30 Celebrities Who Are Unrecognizable Without Their Signature Look
Considering they are at the center of the public eye, many celebrities prefer to develop their own iconic looks and styles — possibly as a diversion, possibly to steal the spotlight. In some cases, the bold facades boldly define stars’ identities, but, in other cases, they conceal them.
For some of the most outrageous stars, stripping them of their signature style makes them completely invisible to even their biggest fans. Don’t believe it? Check out these 30 celebrities who are unrecognizable without their distinguishing style.
Kesha's Glittery Persona
Kesha’s early career was characterized by glitter, wild hair, glitzy makeup, funky fashion choices and other elements of the party-girl music era that ruled the mid-2000s. Her videos were all about angst and rebellion, and her image in them was impulsive and carefree. When she decided to redefine her persona in 2017, she became unrecognizable — but not in a bad way.
Marilyn Manson's Corpse-Like Style
In the best way possible, Marilyn Manson hardly looks alive most of the time. Sporting pale foundation, thick eyeshadow, dark lipstick and gothic accessories, Manson has looked like he walked straight out of a Tim Burton flick for most of his career. Everything from his contrasting contacts to his dark-toned clothing has given him the spooky image that his fans adore.
Ralph Fiennes' Ghostly Role
This actor had to completely transform his facial features to morph into his most famous role: Voldemort. Whether you know any of Fiennes other work or not, it’s almost impossible to identify him in Harry Potter. Voldemort’s image is completely inhuman. His look includes a bright white head, chunky veins and a nearly nonexistent nose.
Robbie Coltrane's (Literal) Massive Transformation
Get ready for another incredible Harry Potter transformation: Robbie Coltrane. The British actor/comedian plays Rubeus Hagrid — Look at the eyes! — the friendly groundskeeper who lives at Hogwarts. Oh, and he's part-giant, of course. In the film, Hagrid is taller, wider and thicker than any non-magical human could ever be. To get Coltrane to look like the character, they had to fashion several unique costume pieces for him.
Adele's Glamorous Appearance
She may be the biggest female voice to come out of Europe in the last century, but Adele’s image is just as recognizable as her voice. The superstar has long been identified by some of the more notable features of her style and appearance, such as her bright-colored lipsticks and her glamorous updos that seem to suspend themselves.
The Blue Man Group's Blueness
There aren’t many people who could confidently identify a member of Blue Man Group when he isn’t painted blue. Performing since 1991, Blue Man Group is a trio of musical and artistic performers who color themselves electric blue for every show and public appearance. You certainly can’t accuse them of false advertising.
Bill Skarsgård's Clown Costume
If you’re a fan of Sleepy Hollow, you may recognize Bill Skarsgård on the street. However, many newer fans know him for his role as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in Stephen King’s new It film adaptations. The character requires the handsome actor to transform into a horrifying, killer clown, resulting in an appearance that will spawn your worst nightmares.
Taryn Manning's OITNB Role
The hit show Orange Is the New Black is stacked to the brim with an assortment of odd, hysterical and unique characters, all played by a handful of adaptive actresses and actors. One of the most notable roles is Tiffany Doggett (played by Taryn Manning), a bigoted hillbilly who antagonized Piper in season one.
Lady Gaga's Extravagant Outfits
If you look back at Gaga’s early career, you won’t find a boring outfit, a pedestrian hairdo or too many bare-faced photos. Gaga has long been defined by her unique image, from her meat dresses to her bubble skirts to her extravagant and haunting makeup choices. Up until very recently, Gaga’s style remained fairly consistent: bizarre, eccentric and outlandish.
Daft Punk's Robot Helmets
The boys of Daft Punk, a French musical duo who specializes in electronic bops, practically live in their robot suits. Even at public events and concerts, you’re unlikely to find the band’s members, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, without the helmets and gloves that make them look like highly-functional A.I. beings. They have rarely appeared in public without their masks.
Boy George's Giant Hats
Musician Boy George is known for one signature type of clothing: massive hats. As in extremely massive, like large enough to store a medium-sized dog or small mini-fridge underneath. His hats are a major part of his public image, so when he steps outside without one, he blends right into the crowd.
Elton John's Killer Costumes
Just as Boy George is defined by hats, Elton John is defined by his sunglasses — and a million crazy outfits, of course. His absurd styles, quirky outfits and bejeweled sunglasses are what helped transform him from a good singer into a megastar. His costumes across his career are beloved by designers, fans and the singer himself.
Zach Galifianakis' Facial Hair
This starring actor in The Hangover (2009) and Masterminds (2016) is one of the funniest people that present-day Hollywood has in its arsenal. To his audiences, he is known for his onscreen charm and hilarity. However, there’s another part of his persona that everyone associates with him, even if it’s subconsciously: his facial hair.
Ruby Rose's Androgynous Appearance
It’s hard to imagine Ruby Rose as anything other than the androgynous figure she is today. The model and actress — who identifies as gender fluid — makes audiences swoon with gorgeous features and a powerful presence in front of the camera. Can you believe that Rose once had locks down past their shoulders?
