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29+ It-Girls Making Waves in Hollywood, Ranked

Culture

| LAST UPDATE 08/03/2022

By Kimberly Knapp

The Hollywood "it-girl" has long been the center of the entertainment industry, from Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s to Zendaya today. We're taking a closer look at some of the most eye-catching it-girls of 2022.

45. Anya Taylor-Joy

In recent years Anya Taylor-Joy’s career has skyrocketed, launching her from a virtual unknown to an A-list celebrity seemingly overnight. And the young actress has lots to say about her success...

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The star shared her feelings in a 2021 interview with Vanity Fair. "I think I'll probably understand this year in about five years. I think that's when it will probably hit." Her Netflix show The Queen's Gambit was so incredibly popular that it not only launched her career, but also the sale of chess boards around the world!

44. Olivia Wilde

Though she has a long and established career as an actress and filmmaker, Olivia Wilde has recently been launched further into the public eye. Her relationship with fellow star Harry Styles has made her the focus of both the awe and jealousy of millions of women. But as a 37-year old, she isn’t too troubled by the recent attention.

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"At the end of your twenties, you realize you are inherently flawed, and that's great, and that's what makes you dynamic," Wilde confessed in one interview. "For me, personally, it was around 27 when that kind of return to self took place, of living for myself, not living to keep up expectations."

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43. Nina Dobrev

We could never forget the star of the Vampire Diaries! Four years after the show's end, Nina Dobrev is very much still in the limelight - though she's happy to share the attention. "I'm really impressed and in awe of a lot of women right now. I've really enjoyed watching because she's kind of my same age, Jennifer Lawrence," she shared.

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"She has tackled both indies and big-budget studio films. She has a humility and a presence and a charisma and a humor, and intelligence that I really admire that about her," Dobrev added. "Audrey Hepburn is a big inspiration of mine. Cate Blanchett, she can do no wrong in any area." We love to see girls lifting each other up!

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42. Emily Blunt

Since her role as the neurotic receptionist in 2006’s hit film The Devil Wears Prada, Emily Blunt has had her own group of adoring fans. But in the last decade, she’s become a Hollywood mainstay, starring in various blockbusters and being a favorite guest on the talkshow circuit.

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These days, Blunt is a household name due to her film success, acting prowess, and famously loving relationship with her equally famous husband, John Krasinski. Despite their success, neither parent make a big deal out of it - especially around the kids. "We've never said [the word 'famous'] in our house," the actress admitted.

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41. Alessandra Ambrosio

Though she came to public attention as a Victoria's Secret model over twenty years ago, Alessandra Ambrosio is still every bit the it-girl thanks to her inimitable style and ongoing success. But according to her, being a renowned supermodel wasn't originally on the cards.

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"When I was really small, I wanted to work in NASA," Ambrosio said in one candid interview. "I wanted to have a life with NASA and be an astronaut, but I knew that wouldn't happen. You have to be a nerd for that kind of thing to happen, and by the time I got to high school, I wasn't a nerd at all."

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40. Ashley Graham

Hollywood and the modeling world have both been criticized for their strict beauty standards. So when curvy model Ashley Graham hit the scene, she became a groundbreaking figure in the industry and was praised for breaking down barriers and encouraging more body positivity.

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And Graham couldn't be happier to be a source of inspiration and hope for other women. "I know it's cliche, but I've always wanted to be the Oprah of my generation," she declared. "The girl who's giving you all of the inspiration by letting you know that I'm just like you and we all have the same struggles."

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39. Nathalie Emmanuel

Looking at her breakout performance as the fresh-faced, loyal Missandei on Game of Thrones, it’s easy to assume that Nathalie Emmanuel puts a lot of time and effort into her beauty regiment. But as it turns out, Emmanuel is far from particular about her looks (as stunning as they might be).

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"I'm not someone who needs to have makeup on all the time," she said bluntly in one interview. "When I'm doing it for myself, I get irritated, and I'm like, 'Okay, I'm done.' I just go as I am, as long as I'm clean. It really depends on my hair, too - it can dictate how much time I spend." How refreshing!

