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Flawed and Fabulous: The Truth About Stars’ Imperfections

Celebrities and public figures always seem so perfect, so of course it captures our attention when someone is proudly imperfect. These famous faces (and bodies) have some famous flaws that have been the subject of speculation and even urban legends. Here’s the deal about these well-known physical characteristics that people love to gossip about. Warning: the truth is much more boring than the fiction!
  • All About Eve?

    Supermodel Karolina Kurkova’s belly button—or lack thereof—has led some people to wonder whether she is literally sent by God. Relax, she’s human. Karolina’s not-there-navel is the result of an umbilical hernia, which many infants have at birth. The quick surgery to fix the protrusion usually leaves the person with only a smooth indentation and not the telltale "button." Although Kurkova’s midsection is fine as it is, her catalog photographs are usually retouched so that she has a more normal navel.

  • Walk the Line

    Joaquin Phoenix’s signature scar runs from his nostril to his lip, and most people assume it’s from surgery to repair a cleft palate. Actually, Phoenix was born with the scar. He did have a very mild form of cleft palate, called microform cleft, which healed in utero, so his “scar” is really just a birthmark.

  • The Blind Side

    Contrary to popular belief, the peppy star of The Hogan Family does not have a glass eye. As a young woman, Sandy Duncan had a tumor behind her left eye, which destroyed her optic nerve. Her eye is real, and it’s her own, but she can no longer see out of it.

  • Scarface

    It’s easy to see why musician Seal would want to perpetuate the rumors that his facial scars are the result of some tribal ritual from his Nigerian heritage. That explanation is false, but it’s much more interesting than the truth, which is that he suffers from a form of lupus that only affects the skin above the neck.

  • Thumbs Up

    Speculation about Megan Fox’s thumbs reached a fever pitch when it was revealed that she had used a stunt thumb in her Motorola commercial for the 2010 Super Bowl. Were hers too freakish to display? Was she really an alien? No, Fox just has a genetic condition called brachydactyly, which literally means “short fingers.” Yes, one of the world’s most beautiful women has a flaw—stubby thumbs. Technically, it’s not really a defect, just a variation of normal.

  • Get My Good Side

    On television, the 30 Rock star favors her right side, downplaying a faint scar on the lower left part of her face. Fey has said that she prefers not talking about it, but she has revealed that it’s the result of a random act of violence from her childhood. Fey was five years old and playing in her front yard when a stranger attacked her and slashed her face.

  • Celebrity Skin

    Part of Padma Lakshmi’s intrigue is the pronounced seven-inch scar on her arm. When she was a teenager, the Top Chef host was driving with her parents when they got into a terrible car accident. The scar is the result of surgery to repair her shattered arm. Although she initially tried to hide it, Lakshmi discovered that it didn’t hinder her modeling career and now makes no attempts at camouflage.

  • What’s Yours Is Mine

    Paul McCartney’s ex-wife Heather Mills may be a prevaricator and a gold digger, but one thing she is not is a land-mine victim. It’s well-known that Mills lost part of her left leg in an accident, but she didn’t lose it to a land mine, as many believe. She was hit by a speeding police motorcycle and sustained serious injuries that caused doctors to amputate her leg at the knee. She’s strongly associated with land mines because she supports many charities, including a foundation that disposes of land mines to protect children from losing limbs.

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