More from EW
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NSYNC's first album cover, *NSYNC
Isabella says: Chris looks like he got lost on the way to his Korn audition. Lance... seems relatively normal, and JC pretty much looks like a standard bro. Justin is 16 and looks like he's trying to seduce a friend's mom. Joey really seems like he would be a nice older brother. Overall, everyone but Chris (surprise, surprise) really makes it out of this photo okay. How far they would fall once they discovered stronger bleach and stickier hair gel…
Ariana says: Scarily accurate descriptions across the board. I’m just so curious about how Chris's hair got that way: Was there a fan involved? Is that bedhead? Is the way the hair falls on his forehead supposed to symbolize something? Classic Chris, always keeping us guessing.
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JC the Hedgehog
Ariana says: JC tried to turn his stick-straight hair into a Justin-style fro, but instead it looks like he glued a bunch of shoestring potato sticks to his scalp and called it a day.
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Isabella says: On the positive side, I guess we can credit Chris (who, let’s remember, was 30 when J.T. was 20) with having Brooklyn’s trendy “undercut” almost two decades before it was cool. But on the flip side, he looks like a perverted genie who scalped Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz, braided his hair, added blonde extensions, and glued it onto his own head. There is no universe in which Chris Kirkpatrick would be allowed into a boy band today. Absolutely none.
Ariana says: At least the look (somehow) worked for Duritz: His rumored girlfriends include bombshells like Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, and Mary-Louise Parker. All Chris got out of it was a random diss in an Eminem song.
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Isabella says: Yes, Justin has cornrows. They aren’t the best. But what I really want to talk about here are his eyebrows: Those babies are straight-up rectangular, and I’m pretty sure his makeup artist actually glued them on. I just…
Ariana says: The rectangular eyebrows are quite eye-catching—and look like something Cara Delevingne might successfully rock on a runway.
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Joey’s Platinum Blonde
Isabella says: The real question here is whether Joey frosted his tips in homage to his clone, Guy Fieri, or if it was the other way around. Thoughts?
Ariana says: Oh, I think they definitely frosted them together at the Flavortown Salon before taking a road trip to Flavortown, U.S.A. They do have that Food Network connection, after all. (For those who do not follow Fatone’s whereabouts: He’s currently the host of reality cooking show Rewrapped.)
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Lance Bass, generally speaking
Ariana says: Like JC, Lance was a fan of giving each individual strand of hair its time in the spotlight. It looks not only like he spent hours painstakingly separating his strands to resemble tiny little sticks, but also like he dumped a bottle of Sun-In over his head and fell asleep outside.
Isabella says: I wonder how long he could wear this look before each little prickly clump broke right off. Is it just me, or do his eyes always look like he knows your deepest, darkest thoughts? Maybe that’s why his hair’s so tall—it’s full of secrets.
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Ariana says: Their hair colors are so awful that it looks like they went to the hairdresser, said “Surprise us!”—and then found out their hairdresser was actually a Backstreet Girl all along.
Isabella says: HAH! So true. Joey has a look on his face like he’s wearing high heels that match his red hair (but can’t quite walk in them yet). I miss Justin’s ramen noodle head sometimes.
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Chris one-ups himself, does pigtail braids
Ariana says: Pigtails are cute on little girls and grown-up Japanese pop stars named Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, but not on grown men who choose to weave white braids—white, of all colors!—into said pigtails. He’s probably trying to come off as alternative, but instead looks like a Pound Puppy that Cinderella’s fairy godmother turned into a human.
Isabella says: Maybe he let a 6-year-old fan do his hair? I’ve never seen someone’s eyes look so dead. He knows this was a horrible, horrible mistake.
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Ariana says: These beautiful, golden ringlets are the stuff dreams are made of. If there aren’t already entire fan fictions devoted to these curls, there definitely should be. Also, points for what looks like it might be his natural hair color.
Isabella says: You’re right: Somehow, Justin doesn’t look awful here. Until you realize he’s playing Justin Guarini’s stunt double in From Justin to Kelly.
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The Time of Hats, Justin and JC
Isabella says: Justin is going full Los Angeles douchebag with that VELVET FEDORA, but honestly, JC’s curly mullet playing peek-a-boo with a bucket hat might actually be worse. But to his credit, it doesn’t look like he can see his error with that thing over his eyes.
Ariana says: I’ve always understood hats as the solution to bad hair days, but the bucket hat just worsens JC’s and shows off that Farrah Fawcett flip he has going on. It's called a Farrah Fawcett flip because only Farrah Fawcett should be allowed to do it.
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'Celebrity,' their last album cover
Ariana says: Their looks on the Celebrity album cover are tame compared to their self-titled effort, but JC and Joey’s highlights still bring unnecessary (and negative) attention to their heads. No wonder they’re the only two standing in the back.
Isabella says: Looks like only Justin learned the true lesson here: When you’re about to break out on your own and achieve massive amounts of global solo success, just shave it off.