Quirky and Fabulous: 5 Celebs Who Bucked Convention and Made History

Image credit: Legion-Media

These women show that true beauty is more than skin deep and that inner strength is the real key to success.

Barbra Streisand

Barbara was called ugly even as a child. Her own mother was painfully aware of her daughter's unconventional looks and constantly reminded Barbara she had nothing to write home about in the looks department. Barbara's mom had little faith in her daughter's success and discouraged her from pursuing acting as a career, saying that nobody would ever cast her in a movie on account of her less-than-stellar looks.

But Barbara ignored the naysayers and reached for her dream. Naturally, she did have to struggle at first, as directors and agents alike never failed to mention her unconventional looks. But in the end, she was able to find people who appreciated her unique beauty and talent. Barbara often says that it was when she learned to accept and love herself that others began to accept and love her too.

Barbara's philosophy of success sounds like reverse psychology: the key to success, according to her, is to not try to be successful and act like you don't care. People will pick up on that and begin to adore you.

Sophia Loren

Sophie Lauren is a stunner, so how come she's on this list? Well, as it turns out, before she became successful, many people found numerous flaws in her appearance. They told her she was too thin and tall when she was young. However, Sophie's family always believed she was beautiful and destined for success.

They encouraged her to participate in various beauty contests, and eventually, she won a ticket to Rome. It took her a while to gain recognition in cinema, though. Initially, her exotic appearance got her supporting roles and plenty of offers to appear in erotic scenes.

Everything changed when Sohpie met producer Carlo Ponti who really liked her. Carlo made her a star, and Sophie made him a happy man.

Liza Minnelli

Liza was always compared to her famous mother, Judy Garland, who was considered beautiful and a jewel of Hollywood. Liza was nothing like her mom: her big mouth, eyes set far apart, and big nose got her in hot water with the beauty police all the time.

This bothered Liza a lot at first, but she decided to go for it in acting, anyway. She made up for her unconventional looks with plenty of charisma. Eventually, not only did she manage to become a star, but also a hit with men.

Today it's hard to say whether it was despite her unconventional looks or because of them that she's always had so many fans and admirers.

Edith Piaf

Life put Edith through many trials and tribulations: she was blind as a kid and later, she was constantly ill, having to undergo numerous surgeries and getting into all sorts of accidents. And yet, Edith loved life and kept on creating. She wasn't beautiful, but she made peace with it.

She had a fragile little body, just 147 cm tall, and in general, she wasn't conventionally handsome by any stretch of the imagination. That didn't stop men from going crazy about her. And her voice won over millions of fans.

Edith resolved to become successful as a singer and pulled it off. Every morning, she would say to herself that one day she would be rich and would be driven in a white car with a black chauffeur and have lots of beautiful dresses in her wardrobe.

Meryl Streep

Meryl likes to talk about how, when she was young, people would often tell her that she could never have a career in movies with her looks. As a child, she was obese and could hardly catch the eye of any directors or agents.

She can still remember the time she went to audition for the role in King Kong that eventually went to Jessica Lange. She was invited to the audition by the producer Dino De Laurentiis's son, but when Dino De Laurentiis saw her, he switched to Italian to ask his son why he'd brought in such an ugly actress. Meryl had been learning Italian, so she understood what he said and replied that she was sorry she was not beautiful enough to play King Kong.

The incident did not discourage her, though, and she went on to totally kill it in movies. It's impossible to imagine anyone calling Meryl Streep ugly today, and in any case, she's well past caring about her looks now.