Trashy to Classy

What do Mark Wahlberg and Madonna have in common? They share the ability to turn their trashy pasts into classy futures. Christina Applegate
Christina Applegate has come a long way since her start on the set of Days of Our Lives when she was just three months old. At just 15 she became Kelly Bundy, Married ... with Children's ditzy, trampy daughter. By the time Christina quit school at 17 -- she was the most popular blonde bimbo on TV -- with the sales from her erotic line of posters to prove her success. What acne-ridden teenage boy didn't have the one of Christina in battered cutoffs and a black-leather vest with nothing underneath? Although she maintains that Christina and Kelly couldn't be more different -- they clearly shared a sense of style. In 1995, fashion critic Mr. Blackwell said, "Applegate is to fashion what Watergate is to politics."

But after the 11th season of Married ... with Children, we saw an end to Kelly Bundy and a new side of Christina Applegate. Soon she reemerged as Jesse Warner the struggling waitress who is involved with her foxy neighbor Diego. In 1999 she won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Performer in a New Series -- and was voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People magazine. Although Jesse was cancelled in 2000, Christina's image as the "ultimate blonde joke" was gone forever. Yes, she's still fair-haired, but the color is a bit more natural, and fashion-wise, Christina never looked back. Here she is wearing a Michelle Mason peasant top at the Royal Tenenbaums premiere with her cute hubby Johnathon Schaech.

Courtney Love

Although Courtney was a musician in her own right as the lead singer for Hole, she became famous as the grungy, chubby wife of Nirvana's lead singer Kurt Cobain. What few people know about this celeb is that she started off as a struggling stripper who had hard time finding work because she was too fat. Who knew? She moved onto acting with a small role in Syd and Nancy but she almost gave up on it because of pimples. "I just couldn't pull it off. I'd get zits," she said. However, she didn't let a few minor setbacks (and acne) stop her from making it. In 1992, at the height of her fashion grunginess, she married Cobain and gave birth to Francis Bean shortly after.

After the death of Cobain in 1994, Love took time to get herself together. In 1996 she reemerged with an entirely new look. The former fashionless rocker with smeared lipstick and ratty hair now sported a flaxen blonde bob and looked 30 pounds lighter. She turned in her vintage baby doll dresses for Versace couture gowns. The full turn around was evident when Love was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as the bisexual junkie stripper Althea Leisure in The People vs. Larry Flynt. She continues to make waves for her sense of fashion but no one can deny the turnaround Love has made. Here she is at the Vanilla Sky premiere wearing a white sheer lace with purple pumps.

Marky Mark
Before we knew him as Mark Wahlberg: Actor/Calvin Klein Underwear Model, we knew him as Marky Mark, a bratty pop star rapper and troublemaker. He started out with big brother Donnie in the New Kids on the Block and later became the lead in Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Although he did have a hit single (can you even remember what it was?), his true claim to fame was for pulling his pants down at concerts and exposing his -- um -- boxer shorts. He is credited with single-handedly bringing sagging pants into style (for that alone he should be imprisoned). But, by the time his second album came out -- Marky knew he was due for an image-overhaul. Aside from poor record sales -- there were demonstrations against him by gay and Asian anti-defamation groups, and he faced charges for allegedly attacking a security guard.

So how did Marky make the transition from bad boy rapper to actor/model Mark Wahlberg? It took more than just pulling up his pants and buttoning his shirt. After a few barely noticeable acting parts, he landed a role in Boogie Nights as the '70s porn star Dirk Diggler. Luckily for him, his performance in Boogie was notable for more than just his strap-on 13-inch prosthetic penis. He actually received critical praise, and went on to do more serious roles -- with a new style. Leaving the unbuttoned pants look behind him, Mark moved on to wear Armani suits. Here he is sporting a navy suit and a white shirt -- buttoned.

Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi (or, John Francis Bongiovi, as his family knows him) may have been faithful to his wife and high school sweetheart Dorethea for all these years -- but he has been unfaithful to his former hairstyle -- the mullet. Jon Bon Jovi's early days as the lead guitarist for Bon Jovi were all about making hits like "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Bad Medicine" and leading a fashion trend that many of us would sooner like to forget. After all, a Bon Jovi-esque mullet was essential for every high school kid playing in a metal band in his folk's garage. Some women even credit Bon Jovi with bringing the big bangs into fashion. As grunge rock rose in popularity, the mullet and Bon Jovi saw a down turn in record sales. Before Jovi let the price of hair gel rise above profits -- he cut his hair and took his image into the new millennium.

Like many rockers turned movie stars, Bon Jovi eventually cleaned up his act. Although his film career never did take off, he is bringing back Ally McBeal fans who deserted the show after Robert Downey Jr. fell off the wagon. Younger McBeal fans may not remember a time when spandex, ripped jeans and big hair was an essential look -- and Bon Jovi was more than just a twiggy lawyer's love interest. But his new updated haircut and reformed style definitely caught our eye. He told People magazine, "I've grown a lot more comfortable in my shoes, and they don't have fringe or heels now." His new look earned him a place on People magazine's 50 most beautiful people list in 1996 as well as its vote for Sexiest Rock Star in 2000.

This former cheerleader turned pop icon did not make her claim to fame on grace and charm. It was a combination of her never-ending obsession to "make it" and her media-savvy ability to create trends that have kept Madonna popular for all these years. Her scantily clad "like a virgin" look went straight from MTV to mall girls across the country. Push-up bras, lace gloves, mesh shirts, micro stretch skirts and hair bows found themselves on teens nationwide. The '80s brought her countless radio hits and the ability to make anything trendy. But, between her tumultuous marriage to Sean Penn and her sagging acting career, she struggled to prove herself as a real artist. But by the '90s her album Erotica and her controversial coffee table book Sex made fans a little nervous.

Leave it to Madonna to emerge from it all unscathed. How she manages to constantly reinvent herself, I'll never comprehend. But she does so with such style that it's hard not look forward to seeing what she'll do next. She continues to be a trendsetter -- but now she's setting trends that are a definitely more mature. Whether it's a Dolce & Gabbana vintage glittery cowboy suit or a punk-inspired plaid mini skirt, this mom of two knows how to work it. Here she is at the Mean Machine premiere in London with her cute hubby Guy Ritchie. Leaving her mesh shirts and lacy socks behind, she looks very sophisticated in this white wool low-belted coat and black boots.

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt -- internationally considered one of the sexiest men alive -- wasn't exactly born the sophisticated guy we've come to love. Brad (or William Bradley Pitt) made his start when he lied to his parents about going to college and headed to California to become an actor. His first job was dressing as a street corner chicken for El Pollo Loco. His next job was driving strippers to work in a limo. Soon he was getting small parts on Dallas, Growing Pains and Head of the Class. Finally he played the stud who stole Genna Davis's heart and money in Thelma and Louise. He was hot then, but a little on the grungy side. His wardrobe consisted of dirty jeans, tee shirts and -- what's with that hair? Cosmo magazine reported that Pitt allegedly had "Killer B.O."

By 1998 Brad was dating Jennifer Aniston and sporting a little more style. But that didn't stop him from posing for Rolling Stone magazine in a dress. However, it was Jennifer that wore the dress to their wedding in 2000. And Brad's level of sophistication has only improved since they married.

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