practicing what she preaches and published a note in the magazine saying, “We’re dazed and confused—and disappointed—by her choice, too.”