Before They Were Famous: Can You Recognize these Latina Celebs?
It’s hard to believe that the glamorous Latina celebrities we know and love were once normal, everyday people just like us! That’s why we love stumbling on photos of celebrities before they were famous to get a peek into what they looked like without all the stylists, personal trainers, and makeup artists. If you’re curious about what your favorite Latinas stars looked like before the lights, cameras, and action, take a look below! Some stars are so unrecognizable, you’ll be hard-pressed to believe who they transformed into!
1. Do you recognize this famous Dominicana?Source
Can you guess who this adorable little girl is standing in front of a Christmas tree? Hint: she became the “Queen of Sci-Fi” after starring in “Avatar”, “Star Trek”, and “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Answer: if you guessed Zoe Saldana, you’d be right! This Puerto-Rican Dominican former ballet dancer was born in New Jersey, but spent much of her childhood in the Dominican-Republic. About racism against Latinas in the entertainment industry, Saldana has been very direct, stating: “if you tell me that where you come from is the only right place, and therefore I don’t fit that traditional mold, let’s just establish, very clearly, that you are the one who’s wrong. Because everything about me and where I come from is just as right.” Yass girl! Preach!
2. Do you recognize this famous Puertoriquena?Source
Who is this fresh-faced cutie who could pass for “Dora the Explorer’s doppleganger? Hint: she shot to fame with her very own TV series on Nickleodeon. Additionally, she’s both a singer and an actress, most recently appearing in Fox’s live musical Rocky Horror Picture Show. Think you know who it is? Answer: That’s right, it’s Victoria Justice! Justice was born in Florida to Anglo-German mother and a Puerto-Rican father. She’s primarily known for starring in “Victorious” as Tori Vega, the Latina teenager who gets into various screwball situations while attending a high school for the artistically gifted.
3. Do you recognize this famous Mexicana?Source
This singer-actress-producer-designer has been in show business since she was almost as young as she was in the above picture! Who is she? Hint: she went on to become a bestselling international pop-star after leaving her wildly successful Disney channel show. Answer: If you guessed Selena Gomez, you win! Selena, named after the legendary Tejano pop star Selena Quintanilla, was born in Grand Prairie, Texas. Gomez is vocal about her connection to her Mexican roots, including having a quincenera. She’s stated before about how she’s “very honored to carry [her] name” because of how much it means to her Latina fans.
4. How about this Mexicana?Source
Another Disney Channel star famous for her acting and musical talent, this Chicana talent was born in Albuequerque, New Mexico, and moved to Los Angeles with her family to pursue her dreams of superstardom. And the answer is…Demi Lovato! This fierce Latina songstress was born Demetria Devonne Lovato in 1992. She knew at an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in music, so much so that she started playing the piano at age 7 and the guitar at age 10. How’s that for a child prodigy?
5. How about this famous “Simple Life” star?@kimkardashian/Instagram
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you–that is indeed Kim Kardashian on the left. But, who’s on the right side? Hint: she starred in a popular reality show in the 2000s and now is the head designer of her own fashion line. Oh, and her dad is one of the most famous singers of all time. And the answer is: Nicole Richie! This Latina of mixed Mexican and Creole heritage was born Nicole Escovedo, but changed her name once she was adopted by Lionel Richie.
6. Bet you can’t remember this famous Oscar winner!Source.
Can you guess who this Oscar-winning Afro-Latina is? Hint: she most recently appeared in Marvel’s record-breaking blockbuster, Black Panther as an ass-kicking, peace-loving warrior. If you guessed Lupita N’yongo, you’d be right. N’yongo was born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents. Although she spent much of her childhood in Kenya, she’s still identifies as a Latina and even briefly moved back to Mexico to immerse herself in the culture and language.
7. How about this linda?Source
Who’s this smiling cutie pie on the right? Hint: she grew up to become a CEO of a multi-millionaire dollar company, but before that, she was a successful actress in her own right. Drum roll please…Jessica Alba! Alba was born in Pomona, California to a self-described “traditional, Catholic, Latin American family”. She became an early 2000s icon through projects like “Dark Angel” and “Honey”. Recently, however, she’s pivoted her attention almost exclusively to running The Honest Company, a natural consumer goods company worth just a little under $1 billion. So that’s beauty and brains.
8. Can you name this bad trap singer?Source
You probably could spot who this celeb is immediately considering her face became a viral meme when she shared a different childhood pic of hers on Instagram. Another hint: this 26 year-old now has her own baby to share cute pictures of! That’s right ladies–we’re talking about Cardi B! As many of you know, Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar was born in The Bronx to a Dominican father and a Trinidadian mother. Notably, she’s also the first female rapper since Lauryn Hill to have a No.1 single on the Billboard charts.
9. How about this selfdescribed “ugly duckling”?Source
This Mexican-American actress grew up to be beautiful despite the nickname her family gave her during her childhood: “ugly duckling”. Well, this “Ugly Duckling” is now known everywhere as Eva Longoria. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Longoria has talked about how she relied on her personality for success, as she didn’t consider herself pretty. Nowadays, that’s paid off, as she is a leading activist in the Latino community, as well as a successful actress. You can now catch Longoria urging Latinos to vote and speaking out about Hollywood’s struggle with Latino representation.
