By Amanda Bruce
There was fierce competition in the early days of the Girls' poll to see who would land in the top 10, but by the last week, there was a clear leader of the pack. Did your idea of beauty make this year's list? Check out the results below:
Votes Earned: 1481
On The Net: @ninadobrev
Beauty Mark: Nina got her start in performing taking dance classes and competing in rhythmic gymnastics before she began modeling. Though she did keep up with her school work, and even majored in sociology in University, once she started nailing auditions, she decided to put her education on hold to pursue acting full time. A few made for TV movies under her belt, she scored a lead role on Degrassi: The Next Generation, the role that would make her famous. Nowadays, she's best known for the dual roles of Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce on The Vampire Diaries, a challenging experience, and one that has earned her so much respect by her fans that she won a People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama Actress - she wasn't even nominated in the spot, but her fans wrote her into the ballots.
Nina is also a huge supporter of the organization Free The Children, an organization that encourages young people to help other young people. They set up education programs in developed countries, as well as help to create sustainable development in countries like Ghana, Haiti, and Sierra Leone. Not only has Nina encouraged her fans to support the group, but she's hosted activities for them, even designed clothing with some of the profits going to the organization as well. Nina frequently uses her twitter account as a platform to educate her fans about the causes she cares about, so you can always find more information there.
9. Jennette McCurdy
Votes Earned: 1567
On The Net: @jennettemccurdy
Beauty Mark: Jennette has become a staple in our polls here at Portrait. She got her start more than 10 years ago with guest appearances on the sketch comedy series MadTV. She proved that even as a youngster she had some serious acting chops with guest spots on shows like Strong Medicine and Law and Order: SVU. Dan Schneider, creator of several Nickelodeon series, made her a household name when he cast her in the kids' sitcom iCarly though, and her talent for comedy is keeping her busy. She's now starring on the Nick show Sam and Cat, a buddy comedy that spun off from her former series, and she's got a Nickelodeon movie debuting on the network this month. She's even a spokeperson for Birdseye, encouraging kids to find new and fun ways to eat their vegetables.
Since fatal illnesses are something close to Jennette's heat (her mother is a two time breast cancer survivor), she lends her support to a couple of different groups that help children fighting life threatening illnesses. She's done a lot of work for St. Jude's, a research hospital that treats kids, and helps their families understand their illnesses, completely for free. The group relies entirely on donations, and Jennette has worked to raise money for them by using the funds spent by fans on meet and greet opportunities with her during her album tour to donate to the hospital. She's also participated in meet and greets at the hospital itself. The actress has also been named one of the ambassadors for the Starlight Children's Foundation, a group that works with chronically, and often terminally, ill children as well.
8. Samantha Barks
Votes Earned: 1791
On The Net: @SamanthaBarks
Beauty Mark: Samantha is making her debut on our list this year, which isn't all that suprising since she's only been in the professional acting world for a few years now. She's already done a little bit of everything though. She started off training in dance and music as a little girl, before studying the Arts post secondary school, and getting into the theater scene. Shereleased her first album independently, though sales weren't so great. She competed in a reality show looking for a lead role in the musical Oliver!. She came in third place, but continued to pursue theater, even landing the prominent role of Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables, a role she would also earn in the movie version a few years later. Samantha even worked on a television series for the Disney Channel UK last year. And up next, you can catch her on the big screen in a new Dracula movie, set to hit theaters next year.
Samantha has also lent her support to her fellow theater workers when they're in trouble. She was one of many performers to support the legendary theater shop Dress Circle. The small store boasted one of the most extensive collections of memorabilia in the world, but it faced serious financial trouble with the increase of people shopping online auction sites and downloading music. Samantha was one of the performers who participated in a concert to raise funds to insure the shop owners could make their rent. Though the store did wind up shutting its doors in 2012, their website is still operational.
7. Felicia Day
Votes Earned: 5013
On The Net: @feliciaday
Beauty Mark: Felicia is another debut on our list this year, though she's been in the entertainment industry for over a decade now, and her skill set beyond the entertainment industry is varied as well. She studied ballet and opera from a very young age. She was homeschooled as a kid, and made her way to college on a violin performance scholarship at the age of 16. She even double majored in math and music performance. Once she graduated, she decided to pursue acting professionally, and she's scored a slew of guest spots and roles in independent films. Since then, she's become a fixture in both television and web series created by Joss Whedon, she's written, produced, and acted in her own web series, and she's got a recurring character on the popular drama Supernatural.
