Yes, we know. “No way! You’re telling me that these beautiful actresses and gorgeous models used to be cheerleaders back in their high schools too? Next you’ll claim other bizarre facts, like water being wet and the sky being blue!” You’re probably sarcastically typing in the comment section, looking for some validation through upvotes or likes. Regardless, knowing which celeb used to be former cheerleaders is worth a read. Why? It’s because there is an aura surrounding cheerleaders that make them quite the symbol of femininity in many all-American high schools. In the US, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a male who doesn’t at all find cheerleaders exciting and steamy. There is an element of titillation from the cheers and the outfits of these cheerleaders that make them as hot as French maids, substitute teachers, or librarians in their twenties. Sure, they’re presented as catty, shallow and drones to the queen of the school, but that’s not necessarily always true.
What may be true is that they are the unattainable, attractive, and prominent character motifs most Americans are familiar with. But knowing which celebrities used to be cheerleaders in high school adds more than just another notch onto their list of accolades throughout their semi-charmed kind of life while gaining brownie points from their gaggle of male fans and admirers. In many ways, their cheerleader pasts paved the way to their celebrity present, which prepared them to face a world full of adulation, sacrifice, fame, infamy, and jealousy.
15. Jennifer Lawrence
Well, of course Jennifer Lawrence used to be a cheerleader. The Kentucky beauty whose first big role was the daughter in The Bill Engvall Show on TBS (the same Bill Engvall who’s part of the Blue Collar Comedy Group) has been described as the school nerd who somehow ended up in the body of the prom queen (which sounds like a great concept for a coming-of-age film). Her hillbilly background helps keep her grounded despite her huge success in Hollywood because of roles like The Hunger Games‘ Katniss Everdeen or her work in American Hustle. It isn’t hard to imagine that this award-winning hottie who’s the toast of the town currently (she’s the 2nd highest paid actress at $34 million) was once a high school cheerleader. She certainly has the personality for it. Her leaked photos scandal, which voyeuristically showcases her adulthood, J. Law continues to exude a charming innocence that makes her oblivious to how hot she is.
14. Megan Fox
Speaking of Renaissance Women, a good representative of such a type of woman is Megan Denise Fox. Regardless of the opinions you might have of her roles in Michael Bay‘s Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this former cheerleader has accomplished quite a lot as a model and actress. She brings a wry sense of wit and humor to her every project, as evidenced by her black comedy horror film Jennifer’s Body. Like many real-life cheerleaders who get a bad rap for the stereotype that depicts cheerleaders as dumb and shallow, Megan Fox continues to prove herself throughout her career, from being a fan service type of character when she was a single model to a working mom with multimillion-dollar projects under her belt as a mother of three kids. Criticize her acting (or lack thereof) all you want, but people cannot take away from her the fact that she’s hugely successful and has starred in multimillion-to-multibillion-dollar movies.
13. Kendall Jenner
Although she has become the voice of the Millennial Generation due to her influence on them and the popularity of the television show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Caitlyn Jenner‘s daughter Kendall has made a mark in the 2010s the same way Alicia Silverstone did in the 90s. It comes as no surprise that the television personality ended up becoming a cheerleader when she was in high school. While in school, it’s probably almost a given for her to end up in the cheerleading club due to her role in the E! reality show. After all, fame begets fame. On that note, she also became a model during the so-called “Instagirl Era” (as dubbed by Vogue) or “Social Media Modelling” by Harper’s Bazaar. She’s someone many a present-day cheerleader loves to emulate, gaining influence not only from her TV fame but also from her huge social media following on Instagram and Twitter.
12. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Morgan Lohan is a Disney Channel kid who’s had her ups and downs, from being the “next big thing” in Hollywood to her Britney-Spears-like breakdown. Regardless, the American actress, songwriter, pop singer and model has done quite a lot in her career. The former child actress was herself a cheerleader during the few times she’s ever attended real school. Her cheerleader past is reflected, strangely enough, by the peaks and valleys of her career as well as the plot behind Mean Girls (where she started out first as a nice girl next door then ended up as one of the popular kids). She’s like an innocent girl that couldn’t handle her sudden popularity and vices the same way some geeky girls end up becoming cheerleader alpha girls in high school, only to end up young and pregnant by their jock boyfriends soon after.
