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Top 10 Celebrity Pictures That Broke the Internet

VO: Lisa Yang
The term broke the internet has been used many times in the last year or so. There are some pictures posted by celebrities that took the internet by storm and some pictures that literally crashed social media sites. You’ve probably seen these pictures or have even liked them yourself! We’re talking about Kim K’s Paper magazine cover, Ellen’s Oscar selfie, 90s The Rock, Kim and Kayne’s wedding, full frontal Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus twerking on Robin Thicke and Kendall Jenner’s heart shaped hair posted on her Instagram.
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Top 10 Celebrity Pictures That Broke The Internet


A picture is worth a thousand retweets. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrity Pictures That Broke The Internet.

For this list, we’re taking a look at photos of famous people that took social media by storm. Since this list is exclusively for celebrity pictures, we’ve excluded the dress that divided the Internet. For the record, it was blue and black!

#10: Kendall Jenner’s Heart-Shaped Hair

Sometimes the most simplistic celebrity photos attract the most attention. Wearing a lacy dress, Kendall Jenner lay down on the floor and arranged her hair to look like several hearts. While that might sound pretty straightforward, this snapshot quickly became the most-liked image on Instagram. Kendall’s pic even managed to surpass her half-sister’s record-breaking wedding photo, which is no small feat. Although Kendall’s record has also been broken since then, her photo still entranced the Internet and influenced numerous copycats. With the lovely locks of Rapunzel and the demeanor of Sleeping Beauty, Kendall certainly tapped into her inner Disney princess here.

#9: Miley Cyrus Twerks on Robin Thicke

As hard as you try to look away, you just can’t stop. At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus donned a racy bear leotard. The performance got even weirder as Robin Thicke walked on stage in full Beetlejuice attire and Cyrus stripped down to a skin-colored two-piece. Armed with a foam finger, Cyrus proceeded to twerk against Thicke’s nether regions. This image not only made the masses forget about Cyrus’ Disney Channel days, but also inspired countless memes. While their performance became a subject of criticism and controversy, Cyrus’ social media activity reportedly saw a 112% increase following the event. Any publicity is good publicity but it’s unlikely that Billy Ray has this picture on the mantle piece.

#8: Meet Olivia Benson

If you haven’t noticed already, the Internet is kind of obsessed with cats. Likewise, anything with Taylor Swift’s name on it is easy clickbait. So it’s no wonder that this photo garnered so many likes on Instagram. In 2014, the cat-loving singer introduced the world to her latest feline friend. Featuring a cuddly white kitten sitting on Swift’s lap, this picture had the whole Internet collectively saying, “Awww.” In the photo caption, Swift stated that she had named her new kitty Olivia Benson after Mariska Hargitay’s character on “Law & Order: SVU.” Hargitay responded to Swift with a photo of herself wearing a cat collar, which is equally adorable.

#7: Full Frontal Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber may not always be the most “adult” person in the room, but this photo proves that he’s not a little boy anymore. In 2015, the Biebs went on vacation to Bora Bora with model Jayde Pierce. Wearing nothing but tattoos and a tanline, Justin exited his villa and wandered onto the Jacuzzi deck. Unbeknownst to him, the paparazzi were waiting nearby to take a few snapshots and it was only a matter of time until these photos were leaked. When the Bieber penis had fully entered the Internet, his reps reportedly sent cease and desist letters to multiple news outlets. But, while making an appearance on “Ellen,” though, the pop star didn’t seem too upset about his dick pics. Maybe that’s why the song is called “Confident.”

#6: The Royal Wedding

All eyes were on Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011 when the couple officially tied the knot. Their wedding at Westminster Abbey not only took the world by storm, but the World Wide Web as well. The royal wedding reportedly attracted 72 million viewers via YouTube, setting a Guinness World Record for Most Live Streams for a Single Event. Even if you didn’t watch the event live, it was impossible to go online without spotting the official wedding photos. If you weren’t in love with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge already, you definitely fell head over heels after seeing these pics. And really, was there a woman on the planet that didn’t want to try on Kate’s gorgeous dress?

#5: Kim and Kanye’s Wedding

Kate and William might be actual royalty, but Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are social media royalty, which today is pretty much the same thing. Well in any case, nobody can deny that the Internet went crazy for Kimye’s wedding pictures. The couple’s first kiss as husband and wife against a flower wall was even the most liked image on Instagram for a period of time, and by 2017 it’s accumulated well over 2 million likes. Even if you’re not a fan of either bride or groom, chances are you still looked through their entire wedding album. This event was so extravagant and hyped up that every pop culture junkie had to see what the fuss was all about.

#4: ‘90s The Rock

Over the years, wrestler turned actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has built up a pretty badass reputation. At the same time, he isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself. In 2014, Johnson posted a ‘90s throwback photo of himself on Instagram. In this hilarious picture, Johnson sported a silver necklace, a turtleneck, and … a leather fanny pack. The Internet couldn’t believe that a certified action star could look like such a colossal dork. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop People Magazine from naming the People’s Champion Sexiest Man Alive in 2016. Johnson even told People, “It takes a lot of confidence to rock a fanny pack.” To be fair, if anybody could make bum bags trendy, it’s The Rock.

#3: Call Me Caitlyn

In 2015, the world was officially introduced to Caitlyn Jenner via the cover of Vanity Fair. Previously known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn became the first openly transgender woman to appear on the magazine’s cover. With the caption “Call me Caitlyn,” this image marked a significant moment for the transgender community, not to mention social media. Shortly after the cover was published, Caitlyn sent out her first tweet. Within four hours and three minutes, she broke the Guinness World Record for fastest time to reach one million Twitter followers, leaving US President Barack Obama in the dust. In the days that followed, Jenner’s social media presence only grew; meanwhile, her Vanity Fair cover remains truly unforgettable.

#2: Break the Internet Kim Kardashian

As the Queen of Selfies, Kim Kardashian has broken the Internet on multiple occasions. But when she appeared on the cover of Paper Magazine in 2014, the caption actually dared her to break the Internet! Given the image on the front, few would have been surprised if the Internet actually exploded. Photographed by Jean-Paul Goude, the cover depicted Kardashian removing a sequined gown and revealing her rear-end. In just one day, Paper’s website gained 15.9 million page views. Despite receiving a mixed response, this intoxicating image put the independent magazine on the map.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Donald Trump’s Hair
- Katy Perry Meets the Vice President
- Gisele Bündchen Multitasking

#1: Ellen’s Oscar Selfie

Host Ellen DeGeneres made the 86th Academy Awards a night to remember, as she set out to break the record for most retweeted photo. After initially approaching Meryl Streep, Ellen eventually attracted Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Channing Tatum, and Lupita Nyong’o. Lupita’s brother Peter even got in on the fun. Although “breaking the Internet” is a fairly loose term, Ellen’s Oscar selfie literally caused Twitter to temporarily shut down. She also succeeded in breaking a Twitter record, as her photo was retweeted over 3 million times within two weeks. While attributed to Ellen, it was actually Bradley Cooper with his thumb on the button so maybe all this Ellen praise is misdirected.

Do you agree with our list? What other celebrity pictures broke the Internet? For more entertaining Top 10s published everyday, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.
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