Naomi Grossman's Gnarly Role
Any true fans of American Horror Story are certainly fans of Pepper. The character — who appeared on two seasons of AHS — is a young woman with microcephaly who is a circus performer in one season and a resident of Briarcliff Manor, an insane asylum, in another. Pepper’s physical appearance is atypical, but the actress who plays her is gorgeous enough to make you doubt she’s in the role.
"Weird Al" Yankovic's Curly Hair
"Weird Al" Yankovic defined the musical adolescence of an entire decade of children, producing parody-based hits like "White & Nerdy" and "Party in the CIA." Besides the many hilarious costume pieces that were designed for his quirky music videos, Yankovic’s public appearance is heavily dependent on a major facet of his image: long, curly hair.
deadmau5's Mouse Head Helmet
Even if you don’t vibe with electronic music, you’ve probably seen the signature mask of producer and musician deadmau5. The Canadian techno-electro artist always takes the stage for his performances wearing his famed mouse-head helmet. The smiling, big-eared rodent mask has brought character to deadmau5’s public performances since the start of his career.
Katy Perry's Pop Star Brand
A major part of Katy Perry’s pop star brand is rooted in her appearance. In the past, her funky costumes, colorful makeup and bold hair have given her a stylistic edge. She frequently rocked wildly-colored locks and kooky costumes in her videos. You really can’t beat the "California Gurls" flick featuring literal cupcake bikinis.
Nick Offerman's Bushy Mustache
The Parks and Rec star’s stern-faced character is completed by the caterpillar-like fuzz over his upper-lip. Offerman’s mustache may seem irrelevant, but it’s a distinguishing feature on the actor, so much so that he could become unrecognizable without it.
Taylor Momsen's Gothic Style
When she starred in early seasons of Gossip Girl, Taylor Momsen sported only a thin layer of performance makeup. However, just like her character Little J, she went through a goth phase — and didn’t come back out. With all the angst of early-2000s Avril Lavigne, Momsen adopted the gothic rock star look with frightening ease.
Tilda Swinton's Striking Hair
Tilda Swinton is one of the most notable, dynamic, androgynous actors in the film industry. With her striking facial features, piercing eyes and pale hair, Swinton is a breathtaking pioneer in gender-fluid acting and has taken on roles ranging from the Ancient One in Doctor Strange (2016) to the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia (2005).
KISS' Incredible Face Paint
For anyone who grew up listening to KISS, this one is obvious. Still, it’s worth noting the ways this group spearheaded — and continues to encourage — anonymity in rock music. Through their wild, well-designed black and white face paint, KISS created a unified image, all while hiding their identities as individuals from fans. In recent years, they have shown their faces more frequently.
Marshmello's Unique Mask
A fairly new presence in the mainstream music industry, the electronic DJ Marshmello has been making waves on international music charts since 2016. What makes this persona so unique? Well, the artist conceals his identity with — you guessed it — a humongous marshmallow helmet during performances, at public events and in music videos.
John Lehr's Caveman Look
The Geico caveman is an utterly iconic commercial role, and John Lehr is one of the main men behind the character. Appearing most frequently as the Geico caveman, Lehr spends quite a bit of time in the hair and makeup department to get his costume fully assembled, especially since he looks nothing like the primitive caveman in real life.
Ariana Grande's High Pony
Ariana Grande's style, performance and identity have certainly evolved across the years. From her start with thick, curly hair in 13 the Musical on Broadway to her present-day dyed and straightened locks, her gorgeous hair has grown along with her. For performances, she typically pulls it back into a high ponytail, wound tightly at the back of her head.
Adam Lambert's Rock Star Energy
Adam Lambert has always looked exactly like what he longed to become: a rock star. The world met Lambert on season eight of American Idol in 2009. Despite coming in second place in the final round, he dominated the season with a plethora of stunning and crowd-pleasing rock performances. After the show’s conclusion, he held strong to his rock style.
Gwen Stefani's Crimson Lips
Gwen Stefani is stunning with or without makeup, but one of her go-to fashion choices is her electrifying red lipstick. Although facets of her appearance have changed across the years, her love for crimson lipstick has remained fervent. If you catch the star without her red lipstick, it might take you a moment to realize that it's Stefani.
Zooey Deschanel's Bangs
Zooey Deschanel has starred in the popular sitcom New Girl for the last several years. Just as her character does, Deschanel rocks a quirky set of bangs and stellar eyeliner. Believe it or not, these two facets of her image are extremely important to her style. When her hair or makeup are altered, she looks like a different person altogether.
Avril Lavigne's Emo Makeup
Things with Avril Lavigne aren't as complicated as they used to be. The majority of fans know Avril's appearance from her early days in the spotlight, which was angsty, grungy, emo and dark. She was known for the heavy eyeliner that gave her a hard rocker's flair in the world of emo-pop music. What happened to the gothic version of Avril Lavigne?
Sia's Massive Wigs
You won’t catch this famous singer without one of her mammoth blonde, black or split-tone wigs on her head. She equips them with long bangs and bows that cover her face, allowing her to conceal her identity from her fans. Why doesn’t the stellar pop star/songwriter want to be recognized?