11. Cameron Diaz
Who could forget the ever-charming Cameron Diaz? Back in her peak in the 90s, she was the fresh-faced love interest in Jim Carrey‘s The Mask that most men fell in love with. These males were so enamored with Cameron that they were willing to sit through a Julia Roberts movie just to get a peek at her as the bride and designated antagonist in My Best Friend’s Wedding. Her innocent charm back in the 90s and the turn of the millennium is reminiscent of her contemporary, J-Law. The dancing scene in Charlie’s Angels and the karaoke scene in My Best Friend’s Wedding showcase her awkward clumsiness that probably made her absolutely adorable as a cheerleader. She might not be the best dancer or singer, but she sure has cheer and pep! The beautiful Latina (who strangely isn’t marketed as a Latina) has done quite a bit in Hollywood, from voice acting, to modelling, to starring in some of the most memorable movies.
10. Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone was the proverbial it girl of the 90s, with her gaining fame by being part of Aerosmith music videos and making her film debut in the 1993 movie Crush. It was through that film that she earned the youth vote and won the 1994 MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance. So imagining her as a cheerleader of sorts isn’t that much of a stretch. She’s quite the looker and charmer. She was a teen idol all throughout the 90s, hitting her peak by starring in the comedy hit Clueless in 1995. However, she got a bit of a career slump by playing Batgirl in the critical flop and commercial disappointment Batman & Robin in 1997. Her Excess Baggage starring role in the same year didn’t do her any favors either. She still made bank regardless since it was all part of a multimillion-dollar deal with Columbia Pictures.
9. Blake Lively
It’s Mrs. Deadpool! We’re kidding; there’s more to Blake Lively than being Mrs. Ryan Reynolds (the same way there’s more to Ryan Reynolds than being Mr. Scarlett Johansson once upon a time). The American actress is most well-known as Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl. She also starred in movies like 2005’s The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, 2009’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and opposite her hubby in 2011’s Green Lantern. This former cheerleader seemed destined for Hollywood, with cheerleading seemingly an outlet for her performer background. To be more specific, her father was an actor and her mother was a talent scout. She’s been around Hollywood types all her life because of her parentage, similar to what Carrie Fisher went through by having a crooner father and a movie star mother. The Gossip Girl actress probably made extensive use of her experience as a cheerleader to help mold her character and how she interacts with the other girls in her show.
8. Eva Longoria
The American businesswoman, activist, director, producer and actress known as Eva Jacqueline Longoria Baston was herself a cheerleader once upon a time. Not shocking, but can you imagine young Eva as a cheerleader? In every role, she portrays an ambitious woman in power who knows what she wants and how to get it. The Desperate Housewives actress essentially helped make a show that’s Melrose Place but with housewives a late 2000s hit. Although real-life Eva was probably the sweetest and most wholesome cheerleader around in her pic, imagine the Desperate Housewives actress having a Mean Girls type of origin story. What if she were a Regina George as a cheerleader who grew up to be a Gabrielle Solis? In case you didn’t know, her amazing performance as Gabrielle won her well-earned accolades like Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award nominations.
7. Halle Berry
A Cleveland native who’s both an Oscar-winning (for Monster’s Ball) and Razzie-winning (for Catwoman) actress, Halle Maria Berry is one of the most drop-dead gorgeous women in Hollywood today. She also used to be a cheerleader herself. No surprises here. She’s one of the most peppy and cheerful faces in Hollywood. Case in point: even when faced with something as embarrassing as starring in the critically panned superhero movie flop Catwoman, she still had enough of a sense of humor to attend the Golden Raspberry Awards to receive her award for worst actress. Other actresses would probably have been too proud to show up. Her self-confidence didn’t even shatter when critics criticized her portrayal of Storm, lacking the accent and verboseness of the comic original. But it makes sense — after all, she’s the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. She’s a cheerleader that embodies cheerfulness indeed.