She's also a firm believer in spreading the wealth, so she has several groups that she regularly donates to, and she's a frequent participator in charity auctions, where the proceeds from entertainment memorabilia, or even the cost for a meet and greet, are donated to charitable groups. Some of her favorite non-profits include: The Mr. Holland Opus Foundation, which donates instruments to US public schools to help keep music education alive; The Stray Cat Alliance, which works to capture, treat, and release feral cats to insure that diseases aren't being spread amongst strays, and that the stray cat population is kept under control; And Kiva, an organization that allows people to loan money to small businesses all over the world.
6. Shay Mitchell
Votes Earned: 7680
On The Net: @shaymitch
Beauty Mark: Shay's had an interest in performing from a very young age, and she landed a modeling contract as a preteen. After being photographed for campaigns all over the world, she began to take a serious interest in acting, starting with commercial work before getting a part as something not too far from the truth for an episode of Degrassi - a model. She also had an arc as a cheerleader on the Disney series Aaron Stone before auditioning for the book to tv adaptation of Pretty Little Liars. Though Shay auditioned for the role of Spencer Hastings, she went on to win the role of Emily Fields, a character that would not only make her famous, but make her a role model.
Though she has plenty of time for fun, she also takes that role model status very serious. Shay is a huge supporter of the Somaly Mam Foundation, named for a Cambodian activist. The organization works to end sexual slavery and human trafficking. Shay began her work with the organization in 2011, when she actually spent almost a month traveling in Cambodia and meeting people helped by the group. Since then, she has hosted fashion events that raised money for the organization, and even going sky diving with a group of other celebrity supporters after earning money for the organization.
"People are so caught up in looking into the future, that they kind of lose what's in front of them."
Votes Earned: 10388
On The Net: @JennaUshkowitz
Beauty Mark: Jenna has been in the business almost as long as she's been able to walk. From children's programming like Sesame Street to Broadway's The King And I, she had an impressive resume as a kid. When she wasn't acting professionally, she was attending a school where she could act and sing in the school musicals, getting in more practice. In 2008, after graduating from college with a degree in Theater Arts and a minor in Musical Theater, Jenna understudied several different roles in the Broadway show Spring Awakening. She acted alongside future Glee costar Lea Michele. She reunited with Lea only a year later when they were both cast in the musical dramedy series that would make them household names. Inspired by the fans who followed her career, Jenna even penned a book about her experiences growing up in the entertainment world called Choosing Glee. It's part autobiography, part motivational tool.
Jenna has heavily campaigned for the group Oceana, which works to clean up the world's oceans. They have offices all over the world, but Jenna's done most of her work for the group from California. She's a frequent guest at their fundraising events, and last year, she even opened up her closet in the name of charity. She donated several dresses she wore at high profile events, including the one she wore to the premier of Twilight, to be auctioned off for the group through Closets for Causes. For her twenty-fifth birthday, as fans expressed an interest in uniting to send the actress a gift, Jenna did them one better - she asked for them, as well as her family and friends, to make a $25 donation to Oceana in her name instead.
"Confidence is key. Sometimes, you have to look like you're confident, even when you're not."
Votes Earned: 25631
On The Net: @VanessaHudgens
Beauty Mark: Vanessa has been working to be an actress since she was eight years old. She performed in musical theater shows in her hometown before she started thinking about acting seriously. When she landed her first nationl commercial, her family moved from Salinas to Los Angeles, California to support her. Her first major acting role was a guest spot in the sitcom Still Standing as a friend of one of the main characters. She would make her big screen debut in Thirteen, but her breakout role was the Disney movie High School Musical. The Disney franchise had America seeing her as the perpetual girl next door, an image she shed as she got over nude photo scandals and diversified her acting portfolio in movies like Bandslam, Sucker Punch, and last year's Spring Breakers.