10. How about this famous singer?Source
We have two for the price of one here, so if you can’t figure out this Disney channel star in the first photo, maybe the second photo will help you out. Some hints to help you out: this one is famous for portraying “Evie” on the Disney Channel smash, “The Descendants”. If you guessed Sofia Carson, you’re right! Born Sofía Daccarett Char in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Colombian parents, Carson is now a singer-actress especially popular with the tween set. Another fun fact: she is fluent in English, Spanish, and French! Now that’s a real triple threat.
11. Bet if you take a minute you’ll know this famous Disney star!Source
Who knew this former Disney Channel star started working at such an early age! As you can tell from the photo, this actress modeled for clothing brands such as Children’s Place and GAP from the time she was very young. To give some more hints as to who she is, she co-starred with Zendaya in a hit Disney Channel TV show and she was most recently on Freeform’s “Famous in Love”. Guessed her yet? Its former child-star turned Instagram wild child Bella Thorne. Head over to her Instagram page if you want to check out more of her #TBT’s from her stint as a child model.
12. Can you name this beloved “Modern Family” actress?Source
This current bombshell looked so different as a child that even her die-hard fans couldn’t tell who it was when she shared a #TBT picture on her Instagram. Hint: not only is she the highest-paid actress on television, she also has countless lucrative endorsement deals that make her one of the richest Latinas in the entertainment industry. Answer: if you haven’t guessed by now, it’s Colombian bombshell, Sofia Vergara. Initially a student at a Catholic school in her native Colombia, Sofia was hesitant to pursue a career in show business but changed her mind when her teachers encouraged her. The rest is history!
13. How about this famous VS model?Source
Can you guess who this cute little girl grew up to be? We’ll give you a hint: even though casting agents initially told her that her nose was too big to be a model, this Brazilian beauty grew to be the highest-paid model of her time, and a Victoria’s Secret angel to boot! Answer: Gisele Bundchen. Although Gisele is confident now, she’s been candid about her insecurities as a child and how she was a victim of bullying. We guess it’s true what they say: success is the best revenge!
14. Know your “Kids” star?Source
It might be easy to guess who this actress/activist is, considering she looks exactly the same now as she did when she was a young girl. But, if you need a further hint, this Afro-Cuban, Puerto-Rican performer was most recently seen in “Jane the Virgin” and Netflix’s “Luke Cage”. Additionally, she’s the co-founder of the political organization Voto Latino. Do you give up? It’s Rosario Dawson! Dawson was discovered on her front stoop at the age of 15 and subsequently cast in her first movie. She’s been slaying the game ever since!
15. Look at this pretty!Source
Can you guess who this smiling ray of sunshine is? Hint: she stars in the hit comedy show on the CW that centers around a young woman who is accidentally artificially inseminated when she’s a virgin. The answer? Star of “Jane the Virgin” and the internet’s best friend, Gina Rodriguez. Rodriguez was born in Chicago to Puerto-Rican parents, and knew from a young age that she wanted to perform. She was even enrolled in salsa lessons from the age of seven.
16. Can you guess this Latina with a voice of a heroine?Source
Can you guess this blonde-haired cutie who grew up to be pop music’s bad girl? Hint: a few years after this picture, she was already mega-successful, starring alongside Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake on “The Mickey Mouse Club”. Answer: Christina Aguilera, of course! Aguilera was born in Staten Island to an American mother and an Ecuadorian father. Outside of performing, Aguilera characterizes her childhood as turbulent, as her parents argued a lot. She describes music as being her “escape”, even as a child. We’re glad she found the silver lining!
17. Can you guess this soulstress?Source
You might not find this self-described “elusive chanteuse” at the beach and time soon, but boy, did she sure look cute playing in the sand as a baby! This Latina is none other than Venezuelan-American singer Mariah Carey. The powerhouse songstress was born in Suffolk County, New York in 1969 and spent her childhood sneaking her radio under her bed covers to listen to music at night. We guess some of that music must’ve made an impression, because she’s now one of the most successful recording artists of all time.
18. How about this glam singer/ actress?Source
Although this pig-tailed princess looks very different from her current glammed-up persona, you still might be able to guess her from her distinctive brown eyes. Answer: Jennifer Lopez. JLo was born in 1969 in The Bronx to Puerto-Rican parents who, from a young age, encouraged her to take singing and dancing lessons, as well as signed her up for gymnastics classes. When Lopez realized at 17 that she wanted to be a “famous movie star”, her parents responded by telling her: “no Latinos do that”. We guess parents can’t always be right, because JLo did all that and more!
19. Who knew she’d grow up to have some insane moves?Source
This celeb may be one of the harder stars to recognize, considering the color of her signature blonde curly mane comes out of a bottle! Hint: this belly-dancing Colombian has been singing in both Spanish and English since she released her debut album in 1996. Answer: Shakira. Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, Shakira grew up in Barranquilla, Colombia where she realized she wanted to be a performer at the tender age of four. The road to stardom was a rocky one, however, as she was kicked out of her Catholic school’s choir for sounding like a “goat” (that is, according to her teacher). It’s safe to say her millions of fans don’t agree with that statement.
20. How about this chica with insane rhythm of the night?Source
This beautiful baby with the dark curly locks might be the hardest to guess out of all of them! Hint: this singer-songwriter and sometimes-actress became an international sensation when she released her signature song “Conga” in 1985. Answer: Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan. Although Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo was born in Havana, Cuba, but fled with her family to Miami in 1959 during the Cuban Revolution. On her father’s courageous flight from his home country, Gloria says: “My dad brought us [to America] to be raised in freedom”. She is a vocal supporter of the US being more welcoming to refugees.
Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!
Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at email@example.com