There's something inspiring about looking at pictures of celebrities in the time before they made their rare evolutionary leap into the incredibly famous, physically flawless superbeings smiling back at us from the dozens of glossy magazines clogging the supermarket checkout racks. Back then, they were more or less human, not the demigods to whom we gladly sacrifice the family pet upon receiving an encoded message contained within an InTouch caption about Mariska Hargitay's shopping habits. Take, for example, these images of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt from this standard People "Before They Were Stars" feature; can even the most average among us not be heartened to discover that Jolie supported herself for years playing in a Don Dokken cover band while saving for a series of expensive and painful surgeries to make her massive bear paws more cosmetically acceptable, a noble perseverance that eventually was paid off by becoming one of the most beautiful and admired women in the world? Is there any way not to be overwhelmed by hope after looking at this photograph of Pitt's early catalogue work for Modern Fashions for Mildly Autistic Children from Beach Communities, then think about how the handsome actor has managed to overcome his own developmental problems and find incredible success? If these pictures are too much for you to handle, we urge you not to gaze upon this George Clooney yearbook photo, which will so fill you with the joy of the possible that you'll feel immediately compelled to knit his awkward, teenage likeness onto a blanket for your most cherished love one.
- Before They Were Stars [People]