Whether it was for a role or by necessity, celebrities have been changing up the way they look this year, and here are some of those standout moments

Kate Moss paid homage to an iconic photo of her from the 90s in her new campaign for Marc Jacobs, and once again rocked a luscious bubble gum pink mane. The last time she sported a similar look was for a photo of her lying in bed with a halo of candy floss hair surrounding her head, captured by Jurgen Teller in 1998. Now, 24 years on, Moss proves she still looks utterly fabulous in pink—and that she can still start a conversation just by debuting a new look.

This begs the question: why a celebrity changing their appearance is so intriguing? Many of us experiment with our looks now and then, but when a person of interest does it, we can’t help but to talk about it or to follow suit. Why?

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Above Kate Moss for Marc Jacobs (Photo: Courtesy of Marc Jacobs)
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Above Kate Moss for Marc Jacobs (Photo: Courtesy of Marc Jacobs)

Perhaps it is because celebrities, constantly cast under the microscope of public scrutiny, are expected to look good all the time, and we also get used to seeing them a certain way. So when we see them showing off something new, it challenges the idea of that celebrity we’d constructed in our heads.

Take Timotheé Chalamet and his brunette curls for example. We think of Chalamet and we instantly think of that charming mop of curls that, in combination with his lanky stature and boyish charm, made him one of the most popular young actors since Leonardo DiCaprio. Yet for his latest film, cannibalistic love story Bones and All, Chalamet sports a washed-out red fringe that feels home-dyed, which is a nod to the chaos of his character, and it is an effective way to signal a darker side of Hollywood’s golden boy.

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A change in hairstyle doesn’t even have to last longer than a music video for it to change how we see a celebrity. Jisoo of K-pop girl group Blackpink debuted a fringe in the group’s Pink Venom music video—their first music launch since 2020—and it added an element to the star that had taken a backseat until that point. Although it was just a clip-in extension, the blunt face-framing style gave Jisoo an edge that was a contrast to her previous predominately sweet and sassy vibe, and offered her more range beyond her ultra-feminine looks most often seen in her campaigns for Dior.

Then there are changes that are not for effect, but for duty. Jin from K-pop sensation BTS recently shaved his head in preparation for starting his mandatory service with the South Korean army. Before that, he was well-known and -loved for his 90s-inspired curtain bangs that lent him a boyish charm and made him one of the most popular members on an international scale. In December, he posted a photo of himself with his new do on South Korean social media platform Weverse and wrote: “It’s cuter than I expected.” While it’s a huge departure from what fans are used to, it’s unlikely to change how his devotees feel about him. What the cut achieves is to mark the beginning of a new personal journey for this individual.

While Jin’s was a sudden change, there are celebrities  who are constantly reinventing themselves, and bold and daring looks are part of what makes them a celebrity. Björk and Lady Gaga are two such celebs who have mastered the art of crafting statement looks and one other emerging master is Italian-American model and actress, Julia Fox. To be fair, her looks are not ground-breaking—black smudgy eyes and no eyebrows have been done by every punk, grunge and goth enthusiast under the sun—but it’s the way she carries herself wearing the looks, and the persona she adopts to play off of her looks that set her apart.

From wearing unusual editorial looks at Paris Fashion Week (instead of having the looks wear her) to unapologetically challenging the rigid standards of beauty in our world, Fox has embraced the freedom of saying, doing and wearing whatever she wants, wherever she wants and whenever she wants.

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Another style shapeshifter is Kim Kardashian. She had established a make-up look and hair style that has become synonymous with her public image. Flawlessly contoured face and her signature dark brown locks slicked back into a chic high ponytail is what we associate with this American socialite and entrepreneur. So when she debuted ashy blonde hair to complement her 2022 Met Gala look in that dress, she broke the Internet. Again.

Lastly, there are celebs who manage to surprise us with a look even though it’s within the context of Halloween, when we all expect something crazy, and we’ve come to expect crazy looks from them.

The queen of Halloween and supermodel Heidi Klum walked, and flopped, on the red carpet to her annual costume party in October dressed as worm. Not in a cute worm costume either, but a human-size, horrifyingly detailed get-up that was an impressive feat of special effects make-up, talented costumery and dedication to the joke. While she did eventually emerge from the costume in a rhinestone catsuit looking more like herself, it was her red-carpet look that has wormed its way into our collective memory.

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