Sgt. Theresa Vail Becomes First Miss America Contestant to Show Tattoo During Bikini Competition [PHOTO]
She became the second service member to compete in the Miss America pageant, and 22-year-old Sgt. Theresa Vail also became the first contestant in a major pageant to display a tattoo during competition.
Miss Kansas' tattoo was on full display during last night's first round of the Miss America preliminaries. Scrawling down the right side of Vail's ribs, down to her hip is the "Serenity Prayer". According to Vail, the "Serenity Prayer" helped her get through her adolescent years when she was bullied, leading her to get the tattoo.
The self proclaimed "Miss Outdoor Girl" joined the Kansas Army National Guard at just 17 and plans to become a prosthetic dentist for the Army. She is currently a double major in Chinese and chemistry at Kansas State University. She added a military tattoo of the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder because she's always had "a strong passion for service" which was also visible during the competition.
Talking about the tattoos on her blog, Vail had this to say to anyone who is opposed to her showing off the tattoo:
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.
The 2014 Miss America pageant will be held Sunday, September 15 at 6pm and can be seen live on ABC.