Tabloids have been hammering it into my brain for years: “Stars — They’re Just Like Us!” And it’s true. I mean, aside from the opulent wealth and shiny awards and millions of Instagram followers, I can only assume they have morning breath, prefer pizza to kale and check their horoscopes from time to time. They’re only human.
And as flawed and human public figures, they make the perfect astrological spokespeople. Below I’ve catalogued 12 famous people who perfectly encapsulate their sun signs’ stereotypes. The celebrity icons of the zodiac, so to speak. Read on to find out yours, then maybe go learn about the fate of your relationship and career, according to the stars, too.
Aries: Reese Witherspoon
March 22, 1976
Reese is a quintessential Aries. She’s a natural leader who exudes charisma, as evidenced by her screen presence and eloquence on stage. All fire signs are bold and confident and attention-grabbing, but none quite like the Aries ram. The first sign of the zodiac is notable for ambition, assertion and intolerance for bullshit — all of which Reese readily illustrated when she launched her own production company, Pacific Standard.
Aries is an impatient, stubborn sign that hates being bossed around or told what to do. They would rather take initiative into their own quick-witted, capable hands. As an Aries, Reese recognized a problem — the lack of female representation in film — and immediately resolved to tackle it: “I couldn’t turn to some man and say, ‘What do we do now?’ … If you want something done, do it yourself,’” she said about the decision. Reese’s company now produces films that feature complex, independent women. She describes her ideal female lead as “bold and haunted and dangerous and triumphant.”
This is a woman who knows what she believes, knows what she wants and does not hesitate to make it happen for herself. She holds herself with the air of a true Aries: she is uncompromising, alluring and strong.
May 5, 1988
I’m not actually sure about this one because I’m not convinced Adele is bound by earthly limitations. Her voice is celestial. Her talent is otherworldly. She produced a perfect album called “21,” made me cry over boyfriends I never even had, and then disappeared for nearly five whole years. That’s just inhumane.
But that is precisely the magic of the bull. Taurus is ruled by Venus — the planet of love and passion — but it’s also a fixed earth sign, which makes Taurus stubborn and purposeful. Adele perfectly embodies this combination. She has the power to create beautiful, moving, gut-wrenching art, but she only does so on her own terms. Capable of intense focus, she will not be rushed or coerced. She is in control of her own creative drives, her own decisions.
Adele is also delightfully silly; she feels the full spectrum of human emotion and isn’t afraid to express that in a positive way. In her Carpool Karaoke segment, she goes from describing Ginger leaving the Spice Girls as “the first time I was truly heartbroken,” to telling drunken stories, to rapping a Nicki Minaj verse without inhibitions nor self-consciousness. Like a true Taurus, she is unconcerned with outer appearances, uninterested in showing off — and yet bewilderingly charming.
Gemini: Kendrick Lamar
June 17, 1987
A startling number of influential musicians claim the twins as their sun sign: Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Lauryn Hill, Andre 3000, Kanye West. One of Prince’s many alter-egos was literally named “Gemini.” It makes sense. Geminis are often hyper-analytical, philosophical, restless and internally conflicted, which causes them to crave expressive outlets. But few artists have represented the sign so archetypically as one of modern music’s biggest names: Kendrick Lamar.
Even though Kanye has described himself as “the ultimate Gemini,” some might say he represents an immature manifestation of the sign. He boomerangs often and aggressively between genius productivity and seemingly uncontrolled outbursts. On the other hand, Kendrick channels his dualities into cohesive, eloquent, inspiring projects. In 2015, he told The Guardian how he wins his battles between impulsivity and maturity: “I’ve been conflicted like that since I was a little boy. Doing music is the only way for me to get that conflict out. You heard of Gemini? There’s always two sides.”
Kendrick is arguably the best rapper alive today. He ebbs and flows seamlessly between personalities in his music, from the swaggering millionaire to the champion of humility and progress. His command over the spoken word — his talent for intelligent, curious, precise communication of complex emotion — makes him the true “ultimate Gemini.”
Cancer: Selena Gomez
July 22, 1992
When Wizards of Waverly Place premiered in 2007, both my little brother and I had massive crushes on the show’s precocious lead actress. Selena Gomez has been a member of our collective pop culture consciousness for a whole decade. For 10 years, we have watched her grow and change. Her style’s evolved, her questionable exes have reemerged, but Selena remains inexplicably lovable. That’s the hallmark of a Cancer.