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38. Emma Stone

From her early career-making performances in teen films like Easy A and Superbad, Emma Stone has carved out an extraordinary career for herself in Hollywood. Today she easily brings millions to the box office. But despite her success, the Cruella star still struggles with everyday problems.

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"With success, it's gone?" Stone once said about her fears and anxieties. "No, no, no… I manage it differently now… I'm assuming that will always be a part of my wiring and my personality. I'm a worrier. I haven't slept through the night in five years. But many of us haven't. I'm definitely a neurotic, as they say."

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37. Hannah Jeter

In 2015, Hannah Jeter broke into the modeling industry with her jaw-droppingly gorgeous photoshoot for the cover of Sports Illustrated. The publication has been known to make a model's career, and Hannah was no different. And though she reached it-girl status so quickly, her nerves didn't quite catch up with her progress.

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Raymond Hall / Contributor via Getty Images

The model opened up about her anxiety in an interview, saying, "The first year, I was so nervous [...], you just have so much anxiety because it really is a responsibility to promote the issue. I think for me, I get more and more comfortable, and it becomes easier. It's so fun, and I've gotten used to it."

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36. Priyanka Chopra

Not everyone knows it, but long before her Hollywood fame, Priyanka Chopra actually claimed the title of Miss World in 2000. And now, at 39 years old the gorgeous actress and model is an it-girl in two industries! If that wasn’t enough, she’s also married to pop idol Nick Jonas. If only we were so lucky!

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Her life may look perfect, but it's come with its share of obstacles. "No one only wins," Priyanka insisted. "I've lost many battles. I've done many, many movies that no one has watched. It's what you do after failures that defines you. To me, life is a ladder. It's never a destination."

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35. Emilia Clarke

Since the fiery end of HBO’s Game of Thrones, it was easy to wonder how Emilia Clarke could move on from the legendary character of Queen Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons. But fear not - Clarke is fully committed to guiding her career in the right way in the wake of the hit shows finale.

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Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor via Getty Images

"In the beginning, I took everything that anyone offered to me, because why not?" she said in one interview. "I kept thinking that my good luck was going to run out. With the end of the show, I'm looking at things in a very different light and... I'm going to be pretty careful about the next things that I do."

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34. Emma Watson

Everyone loves Hermione Granger, so many fans were ecstatic to realize that Emma Watson was closer to her character than they realized! Just like her brilliant and bookish on-screen counterpart, Watson was an astute student after graduating from Brown University. She may be an it-girl, but she’s much more than a pretty face.

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And today, she encourages people to be open about their emotions and needs. "No one likes feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable and weak," Watson acknowledged. "But I really have found that it's in those moments when I go there that there's a kind of magic... it's the single most important way of connecting to other human beings."

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33. Meghan Markle

Even before her whirlwind relationship, marriage, and departure from the royal House of Windsor, Meghan Markle was still astounded by the path her life had taken. Just take a look at a 2016 interview she did about her role in the hit show Suits and her budding career as an actress.

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Ray Tamarra / Contributor via Getty Images

"To try to dream of what more it can be? I can hardly conceive of it" the Duchess of Sussex once said. "It's not so much about setting goals for things, because I trust that with my temperament and my drive, these beautiful things will continue to manifest."

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32. Ariana Grande

How could we write an it-girl list without the ultimate it-girl of the late 2010s? Pop legend Ariana Grande has been building a career and making a name for herself for years, despite the public obsession with her relationship status, something she understandably isn’t impressed with. And that goes for her fellow it-girls too.

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"I'll never be able to swallow the fact that people feel the need to attach a successful woman to a man when they say her name," she shared. "I saw a headline… they called someone another someone's ex, and that pissed me off. This person has had so many great records in the last year[…]Call her by her name!"