6. Jessica Simpson
It’s not hard to imagine Jessica Ann Johnson (née Simpson) as a cheerleader in her youth. This is because for most of her career, the blonde bombshell that’s currently Mrs. Eric Johnson (and was once Mrs. Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees fame) portrayed how a cheerleader would be like as a celebrity (or at least a reality show star). Sure, her musings in regards to her “Chicken of the Sea” flub during the reality TV series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica didn’t put her in the most flattering light. However, stereotypes aside, she showcased a charming awkwardness to her that belies her talent and success, such as having a debut studio album in 1999 and a top-three hit, “I Wanna Love You Forever.” Then again, the stereotypical blonde ditz she appeared as is not at all indicative of how cheerleaders are in real life. If this list is anything to go by, they’re more like “Renaissance Women” who have great acumen when it comes to mixing good looks and charm with keen intelligence and brand building.
The Fergielicious Fergie Duhamel of The Black Eyed Peas is an actress, songwriter and singer. As a former cheerleader, she learned the ropes when it comes to being a performer and owning her own hotness. As the female vocalist of the popular hip-hop group, she has garnered enormous success on the charts worldwide. However, before she became a cheerleader, she was once a member of Kids Incorporated television series. She was also part of the Wild Orchid girl group. However, her greatest amount of success that truly made full use of her cheerleading performances in the past came from becoming one of The Black Eyed Peas in 2001. She’s a consummate show-woman, with her successfully branching out from The Black Eyed Peas with her own solo album and making Billboard Hot 100 number one singles like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Glamorous,” and “London Bridge.”
4. Denise Richards
As for this former cheerleader turned celebrity, the American actress and former fashion model Denise Richards has quite the film resume, with her starring in 1997’s Starship Troopers, 1998’s Wild Things, 1999’s Drop Dead Gorgeous and 1999’s The World Is Not Enough as infamous Bond Girl Christmas Jones. She’s been to big cities like Tokyo, New York and Paris for various commercials and photoshoots as well. The fact is that even in El Camino High School, people could already notice her dashing good looks, landing her a cheerleader role. However, before that, she was also an athlete and the only girl on the baseball team. There are a number of detractors of Richards who claim she only has good looks going for her and nothing else, with them particularly balking at how Christmas Jones is somehow a nuclear physicist with fashion model looks while Richards herself didn’t act convincingly as one (as opposed to real-life genius celebrities like Hedy Lamarr, Danica McKellar, and Natalie Portman).
3. Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon might be best known by critics for her Oscar-winning role of June Carter Cash in 2005’s Walk the Line or her similarly critically acclaimed performances in 1996’s Freeway and 1999’s Election. Or perhaps she’s known more by mainstream audiences for her breakout role in Legally Blonde as the popular, smart, and good-looking Elle Woods who entered law school to chase after an ex-boyfriend. It’s Reese’s role in Legally Blonde that probably best characterizes her cheerleader past and defines her career. She has the kind of looks that might make others wave her off as a dumb, ditzy blonde like her character Elle, which is how most audiences reacted to the character Christmas Jones. However, rather than be a model playing a nuclear physicist, Ms. Witherspoon (formerly Mrs. Ryan Philippe, now Mrs. Jim Toth), Reese proved herself throughout her career as more of the Natalie Portman type of looker that has brains to coincide with her beauty.
2. Olivia Munn
Lisa Olivia Munn, who was initially known in Hollywood as Lisa Munn but currently goes by the name Olivia Munn, is another American actress and model who used to be a high school cheerleader. This particular ex-cheerleader got her start in television journalism before she ended up becoming an actress. She was the co-host of Attack of the Show from 2006 to 2010 and starred in the Beyond the Break series as Milly Acuna back in 2006. She was even a correspondent in the popular satirical news comedy series The Daily Show. Lately, she’s known for being part of 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse as the psychic mutant Psylocke. She showcases her inner cheerleader through her combination of hotness and sass. She also used to date a jock — NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who had intimate pics of themselves on Snapchat allegedly leaked in 2015.
1. Brooklyn Decker
Although she’s not as famous as J. Law or even LiLo in her prime, fashion model and actress Brooklyn Decker has still made enough of a mark to be remembered for Victoria’s Secret 2010 Swim collection and making it to the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Like a “typical” cheerleader, she has not only dated a jock but married him (specifically ex-pro tennis player Andy Roddick). Although she doesn’t have the Hollywood pedigree of Blake Lively by having a pacemaker salesman father and a nurse mother, she still had enough of an x-factor to end up as a supermodel of sorts after the eras of Cindy Crawford and Tyra Banks. She’s so famous in the modelling world that she has made guest appearances in Royal Pains, The League, Ugly Betty and Chuck.
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