Miss America's Sgt. Theresa Vail is first contestant to expose tattoos
Miss Kansas is first to reveal tattoos in the pageant.
Miss Kansas Sgt. Theresa Vail is the first Miss America contestant to bare tattoos on stage.
According to People.com, Vail is the second contestant in the military to compete following Miss Utah 2007, but she’s the first to bare her tattoos. The expert M16 marksman, who is also a bow hunter, a skydiver and a mechanic, has two tattoos -- the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder and the Serenity Prayer running down her right side.
"Why am I choosing to bare my tattoos?" says Vail, an Army dentist. "My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers. What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink. How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can't do the same? I am who I am, tattoos and all."
"Nobody expects a soldier to be a beauty queen," Vail tells People, "but I'm all about breaking stereotypes."
Living style: Get to know the 2013 MISS USA contestants
But not only is she all about breaking stereotypes, she’s also all about empowering women. "I was bullied when I was a kid. It got so bad that I nearly took my own life ... My dad [an Army dentist stationed in Germany] took me hunting with him and it saved my life. Ever since then, I've been an outdoors girl," she says. "My passion is empowering girls through male-dominated outdoor sports."
After all, she knows firsthand about being confident in her own skin. "I want to help them develop confidence, to let them know that they have what it takes to accomplish anything they want to accomplish. I know many young girls look at beauty candidates and think, 'What a perfect life they have.' But I want them to know that I haven't led a perfect life. And that beauty comes from the inside."
Tell us: What do you think of Vail?
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