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31. Adriana Lima

For more than two decades, Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima has been gracing the covers of our favorite magazines and sauntering down runways and red carpets in incredible style. And that success wasn’t a coincidence - over the years, Lima has embraced her personality and used it to her advantage.

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"I always say to myself to be myself at all times," Adriana shared. "When I go to a photoshoot - or anywhere - I bring the Adriana Lima from Bahai. I don't create [the persona] of something I'm not. I am who I am, and that's who I bring into my work." If only we could all be that self-confident!

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30. Dua Lipa

These days Dua Lipa is ‘levitating’ to the top of the charts, releasing pop banger after banger. And she’s come a long way, from being the child of immigrants from Kosovo and a struggling young artist. And though it’s hard to imagine her being any more famous, her ascent is far from done.

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In a recent interview, she made that clear, saying, "I feel like winning… almost just pushed me to work harder." Even with millions of sales, two Grammy's, and the world at her feet - she's not slowing down any time soon. It's clear Dua Lipa's career is just getting started!

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29. Hailey Bieber

She was born into acting royalty, but Hailey Bieber has carved her own path without following her father and uncle's. From being a supermodel and brand ambassador to the wife of one of the world’s most famous pop stars, it’s no surprise she became an instant It-Girl.

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And Mrs. Bieber isn’t just a trophy wife with an incredibly cool dress sense - she’s recently started her own Youtube channel and has been the face of multiple international modeling campaigns. So what’s next for HB and the Biebs? Well, if the rumors are true, we might be seeing a Bieber baby one of these days…

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28. Kendall Jenner

Many of us first saw Kendall Jenner as a little girl running around the Kardashian mansion. But these days, she’s all grown up - and she’s making waves completely separate from her family, whether it’s headlining at Paris Fashion Week or glamming it up on the cover of Vogue!

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And as far as she's concerned, she worked her way up to it-girl in spite of her family's fame, not because of it. "[KUWTK] almost made my job a little bit harder only because people probably didn't want to hire me because I was on a reality TV show. I definitely worked my way to where I am now," she told one interviewer.

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27. Gigi Hadid

For several years now, Gigi Hadid and her family have been some of the ultimate Hollywood trendsetters, heading multiple brand campaigns and constantly making headlines in celebrity tabloids. Though the years have been tumultuous, today, Gigi is feeling much more settled.

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"It feels like now I'm in a different place in my life," the model said of her current lifestyle. And she has certainly come far - these days she's worth a whopping $29 million according to CelebrityNetWorth and has even settled comfortably into motherhood - though she understandably spends less time in the spotlight these days.

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26. Emily Ratajkowski

Ever since appearing in the famous (and famously controversial) music video for Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, Emily Ratajkowski has quickly shot to center stage as one of the most famous models in the world - and not just because of her stunning looks.

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Similar to Gigi Hadid, Ratajkowski has been juggling the demands of being an A-list supermodel with her role as a mother to her young son Sylvester. If that’s not enough, she also dabbles in acting, writing and is well-known for being an outspoken advocate for women’s rights. Safe to say, this boss-lady is always on the move!

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25. Addison Rae

The short snippets of time available on TikTok videos don’t seem like the easiest way to grab the world’s attention… but it certainly worked for this next social media it-girl, who shot to fame when half of the planet was watching her videos during lockdowns and quarantines.

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That’s right, Addison Rae has paved the way for young stars who want to turn their social media clout into a viable, multi-faceted career. With countless millions of followers, her own movie, and a flourishing career as a pop star, Rae is showing Hollywood how to get it done!

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24. Megan Fox

Since she shot to fame in the mid-2000s for her role in the Transformers franchise, Megan Fox has been a Hollywood mainstay. At one point, she was the name on everybody’s lips. And with her relationship with Machine Gun Kelly plastered all over the tabloids, that’s not about to change any time soon.

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Despite the dramas of her personal life, Fox is still beloved for her iconic performances in films like Jennifer's Body and Confessions of Teenage Drama Queen. And after coming at #1 on FHM Online's list of "Sexiest Woman in The World," it's safe to say she'll be an it-girl for a long time to come.

