By Drew Mackie
Like sands through the hour glass, so are the lives of celebrities, transforming from fresh-faced young things to showbiz veterans before our eyes. Conventional wisdom says that even the brightest stars lose their luster over the years — but some celebrities, like a fine wine, seem to get better with time. You tell us — did stars like Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt look better when they were spring chickens? Or did they actually grow more appealing as they got older?
The Donner has undergone countless transformations since she first strutted onto the scene, but has her overall look improved? Her '80s self embodies a certain brash sexiness, but her current look is leaner and a little cleaner.
Courteney Cox was so fresh-faced and cute as an 80's up-and-comer that she rose to fame after being cast in a Tampax commercial and a Bruce Springsteen music video. But her current look as a sleek, sexy 40-something on "Cougar Town" is none-too-shabby. Could she be even hotter another 20 years down the road?
Today, he personifies a distinguished gentleman, but did he always? It depends on how you look at it. That "then" outfit looks hilarious by today's standards, but back in Clooney's pre-stardom days, it was cutting-edge fashion for up-and-coming hunks. Today, however, he's an example of how well men can age.
Even Zellweger's biggest fans must admit the actress looks a lot different now than she did back in the days of "Empire Records" or even "Jerry Maguire." But at least you can find comfort in the fact that one thing hasn't changed about her: She's never stopped squinting.
Society says that a leading man looks more appealing when he was some hair up there. Yet you have to question that logic when it comes to Bruce Willis. He's gone from patchy to clean-shaven, and he may have gotten even better-looking as a result.
She transformed from a round-faced, girlish beauty with a mass of wiry hair to a more slender, statuesque star with more obedient tresses. It's quite a change, but do you think this Aussie import has aged gracefully?
Scruff or no scruff? That's a question you must answer in evaluating whether you prefer '90s Brad or the current model. Back in the days of "Legends of the Fall" and "Se7en," a blond-haired Brad delighted his fans. Today, he sets hearts a flutter as a rugged, manly dad.
Career-wise, Lateefs had a bigger shift than most. It follows, then, that her style changed as well. Today, she's older, wiser and more film-friendly, but do you ever miss the swagger she had during her days as a rapper? What say you, subjects of Latifah Land?
In her "then" photo, she's the Drew Barrymore who had just bounced back from a wild childhood and started her rise to super-stardom. Currently the face of CoverGirl, she makes bold, quirky style choices and experiments with her look.
There's no doubt that Gere stole hearts back in the day. But even with his hair lightening from black to silver, he's not out of the running yet, as far as Hollywood hunkiness goes. His face has some wrinkles, sure, but let's call them "distinguishing marks" instead, hmm?
Halle is certainly no less beautiful now than she was in her early days, so it comes down to a matter of presentation. Do you think she looked better as an ingénue with slightly longer hair and softer features? Or does she look better as a hard-bodied, sleekly styled bombshell?
He's tousled and charming and oh so-British. Time can't change that. But Grant has grown up a bit since his days as a fresh British import. Think about what you enjoyed more: the shaggier-haired chap from "Four Weddings and a Funeral" or the salt-and-pepper gentleman he is today?
The talk show queen made headlines with her weight gain… and loss… and gain… and so forth. But by the end of her series, she settled into what seemed to be her comfort zone. (And the less said about the big hair, the better.)
As time's gone by, Travolta has proved that he doesn't need to dance to stay in the spotlight. But there's a definite difference between his spry "Saturday Night Fever" days and his current status as a family man and an A-list actor. Which one do you prefer?
There's the "Lois & Clark" phase and the "Desperate Housewives" phase. Oh, and don't forget that in-between she was a Bond girl. But what works better for you: '90s chic or cougarific sexiness?
It's a toss-up. On the one hand, the artist formerly known as Marky Mark no longer poses in his underwear. On the other, he's a more legitimate actor than he ever was a singer, and he looks very distinguished in a suit.
Jon Bon Jovi
Your response to this transformation will say a lot about your feelings toward the '80s music scene, because Jon Bon Jovi was all over the rocker look of that era. Today, he has a few more lines on his face and a lot more sensible clothes. Is the change for the better? Or do you miss the '80s rocker spirit?
We've watched her grow up and fearlessly tackle the best fashions any decade has offered, but what era of SJP looks the best? Is it her early days, when she's awesomely '80s and frizzed out? Or is the mature, sleeker "Sex and the City" version of Parker hotter?
My, how our Mimi has grown, from a thin wisp of a thing topped by a springy curls to a full-grown woman (and now mama) with flowing locks. Think about it: Do you prefer the younger, slimmer Mariah or the more confident, curvy lady she grew into?
A lot of '80s looks seem hokey today but, foot-long shoulder pads aside, Janet's style from back in the day holds up rather well. Maybe Janet learned a thing or two from growing up in the spotlight. But which era do you prefer: the young wide-eyed from back in the day, or the confident performer she grew up to be?
In her first run of TV stardom, "One Day at a Time"-era Bertinelli looked cute. Today she's back on TV in "Hot in Cleveland" and she actually looks sexier than she ever did as a youngster. Maybe there's a certain sensuality that you can only learn with age.
She's got a far beefier résumé than other supermodels, seeing as how she grew from a runway walker to a talk show talker and even a businesswoman. Physically speaking, Tyra has also changed — she's not stick-thin anymore. But could it be that she can smize even more fiercely now than she did on that first Sports Illustrated cover?
It's a very particular sort of '90s sexiness that "Cheers"-era Kirstie Alley embodies, but she does it very well. She's battled weight issues very publicly since the series ended, but her time on "Dancing With the Stars" showed off her athletic side and helped get her back in shape.