Much like she's diversified her acting portfolio, Vanessa also diversifies her charitable efforts. She's participated in fundraising efforts for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, VH1's Save The Music Campaign, Habitat for Humanity, The Alzheimer's Association, and Stand Up to Cancer. She even recorded a track for the A Very Special Christmas one year, profts of which went to the Special Olympics. She's a regular wish granter for the Make-a-Wish Foundation as well, and a frequent donator to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. She also led the Electric Run this year, a 5K run in Los Angeles where a portion of the proceeds were donated to the Smile Train, a group that helps children born with a cleft lip to smile.
3. Ashley Tisdale
Votes Earned: 33209
On The Net: @ashleytisdale
Beauty Mark: Ashley had the storybook discovery that all actresses dream about as kids - her manager saw her in a New Jersey mall when she was only three, and she began booking commercials right away. She booked more than 100 television ads before she became interested in the theater. She reportedly saw Les Miserables as a kid and told her manager it was something she wanted to do - she ended up snagging the role of young Cosette in a touring cast. She followed that up with more theater, some minor television and move roles (around 30, to be more specific), and then she had a fateful audition - for Disney. She booked the role of Maddie on The Suite Life of Zac and Cody, which led to High School Musical, which led to an album, and a slew of family films. More recently, she's broken away from the little girl image with projects like Hellcats and Scary Movie 5, and she's well on her way to becoming a big time producer - she's even producing a movie for the Disney Channel called Cloud 9, practically coming full circle in her career.
Like her former HSM costar and close friend Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley also likes to diversify her charitable portfolio. She's done work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Variety's Power of Youth, The Make-a-Wish Foundation, St. Jude's Chilldren's Research Hospital, and the Candie's Foundation. She's also a frequent supporter of education, having designed postcards several times for the Itty Bitty Art Sale, which raised money for specific schools. And she is one of several celebs to donate clothing to Clothes Off Our Back, an organzation that auctions off the clothing of the famous, with all proceeds going to different children's charities.
2. Danneel Harris Ackles
Votes Earned: 68355 On The Net: @DanneelHarris
Beauty Mark: Though she had dance and gymnastics training as a kif, it was modeling that caught Danneel's eye. She notably modeled for Juicy Jeans and appeared in a few television commercials as well before considering acting full time. She booked her first big role on the soap Opera One Life To Live in 2003. She followed that upwith short films and guest spots on several television series before landing a plum spot as troublemaker Rachel on One Tree Hill She recurred on the series for three seasons before scheduling for the show conflicted with scheduling for the film roles she was getting. The majority of her film roles were in supporting positions, until she landed the lead in a sitcom for NBC called Friends With Benefits. The series was, unfortunately, cancelled after only one season, but Danneel married fellow actor Jensen Ackles last year (he's number one on our guys' list), and gave birth to their first child Justice Jay this year.
Danneel is a frequent supporter of numerous charities - and not just in the donation vein. She's volunteered with Out of Sight, and organization that raises money for ophthalmology (that would be study of the eyes) research, she's cycled on behalf of the Heroe's Project, and worked with Hats off to Cancer. When she and Jensen announced that they were going to be having a baby, they opted to ask fans not to send them gifts, as so many people wanted to. Instead, the happy couple asked their fans to make donations to Hats off to Cancer. The organization provides head wear to kids affected by cancer.
1. Amber Riley
Votes Earned: 102505
On The Net: @MsAmberPRiley
Beauty Mark: For the second year in a row, Amber is the highest ranked woman on our Beauty list. Her fans certainly know how to unite and keep her at the top of the poll. And with good reason. Amber knows the meaning of the word persistance. After being turned down for a spot on American Idol at 17, she went back to school to get an education, and pursued a career in entertainment afterwards. She's had a few small roles, and a television pilot that didn't get picked up, but it's her role as the confident and sassy Mercedes Jones on Glee that has brought her into the spotlight. Though she'll only be recurring in the show's next season, don't count her out just yet. Amber's also hard at work on her solo album.
Amber's also done a lot of work with different non-profit groups, proving that celebrities can bring attention to the causes that need it. She worked with Secret's Mean Stinks last year to help bring awareness to bullying amongst teenage girls. She was a spokesperson for Do Something and VH1's Save The Music Foundation in 2011 as well. This year, she recorded a single to help end child hunger. A portion of the profits from the sales of the single go to Child Hunger Ends Here.
Check out the complete list of results from this year's poll below:
1. Amber Riley with 102505 votes - 39%