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23. Irina Shayk

When Irina Shayk was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she knew it might change the course of her career forever…and it did. In 2011 she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition, one of the most sought-after jobs in the modeling world.

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If that wasn't enough, Shayk was the first Russian model to be given the cover, so she made history too! Since then, she's had a stellar career as a supermodel - just ask Chrissy Teigen, who once told the star, "I said this the day I met you, and many years later, you are still theeeeee most beautiful woman in the world."

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22. Cara Delevingne

Perfect eyebrows and bone structure are enough to get attention in this world, but they might not be enough to take one to the top of the Hollywood ladder, and Cara Delevingne is proof of that. In fact, she owes her success more to her vibrant personality than she does to her looks.

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So much so that even designer Karl Lagerfeld commented on it. "Cara is different," he once said. "She's full of life, full of pep. I like girls to be wild but at the same time beautifully brought up and very funny." When one's receiving praise like that from a fashion legend, ya know they've got something special!

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21. Kaia Gerber

It can’t be easy growing up in the shadows of a world-famous supermodel, especially when it’s one's own mother. But Kaia Gerber makes it look easy - at just 20-years old, she’s already shot to fame and is proving she’s ready to take her career into her own hands.

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And Kaia's done just that - not only has the young woman nabbed several enviable contracts modeling for designer brands but she’s even been cast in the latest series of American Horror Story. We bet her momma Cindy Crawford is feeling very proud right now!

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20. Kylie Jenner

She may be the youngest of the Kardashian clan, but one wouldn’t think so based on her career so far. Whether she’s making up her own nursery songs or releasing some of the highest-earning makeup palettes in history, the Kylie Cosmetics mogul is proving that one can do anything no matter their age.

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By her mid-20s, she had already launched a near-billion dollar empire and amassed 100s of millions of followers online - all while playing mommy to her gorgeous daughter, Stormi! And now that she’s had her second child, we can’t wait to see what the young mom-of-two does next.

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19. Kim Kardashian

Kylie and Kendall may be the it-girls of the moment, but we can’t forget to mention the OG - the Kardashian who truly launched their family into the stratosphere (and even invented the selfie!). That’s right, we’re talking about Kim Kardashian and her famous pout.

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There's no denying that Kim is one of the most iconic it-girls of the last two decades - just ask her ex, Kanye. "I'm talkin' like arguably of human existence—the top 10 of human existence," he once gushed about his then-wife. While he may be biased, Kim truly is a living legend.

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18. Kate Upton

Here we have another beauty who made her name starring on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swim edition. But even with the famous contract under her belt, few could have expected Kate Upton’s meteoric rise to the top of the modeling world, even nabbing some film roles in the process!

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Paul Zimmerman via Getty Images

Believe it or not, the small-town girl from Michigan was actually rejected by several agencies at the beginning of the year for not having the right “look” for the industry. Little did they know that Upton was going to shake the industry up completely, breaking old-fashioned beauty standards left and right.

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17. Alexandra Daddario

With eyes like that, it’s no wonder she nabbed so many Hollywood auditions! And though it may be hard to look away from her stunning baby blues, it’s clear from watching her roles in film and television that she had plenty of natural talent to succeed in the industry.

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But that's not all. Alexandra Daddario has been working hard since before her acting career took flight, and she's not afraid to tell people. "I've been working consistently since I was a teenager, and I was in the service industry myself for four years, or longer, in various jobs," she mentioned in a past interview.

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16. Rihanna

Our next star is such a boss that she has millions of people practically begging her to keep releasing work. Rihanna has become one of the most iconic pop stars in the industry. And while she hasn’t shared much in terms of music recently, she’s definitely working hard.

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How else could she create one of the most beloved beauty brands in recent years? The Fenty CEO is at the front of a billion-dollar company, so we can forgive her for taking a break from the studio. Although with her recent pregnancy announcement, we may be in for a loooong wait!

