10 Former Pageant Queens Who Successfully Turned Superstars

Beauty pageants receive a lot of flak for being shallow, frivolous, and exploitative. While this can be true, the same doesn’t apply to their contestants.
This is quite a shift from their intended purpose. Originally, beauty pageants is to promote a positive attitude towards women and their bodies, as well as to help them gain confidence in themselves by providing them with a platform to showcase their talents.
Thankfully, people's attitudes about beauty pageants are shifting. Many beauty pageants contestants are not only beautiful but also known to be very well-educated and multi-talented.
In the past, beauty queens were often seen as a symbol of feminine perfection. Today, they are more likely to be seen as a symbol of female empowerment, and also by helping young girls develop a healthy self-image and body image at an early age.
But why the drastic shift? Take a look at these 10 pageant queens who successfully turned superstars.

#1 Diane Sawyer

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When she was 17 years old, the acclaimed journalist Diane Sawyer was awarded America's Junior Miss in 1963. While at ABC News, she was recognized for anchoring important shows such as ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, 20/20, and Primetime newsmagazine. She also was the first woman correspondent on 60 Minutes.

#2 Vanessa Williams

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When Vanessa Williams won Miss America 1984 in 1983, she made history as the first African-American woman to receive the title but was stripped of it after her nude photo was published against her consent. After the controversy, Williams went on to have a successful career as a singer and actor, with numerous awards.

#3 Lynda Carter

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Lynda Carter is an American actress, singer, and former Miss World USA. But most comic fans would know her as the first live adaptation of DC’s Wonder Woman. She reportedly earned $1 million per year on CBS for her role.

#4 Halle Berry

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Halle Berry began her career as a model and competed in various beauty pageants, placing first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant and sixth in the Miss World pageant in 1986. During the 2000s, Berry established herself as one of Hollywood's highest-paid actors.

#5 Aishwarya Rai

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Aishwarya Rai is an Indian actress who won the Miss World pageant in 1994. She has received numerous accolades for her work in Hindi and Tamil films, and she has established herself as one of India's most popular and powerful superstars. Her off-screen responsibilities include serving as a brand ambassador for a number of charitable organizations and projects.

#6 Priyanka Chopra Jonas

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Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the Miss World 2000 winner, is one of India's highest-paid actresses. She has won several awards, including two National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards. Chopra has recorded three singles as a music artist and has given voice to several of her film tunes.

#7 Lee Meriwether

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The winner of the Miss America 1955 pageant, Lee Meriwether has appeared in many films and television shows. With a career spanning six decades, Lee has received numerous accolades in acting, including two Golden Globe Award nominations in 1975 and 1976, and an Emmy Award nomination in 1977.

#8 Olivia Culpo

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She was named Miss USA and Miss Universe in 2012 after winning the Miss Rhode Island USA competition. Culpo rose to prominence as a social media celebrity after amassing a sizable following on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and has worked as an influencer for various cosmetics and fashion companies like L'Oréal, Kipling, and Uberliss.

#9 Debbie Greenwood

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Debbie Greenwood is a British television presenter and former Miss Great Britain, having won the title in 1984. Greenwood has since been on a number of UK-based satellite and cable shopping channels, including TV Travel Shop, Bid TV, The Craft Channel, and, most notably, twelve years as a QVC presenter, beginning in 2001.

#10 Vanessa Lachey

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In 1998, she has crowned Miss Teen USA. She worked as a journalist for Entertainment Tonight in New York and presented Total Request Live on MTV.
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