We bet every one of you reading this has one weird thing about your body you'd change if you could -- maybe you have an eye that's slightly lower than the other, or a nasty little scar on your lower back where your tail used to be. We all want to be perfect.
But not so fast. As a whole bunch of famous people can tell you, a horrible deformity and/or physical mutilation can be the difference between failure and stardom. For instance ...
7Sylvester Stallone: An Iconic Face by Way of Botched Childbirth
Let's not mince words here. In terms of full-on acting chops, Stallone isn't much more impressive than any other action star. You know, except for the part where he wrote, starred in and received Academy Award nominations for one of the greatest films of all time. In fact, thanks to Rocky, Stallone was only the third person at the time to be nominated for both acting and writing in the same year. The other two? Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles (for Citizen Kane, no less).
So, yes, maybe he's got that over the Steven Seagals of the world, regardless of the Judge Dredd-level turds that followed.
The gun later won an Oscar.
Now ask yourself -- would anybody have given a shit about Rocky if the studio had gotten their way and cast a star like Burt Reynolds or Ryan O'Neal in the lead role? The whole point was that this guy was a schlub, a down-and-out boxer. Something about Stallone in that role just made people believe in it.
Specifically, his face. The face that looked like it had spent decades taking blows to the jaw. You can say the same thing about First Blood -- this time a down-and-out soldier instead of a down-and-out boxer. The signature Stallone roles just wouldn't feel right without that signature fucked-up face giving his mouth a permanent snarl. But how the hell did it get that way?
Just try to imagine him screaming anything but "Adrian!" It can't be done.
As romantic as it would be to blame Stallone's droopy face on a lifetime of hard living and tough breaks, Stallone's lazy facial features are actually due to Bell's palsy, a facial nerve paralysis condition that was caused by birth complications. Namely, he was yanked into the world with forceps that also came into less than pleasant contact with his face and severed a nerve, effectively paralyzing the lower left half of his face (including a bit of his tongue). And just like that, literally, a star was born. Schwarzenegger only wishes he were that lucky.
Which is why he'll be returning for a third term as governor and swapping punches with Mr. T.
6Paul Stanley of Kiss Became a Rocker Because of a Deformed Ear
Paul Stanley is the lead singer of Kiss, which may not be a big deal to you young kids who don't remember when Kiss was the biggest band in the world (they sold 100 million freaking albums worldwide). But there's one other thing you need to know:
Paul Stanley has a jacked up ear, you guys.
So jacked up. Jacked up like it's not really even an ear. Can you see it in that picture up there? Of course you can't, and that's going to be the whole point right after we tell you that if you could see Paul Stanley's right ear it would look kind of like this ...
Under all that decoration, he's really an 8-month-old child.
It's a rare congenital deformity called microtia, where the fleshy part of the outer ear is extremely underdeveloped or absent entirely, leaving poor Paul Stanley with no ear canal and, naturally, no hearing in his right ear.
As you can imagine, having a fleshy Cheeto where his ear should be made Paul Stanley the target of schoolyard teasing and bullying. His solution was to grow his hair long to cover it up. Problem solved! However, he was now facing another dilemma: With that hair, he couldn't really hang with the jock crowd, because jocks are assholes, especially jocks with long hair. Despite growing up right around the time when hippies controlled the land, he never really fell in with that crowd either.
"No, go away. My unruly hair and face paints have built an impenetrable barrier between us."
Luckily, his long-maned look provided a third option: Paul Stanley could hang out with the rockers. The rest, as they say, is history. Of course, we're not saying that Paul Stanley would never have pursued a musical career without his microtia. We don't need to, because here's a video of the man saying it himself.
Stanley had the cosmetic aspects of the ear somewhat fixed when he was in his thirties and nowadays sports a bone-conduction hearing aid, which is the perfect name for a hearing aid worn by the front man of Kiss.
He could have literally sculpted his ear into a demon lord's, but went for the "saggy old man" look.
Incidentally, in a very non-Kiss-like move (because it's for charity and not profit), Stanley actively participates in awareness programs where he freely talks about his handicap, and acts as the spokesman for the Canadian AboutFace foundation. Probably because there are more bears in Canada, so they need to hear a lot better than people in the United States.
That might not be why, though.