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15. Margot Robbie

It seemed like this bombshell actress practically came out of nowhere when she stole the screen opposite Leo DiCaprio in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street. And since then, Margot Robbie has only gone from strength to strength, starring in box-office hits and critically-acclaimed roles left and right.

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She was even named 2020's "Most Beautiful Woman in The World" by DKODING magazine! But despite her dramatic rise, Robbie told DKODING that it's definitely "not overnight. It's years of hard work." And with her ongoing success and accolades, we don't doubt that at all.

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14. HoYeon Jung

What is one thing that most of us had in common while we were stuck in lockdown? We all binge-watched Netflix’s Squid Game - well, most of us did. And if there’s one thing all Squid Game fans can agree on, it’s that actress HoYeon Jung is fabulous!

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After all, who else could make a worn-out tracksuit look good? It's no wonder she came 2nd on Korea's Next Top Model. In the space of a year, this young model-turned-actress has dominated social media as one of the hottest up-and-coming stars in the world, and we can't wait to see what she does next!

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13. Beyoncé

Since the 90s, Beyoncé has been dominating the airwaves - and our hearts. And as one of the greatest pop stars of the 21st century, we couldn’t be happier to see her taking some time to raise and nurture her precious little family, including her daughter Blue Ivy Carter.

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B’s oldest may just be one of the coolest kids alive. She’s bilingual and has even won a Grammy before the age of nine! We can’t help but wonder if she’s going to be a star just like her mother. We’re not sure yet, but one thing we are sure of? Queen B deserves all of the familial joy that comes her way!

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12. Gal Gadot

Taking on the role of Superwoman takes a lot of guts, and Israeli-born it-girl Gal Gadot proves she’s got that in spades. Though she’s only been in Hollywood for a few years, the Wonder Woman star has immediately shot to A-list status due to her powerhouse role.

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And her performance has gone on to inspire people from all walks of life, including the global brand president of Revlon. Anne Talley has described Gadot's Wonder Woman as "a worldwide symbol of feminine strength and beauty, but she's also a modern, multifaceted woman." We're inclined to agree!

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11. Scarlett Johansson

Being the world’s highest-paid actress of 2019 (according to Forbes) might sound like a dream come true, but for Scarlett Johansson, it’s just another day. And though she may be rolling in dough, she has still had to fight to get where she is today, particularly when it comes to the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

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She has been advocating for this issue in recent years, and she's not about to apologize. "It is really important to hear people in various positions of power to voice their opinions, their story," Johannson has said. "Why not? Why can't I have the voice? Why can't I use my platform? What's the point… if you don't use it?"

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10. Winnie Harlow

Ever since she burst onto the catwalk on America’s Next Top Model, viewers knew there was something special about Winnie Harlow. From her personality to her attitude to her unique beauty, she stood out from the start and has gone on to enjoy a thriving career in the industry.

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She has also done so while living with vitiligo, a rare autoimmune condition that affects her skin. "Winnie's unique look challenges perceptions of beauty in an industry obsessed with a kind of 'perfection,' "designer Ashish once said. She has been breaking down barriers in the industry since she started, and we're here for it!

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9. Mila Kunis

After 2 decades dominating Hollywood, it's no surprise Mila Kunis has such effortless confidence, something which no doubt contributed to her winning the 2012 title of "Sexiest Woman Alive" for Esquire magazine. What's more surprising is that she remains so down to earth.

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Despite her fame and fortune, Mila spends most of her free time running errands and spending time with her husband and children, all while remaining "the most beautiful, opinionated, talkative, and funny movie star that we've all known since she was nine," according to Esquire.

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8. Taylor Swift

Come on, how could we make an it-girl list and not include T-swift? She's certified pop royalty and has been circulating on everyone's playlist for as long as we can remember, so much so that she earned the #1 spot on Maxim's "Hot 100" in 2015, and her success is only growing.

