Before they were famous, they were beauty queens

Americans love their beauty pageants. The hair spray, the glittery crowns, the awkward Q&As about world peace (which apparently balances out the fact that they spend the other portion of the competition parading around in their smalls).

A number of famous American women cut their teeth on the beauty pageant circuit. Click through the image gallery above to see who has worn a sash and a crown. Also, make special note of the fact that Sarah Palin played the flute in the 'talent' portion of her pageant.