In Hollywood, things are not always as they appear. Especially people. Some of the biggest names in the industry gained mainstream success only after changing major aspects about themselves. From a change of birth name to physical appearance, some stars have embraced a public persona shrouded in illusion to aid in the pursuit of mass public appeal. The following are some of our media’s biggest illusionist’s.


Pictured above, Norma Jean Mortensen was a young women who spent most of her childhood moving in and out of different foster homes. Marilyn Monroe was a vivacious actress who got her start from a career in modeling. They happen to be the same woman and a lot of people don’t even know that Marilyn wasn’t her birth name or that her signature look was the result of plastic surgery.


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Onika Tanya Maraj should change the spelling of her last name to mirage because that’s truly what she is nowadays as her publicly known stage name Nicki Minaj. Born on the island of Trinidad and Tobago but raised in Brooklyn, Nicki has definitely endured some extremely noticeable physical changes since quitting the pursuit of a job in acting for a successful music career in the early 2000’s.


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Elizabeth Woolridge Grant made unsuccessful attempts towards an occupation in music under the shortened version of her birth name, Lizzy. She didn’t officially obtain mainstream popularity until changing her public image and name to the persona that we now know as Lana Del Rey.


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Born and raised in Australia, Amethyst Amelia Kelly intentionally ditched her home country in favor of a life in America at the tender age of 16. Pursuing a career in modeling and hip-hop didn’t prosper for her until she started claiming the moniker Iggy Azalea, the name of her childhood dog, Iggy, and the street she grew up on, Azalea Street, where her family lives to this day. The noticeably questionable change in Iggy’s physical appearance is one of regular public debate, as well as the authenticity of her rap lyrics and vocal sound. Regardless, one thing she’s good at is being an illusionist. A lot of people don’t realize she’s not American until they hear her obvious Australian accent.

Nicki Minaj recently made an indirect jab at Iggy Azalea during the most recent BET Awards while accepting her fifth consecutive win for Best Female Hip Hop Artist. Basically calling out Iggy for lacking lyrical authenticity, I found her display to be ironic because of how misleading Nicki herself can be. She may have talent, but do we even know who she really is? Before you start admiring the physical appearance of the celebrities I’ve listed above and comparing yourself to them, remember that they’ve made significant changes to achieve the illusions you now publicly recognize.