Haley recently described Selena as “perfectly imperfect,” which is also the Cancer sign in a nutshell. How are they so cute? But also hot? But also flawed? But also enchanting? Much like the mystery of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know. Even when you think you know the answer (I tested it once and counted 247), you never really know (I’m pretty sure I lost track of my licks at least twice).
Cancers are known for their maturity in spiritual, karmic and artistic ways. They’re very sensitive to their surroundings and emotions, which makes them caring, generous, and intuitive to other’s needs. Selena is one of few celebrities who seems to genuinely care for her fans — not just in a “you gave me money and success” kind of way, but in a “we could be friends and hang out if I weren’t leaving town tomorrow” kind of way. Like a classic Cancer, Selena seems to naturally emit a soothing aura. She’s just plain lovable, dammit.
Leo: Kylie Jenner
August 10, 1997
Only a Leo would be capable of creating a nationwide fervor with just an unconfirmed rumor. Is Kylie Jenner pregnant? Nobody knows, but we’re still talking about it. That’s the power of a true Leo: they’re the lions of the animal kingdom, the rulers of the zodiac.
Leos are stereotypically depicted as vain, self-obsessed people. And it’s true that a typical Leo thrives on compliments and recognition, but this is often the result of a surprisingly fragile ego. Kylie is the perfect example of a Leo who has grown up in the exposure of a blinding spotlight. She handles the attention expertly; as Amelia once described, her entire existence is a study in “feeling yourself.” Her narcissism seems to be the shield she has built to combat lifelong criticism, creeping insecurity and a fear of irrelevance. It has proved very effective.
We could discuss plenty of issues with the way Kylie has handled fame (cultural appropriation and design theft, to name the major ones), but the youngest Kardashian is a lioness in many respects: she has a certain magnetism. She moves through the world poised in a self-conscious performance and it’s irresistible to watch. Instead of blindly following the gold-paved path of her older sisters, she became a powerful businesswoman, entrepreneur and media mogul in her own right. That tiny teenage genius turned her biggest sore spot into her livelihood; one day she was somewhat sheepishly admitting to her lip fillers (“it was always an insecurity of mine and I did it strictly for me”) and then she was building a lipstick empire. If that doesn’t embody the buoyant Leo spirit, nothing does.
September 1, 1996
Here’s how I knew Zendaya was a Virgo, even before looking up her birth date: the girl is freshly 21 years old and already has her shit figured out better than most adults. Hell, she had her shit figured out five years ago, making demands in a room full of Disney Channel executives. At 16 years old, she completely transformed a kids’ show — originally and embarrassingly titled Super Awesome Katy — into one of female empowerment, starring Zendaya as a math genius working undercover as a spy.
“She can’t dance; she can’t sing. She can’t do that stuff. There are other things that a girl can be,” she told Vogue. Oh yeah, did I mention that she covered Vogue back in June? Or that she already landed a starring role in a major superhero franchise? Or that her calculated take-down of Giuliana Rancic’s racist Fashion Police comments earned her national praise and her very own Barbie doll? This is the track record of a Virgo woman in her element.
Virgos are renowned for their analytical, detail-oriented thinking. They can be skeptical, self-critical perfectionists — or, when their self-image is nurtured properly, ambitious hard-workers who take great pride in their work. Zendaya is clearly the latter. She thinks about everything, from her impeccable style on the red carpet to how her image will affect young girls. She is calculating and careful in the best possible way. She knows where she came from. She knows where she’s going. And if her Virgo nature continues to do its job, she’ll take over the world soon enough.
September 29, 1994
Billboard has called Halsey “pop’s most progressive star,” largely due to her being outspokenly bisexual, biracial and bipolar. She told the magazine in August, “The dualities of my personality are kind of ironic, because I’m a Libra, obsessed with balance.” Halsey’s self-awareness did the work for me here. Her thoughtful, outgoing and expressive nature illustrates the Libran scales perfectly; she strives for harmony and flexibility in her life, often going above and beyond to show her fans that she cares. Libra is known as the people-pleaser, capable of inhabiting many sides of a personality. They are authentic, but pliable. As Halsey told Pop Justice, “I don’t want to be an artist where you can sum up my life’s work in a clickbait sentence … I’m more multidimensional than that.”
