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16 Celebs You Didn't Know Were Once Beauty Pageant Queens

Miss America 2019 (which, yes, is happening in 2018) is right around the corner, and with it your annual excuse to watch Miss Congeniality judgment-free. Though the nature of the competition has changed a lot through the last 98 years (this will be the first year without a swimsuit contest component), the gist of it remains the same: tiaras, evening gowns, and a universal desire for world peace. No matter what you think of beauty pageantry, there’s no denying that these competitions give young women a platform. Many pageant queens go on to do great things (ahem, Oprah, Diane Sawyer … ). VIDEO: Miss America Is Ditching Its Swimsuit Competition Scroll down below to see 16 women who made the transition from pageant contestant to celebrity.