5 Women Who Didn't Fit Society's Standards of Beauty but Still Found Success

Image credit: Legion-Media

These women proved beauty is less important than talent and perseverance.

Liza Minnelli

Minnelli was often compared to her gorgeous mother, actress Judy Garland, and the girl thought she wasn't anywhere as beautiful: she had wide-set eyes, big mouth and nose, and a round face. Liza was worried about these imperfections, but they didn't stop her on her way to becoming a star. She built a successful career as an actress and performer and was adored by men.

Minnelli won two Golden Globes, an Oscar, and many other awards. Even today, the 75-year-old actress is considered an attractive woman.

Frida Kahlo

The Mexican artist's appearance was far from ideal. Frida had a limp caused by the polio virus she suffered as a child, and her left leg was thinner than the right one. She hid this defect under long skirts and always felt ashamed of it. However, this didn't in any way affect Kahlo's talent and charm.

She was married to artist Diego Rivera, and the two frequently separated and got together again. When they were apart, Frida could meet other men who came to admire the woman's charismatic personality. Her character and unusual beauty is an inspiration to many women today.

Gala Dalí (Elena Diakonova)

After moving to Switzerland, Russian-born Elena Diakonova became known as Gala. The woman wasn't considered pretty, but there was a special charm about her that was so alluring to men. Salvador Dalí couldn't resist it either. When they first met, Salvador was 26, and Gala was 36 and married to another man. But neither the age difference nor the woman's marriage could stop their romance.

"She was destined to be my Gradiva, the one who moves forward, my victory, my wife," Salvador wrote, "I would polish Gala to make her shine, make her the happiest possible, caring for her more than myself, because without her, it would all end." Dalí was infinitely grateful to his beloved for recognizing his talent and helping him become a great artist.

Barbra Streisand

Growing up, Barbra was mocked for her "ugly" looks. No one believed the girl would ever find success and become a popular actress, but Streisand thought her appearance was her gift and continued to try out for roles — even though, at first, the young actress wasn't accepted into the world of cinema. The artist's perseverance paid off, and she reached great heights in her career. People recognized Streisand's talent along with her unconventional beauty.

Meryl Streep

When Meryl started out in her career, she was chubby and a little clumsy. Directors would tell there's no place in Hollywood for girls with such looks, but the actress believed her talent was more important than her appearance.

Streep recalls a funny story that happened to her during the audition for King Kong. The film's producer told his son in Italian, thinking that Meryl couldn't understand him, that the actress was ugly. Streep didn't lose her composure and replied, also in Italian, that she was sorry to be such a disappointment to him.

The role in King Kong eventually went to Jessica Lange (who was apparently pretty enough) — and Meryl Streep became a true star and winner of three Academy Awards and nine Golden Globes.