1. Jessica Simpson
Simpson seems like the exact kind of girl who would go out for cheer with her blond hair and sunny disposition. She exudes the vibe of a girl who just wants to have fun and make people feel good, which is what cheerleading is all about. Every high school had at least one Jessica Simpson, and in most yearbooks the words ‘Class President’ and ‘Most Popular Girl’ were written next to her name.
2. Paula Abdul
Abdul was a Lakers’ cheerleader for years, and she was also a dancer and choreographer who was classically trained. It’s hard to remember all that because of her often bizarre behavior on “American Idol,” but there are few better all-around celebrity dancers than Abdul, and these were her glory days cheering for the Lakers in the 1980s Showtime era.
3. Lindsay Lohan
Lohan must weep in lament when she glances at pics like this one. This is the face of normal, attractive teenage girl who you would find on many high school cheer squads. All-American looks, freckles and possibility are embodied in this photo of Lohan years before fate collided with bad choices to make her a tragic figure.
4. Cameron Diaz
Present-day Diaz doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would have been part of a cheer squad, but pictures tell stories and this picture tells us that Diaz was a pom-pom cheerleader and looked as if she enjoyed her work.
5. Sandra Bullock
Of course Bullock was a cheerleader, why not? She exudes the personality of the perfect cheer squad member, happy, friendly, fun and kind. Bullock’s smile is the same then as it is now, and other than a few hard-earned wrinkles, this is the same face she carries on her adult body, absent plastic surgery.
6. Eva Longoria
Whoa, this is an odd pic. Longoria’s face is so powder-white that this looks like it’s been Photoshopped, right? Check out the contrast between her ashen face and her brown skin and you’ll wonder if this a legit pic.
Back in the day Madonna was a cheerleader who probably reinvented herself every year with a new cheer routine and a different cheer outfit than the rest of the squad. Here she is making what appears to be a ‘V’ sign and looking mighty happy to be partaking in this rite of young womanhood.
8. Halle Berry
Berry looks nimble and joyous here, and it’s doubtful that the present-day version could do this kind of split anymore. But the basic features are still the same and judging from the legs of the cheerleaders behind her, Berry was part of a racially diverse squad.
Fergie is flashing that thousand-watt smile as a cheerleader for this Wildcats team. But come to think of it, with her lustrous long blond hair and blue eyes, Fergie is kind of the perfect embodiment of what we think of when we imagine cheerleaders.
10. George W. Bush
The future two-term President of the U.S. doesn’t appear as if he’s strong enough to be tossing young cheerleaders into the air and catching them, but he seems adept at yelling encouragement through his bullhorn. The young Prez actually cuts a pretty dashing figure in this outfit, especially that dapper cap.
11. Alicia Silverstone
This could be a publicity still from “Clueless” and no one would blink. Silverstone is forever going to be Cher from that movie, and cheerleading would be right up Cher’s alley, being that it’s what all the cool girls do in high school. And all you girls out there, don’t forget that if a boy below your stature asks you out, just say, ‘As if.’
12. Kirsten Dunst (“Bring It On” Movie)
This may be damning the movie with faint praise, but the original “Bring It On” is the best cheerleading movie of all time, and holds up on repeat viewings. Dunst’s battle of attrition with a rival squad lead by actress Gabrielle Union is funny, tense and filled with quotable lines, and the cheer numbers are to die for. Do yourself a favor and watch it again and you’ll see how most sports competition films pale in comparison.
13. Carrie Underwood (“All-American Girl” Music Video)
What a nice spoof of cheerleaders, Americana and football heroes. Underwood makes an ideal cheerleader in this video, complete with pom-poms, white bow and a sunny disposition that keeps her smiling as if her mouth is stuck. More than a spoof, the video is actually a love letter to small town living.
14. Kylie Jenner
Not sure if this was high school or middle school as Jenner famously did not attend a high school for the past few years, and instead was home schooled and received a diploma in the mail. But to her credit she looks normal and unadorned in this cheer outfit, and shows no hints of the facial machinations that have made her so talked about on social media.
15. Kendall Jenner
Kendall seems like a less obvious high school cheerleader, and more of the model that she has become in the past two years. With her height and lean build, she doesn’t seem to fit the stereotype of a blond and curvaceous cheer squad member, but as a Jenner, she probably just showed up on the team one day, and no one said a word.
16. Megan Fox
Megan Fox has changed quite a bit since her cheerleader days, but it’s no surprise that she was part of a squad. Her roles embody the ‘hot girl’ quality that makes cheerleaders the most sought after girls in high school. Clearly Fox has done some work since her more innocent and carefree days, but Hollywood is brutal to young starlets.
17. Kathy Griffin
This is interesting, because this old pic of Griffin looks nothing like what she has become today. In fact, Griffin somehow looks older in this cheerleading pic than she does now, and she definitely doesn’t fit the profile of a classic cheerleader. The whole thing is bizarre, because everything about Griffin’s comedy act is related to how much of an outsider she was as a youth, and yet here she is taking part in the most inclusive and popular high school activity for girls.
Yep, you can just hear Snooki screaming for her home team and executing strange moves like this one as she encourages fans to make some noise. Snooki was probably the short cheerleader who had to shout louder and more frequently than all the others in order to be heard.
19. Jennifer Lawrence
Lawrence always talks about her normal upbringing in which she did normal things, so cheerleading fits right in with her vibe of being a relatable superstar. She’s not as conventionally beautiful as the other squad members in this photo, but future success is her revenge, and with one Oscar on her shelf and three nominations, she is well on her way to becoming a Hollywood legend.
20. Diane Sawyer
Oh my, how cheerleading has changed. This 1960s era pic of Sawyer shows how covered up cheerleaders were back in the day, looking more like school prefects than young girls rooting on their team. And Sawyer looks as if she’s about 30 in this picture, which either means she aged before her time, or that girls just looked a whole lot more mature in those days. She actually looks younger in her present-day pic, doesn’t she?
21. Katie Couric
Couric has always had a spitfire vibe, a ball of energy and passion that seems to keep on going. That’s pretty much the requirements of an effective cheerleader so no surprise that she used her enthusiasm in service to team sports.
22. Amy Poehler
Either this is a picture of Poehler’s mother or the comedienne has aged backwards, because she looks really old as a young cheerleader compared to how she looks in present day. But what a treat it must have been for the other girls to listen to Poehler’s jokes as they were trying to do a routine.
23. Rachael Ray
Ray looks way too young and small to be a cheerleader, but that smile is wide enough to make up for any deficiencies in her actual routine. Ray has a personality of a cheerleader when she does her cooking shows, people pleasing, funny and easy to like.
24. Kelly Ripa
Ripa is so fit that she could probably earn a spot with the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders today. Back in high school she was probably a popular girl who was on the cheerleading team, student council and a bunch of other clubs with all the cool girls.
25. Denise Richards
Given her penchant to doff her clothes, it’s interesting that Richards’ cheerleading pic is very tame and traditional. She does seem like the kind of person who would have enjoyed cheerleading for all the possibilities it gave her to meet cute guys, but maybe that’s just a generalization based on the roles Richards has played in her movie career.
26. Olivia Munn
Munn has shot to fame in recent years, appearing in the Emmy winning HBO show “The Newsroom” as well as movies such as “Magic Mike” and “X-Men: Apocalypse.” Because she’s beautiful the fact that she was a cheerleader feels like a cliche. You almost wished that she was president of the chess club or lead the debate team instead of fulfilling the stereotype as a perky and cute cheerleader.