The scales are driven by a sense of understanding and fairness; Librans hate seeing bias and hate to be perceived as biased. They are accomplished at considering multiple different perspectives and stubbornly lean toward the option that fosters equality. In this vein, Halsey has been extremely vocal about social issues: speaking out against sexism in the music industry; broadcasting a video of same-sex couples kissing during her live performances of “Strangers,” a song about a love affair between two women.
The typical Libra is motivated primarily by love. The sign is ruled by Venus, and Librans tend to be big believers in soulmates. As a moveable sign, however, they are both creative and fickle. Librans, like Halsey, are the type to pour their hearts into people they’ve just met and wind up with spectacular, conscious-altering love stories that they turn into art. Halsey’s most recent single, “Bad at Love,” and, more largely, her album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, which was conceived as a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet — epitomizes this stereotype. As an artist, a lover and a classic Libra, Halsey is intense, spirited, heartfelt and completely consumed.
November 7, 1996
Trust a Scorpio to walk around with the zodiac sign in bedazzled letters on the back of her jacket. Or to consistently refer to herself as a witch. Or to become a world-famous 16-year-old, “uncomfortable with everything and wearing suits and grimaces almost exclusively.” Or to write lyrics like, “in all chaos there is calculation / dropping glasses just to hear them break.” Or to choose a stage name that so effortlessly embodies the drama of religion, worship and irony all in one. Truly, if only one Scorpio ever existed, it’s Lorde.
Scorpios are intensely private, guarded and secretive individuals. They’re often read as mysterious, but they’re mostly just misunderstood. The typical Scorpio is highly developed, both intellectually and spiritually, with a keen sense of the world around them. When Lorde first burst onto the scene with “Royals” — which both thirsted after and critiqued our hierarchical, class-driven social system — some people literally did not believe the singer/songwriter was a teenager. The Hairpin famously purchased her birth certificate to put the rumors to rest. So either she’s a Scorpio, born on November 7, 1997, or she’s an immortal sorceress inhabiting the body of a girl from New Zealand. Both seem plausible.
Lorde is the Scorpio sign incarnate: her composed, aloof exterior does not betray the fiery sensitivity of the scorpion. She chooses to reveal that sensitivity through songwriting instead. As a healthy, well-adjusted Scorpio, Lorde has found the perfect outlet for her sign’s obsessive, sometimes self-destructive nature — and has used it to transform herself, elevate her emotions and inspire others.
Sagittarius: Nicki Minaj
December 8, 1982
The trademark of the archer is that they leave a mark — however small — on any person, place or industry that they touch. For Nicki Minaj, it just happens to be a miles-long succession of marks that follow her like a comet’s tail. And she knows it. Like a true Sagittarius, she is never one to shy away from a well-earned boast: you’d have a hard time finding a Nicki verse that doesn’t mention her role as the most influential, best-selling female rapper of all time.
You’d also have a hard time finding a person she’s worked with who won’t similarly sing her praises. Sagittarians are charismatic, seductive people. In this way, Nicki’s self-assuredness, optimism and confidence draws people toward her. She had an iconic verse featured on Kanye West’s song “Monster” before she had even released a debut album — a verse that Kanye almost deleted because he knew it would outshine his own. In a recent interview for T Magazine’s annual “Greats” issue, journalist Roxane Gay is pulled into her orbit: “There is regality in how she sits. That she is wearing a bathrobe is utterly inconsequential. A queen is a queen regardless.”
The Sagittarian nature is actualized in Nicki Minaj: the endless ambition; the seeming indestructibility; the energetic, shiny, bubblegum-pink aura; the charming cockiness. She sees each obstacle as a challenge and faces them all with a smirk. She’s flirty. A notorious show-off. An independent, talented woman who stands alone at the top, but never gets lonely. People are always clamoring to join her.
Capricorn: Michelle Obama
January 17, 1964
Michelle Obama was always a down-to-earth, practical, capable woman — traits to be expected from an earth sign — but as First Lady, she was elevated. She spent eight years in a job she never wanted nor asked for, quietly emanating a sense of confidence and poise in a way that only Capricorns can.