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But it's definitely not all about the music for this 31-year old powerhouse. "To me, feminism is probably the most important movement that you could embrace," she exclaimed in her interview with Maxim. "Because it's just basically another word for equality." We couldn't agree more, Taylor!

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7. Selena Gomez

She may be one of the world’s most beloved pop stars these days, but we haven’t forgotten her years as a Disney ingenue! From Wizards of Waverly Place to releasing hit albums and starring in Hollywood blockbusters, Selena Gomez is always going to have a place in our hearts.

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And it's not just us - TC Candler and The Independent Critics's named her one of their "100 Most Beautiful Faces of 2020," and it wasn't just due to her looks. "Aesthetic perfection is only one of the criteria," the publication said. "Grace, elegance, originality, daring, passion, class, poise, joy," explained the rest.

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6. Madison Beer

Back in 2012, Justin Bieber was at the top of his game, and a single tweet from him could make or break a young up-and-comers career. Just ask Madison Beer, who came to public attention that year when JB praised the young singer to his millions of fans, bringing her untold attention for years to come.

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Jacopo Raule via Getty Images

And it’s true that Madison is lucky in a lot of ways - natural beauty, a gorgeous voice, and high praise from one of the biggest pop stars in the world are nothing to sniff at. But she doesn’t owe everything to luck. Her willingness to talk about and advocate for mental health support has a lot to do with it too!

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5. Emily Faye Miller

When the reality show Too Hot To Handle debuted on Netflix, viewers couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous Emily Faye, and the show launched her to it-girl status virtually overnight. But one thing fans have learned is that there’s so much more to Emily than the weeks she spent in Turks and Caicos.

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In the last year, she’s gone on a journey of success and self-discovery, promoting the importance of self-worth and self-love to many viewers. And in her own time, she’s begun working on her career too, including collaborating with the clothing line Pretty Little Thing. We can’t wait to see what life has in store for her!

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4. Francesca Farago

Speaking of Too Hot To Handle… who could forget Francesca Farago, the iconic beauty who also found herself on Lana’s bad side? Though many of us were rooting for her and co-star Harry Jowsey, we’re happy to see she’s thriving both on and off the show.

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The 26-year old model is showing us how good being single can look, and she’s proving to be something of a “girl boss,” too. Just take a look at her Instagram, where she has launched her new bikini line, Farago the Label. We wouldn’t mind grabbing a set for ourselves!

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3. Zendaya

Is anyone more of a real-life ‘main character’ than Euphoria’s Zendaya? From her early days on Disney’s Shake It Up to her award-winning performances in film and TV to her outspoken advocacy for women’s rights, this young actress is a certified force to be reckoned with.

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And it's not just film fans who think so - her fellow actresses do too! Just ask Halle Berry, who has publicly praised Zendaya's success. "At 24, that she can have an idea and go get it done [with] enough support behind her... [and] power and [the ability] to keep the creativity — I think that says so much," the actress gushed.

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2. Blake Lively

Ever since her days as Serena van der Woodsen, the golden girl of the Upper East Side in the hit show Gossip Girl, we’ve been following Blake Lively’s career religiously. And though she’s still serving up immaculate looks on and off the red carpet, she’s come a long way since her wild-child days.

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These days she seems more comfortable being a wife and a mother than she does sauntering up and down the Met Gala steps - but that doesn't make her any less noteworthy. She was even recently named "The World's Most Desirable Woman" by AskMen. And we can see why.

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1. Bella Hadid

How could we not put Bella Hadid on our list? After all, she’s said to be the most beautiful woman in the world… at least according to renowned plastic surgeon Julian De Silva, who has described Bella’s face as closer to being "mathematically perfect" than any woman he’s ever seen.

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But it’s not all about looks: Bella has spent plenty of time channeling her energies into charity ventures, as well as launching a collaboration with the adaptogenic drink manufacturer Kin Euphorics. We’re so excited to see what’s next for this conquering supermodel. First the runway, and next? The world...

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