Barack Obama has said that his wife never sought a career in politics or a life in the spotlight. True to form, Capricorns typically prefer to exist behind the scenes, working methodically and reliably. Capricorns are self-sufficient to the point of introversion; they don’t need co-workers or outside pressures to feel motivated to work. However, this sign also has remarkable potential for leadership. No figure exemplifies this paradox more clearly than Michelle Obama, from her ease in front of a crowd and penchant for inspirational words to her warm character and generous spirit.
It is the Capricorn’s nature to stick it out and hold her ground, whether it’s refusing to quit a job until it’s finished or holding fast to a clear set of values. They love to prove people wrong. As Michelle puts it, “When I listened to my own voice and cast the cynics aside, when I forged ahead and overcame the doubts and fears of others about who I was and what I could become, I found that their doubts and fears were misplaced.” She has a clarity of purpose and a resilience that is unmatched elsewhere in the zodiac — or, frankly, in the American political sphere.
February 1, 1994
Harry Styles, without realizing it, actually coined the ultimate Aquarius catchphrase: “It makes me cry performing it sometimes,” he said of his album’s lead single. “I find it quite emotional. In like, a cool way.” Only a true Aquarius could understand what it means to feel yourself overflow with emotion — onstage, no less — but “in a cool way.”
Since going solo, Harry has proved himself capable of reinvention. With his self-titled debut, he pushed his own boundaries and fearlessly evolved as an artist under the judgmental gaze of every music snob who branded him as nothing but a pretty pop star. Rolling Stone raved: “on his superb solo debut, the One Direction heartthrob claims his turf as a true rock & roll prince.” It also described him as “a cosmic dancer in touch with his introspective acoustic side as well as his glam flash,” which is the ideal Aquarius Instagram bio.
Aquarians are famously open-minded, curious and adaptable people. They’re highly capable of introspection and consequential evolution, happy to eschew the old and embrace the new. Harry’s forray into a solo career has cemented his future as the Aquarian overlord. Labeled early on as One Direction’s de facto frontman, he has always been individualistic. As an Aquarius, he naturally stands out. But his personal style only becomes more unique, more fluid and more interesting by the day. And true to the water bearer’s reputation as the zodiac’s humanitarian, he is progressive, forward-thinking and clearly interested in using his platform in a positive way — from flying the LGBT pride flag at his shows to making sure all his fans feel welcome and loved.
February 20, 1988
The last sign of the zodiac is often stereotyped as the daydreaming weirdo — head in the clouds, totally out of touch. With aggressive songs like “Bitch Better Have My Money” and lyrics like “Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage? / Fuck your white horse and a carriage,” it might not appear as though Rihanna fits the mold. But there is an airy, untroubled, zero-fucks-given kind of thing about Rihanna that is unmistakably Pisces. She has an impenetrably strong sense of self and no concern as to whether it matches the public opinion.
Take Rihanna’s perception of her weight: “I actually have had the pleasure of a fluctuating body type.” When speaking on a topic that causes the average person undue anxiety, her attitude is the equivalent of a shrug. It’s body-con dresses one day, shapeless and flowy silhouettes the next, and who cares? She’s just living her life inside a temporary little flesh suit anyway.
Or, take her perception on fashion: as Claire Beerman writes, her style is all about fearlessness. It’s almost as though she uses fashion as a defense mechanism against reality. She wears what she wants, does what she wants, whenever she wants. Full stop.
The quintessential Pisces attitude is one of shrugs and fearlessness. Pisceans are suffused with empathy and compassion, but when it comes to their own selves, they exercise complete agency. They are sensitive to their environments and can easily absorb negativity, so they often escape into their own worlds, consciously craft their own narratives and observe others. Rihanna seems to have an inherent understanding of the world around her and a complete nonchalance regarding the aspects she cannot change. Her careful perception is evident through her recent makeup endeavors, which have already been celebrated as inclusive and groundbreaking. In classic Piscean style, Rihanna navigates the world using a sharp and wise intuition.
Are you pleased or horribly offended by your sign’s icon? Get at me in the comments, I can handle it!
Illustrations by Allison Filice; follow Allison on Instagram @allisonfilice.