The yearly tradition of crowning a beauty is here once again, complete with the excitement of exposed ‘tats’. Rest assured though, The Miss America Pageant will be showcasing the contestants fully clothed and in cute little bikinis. Enter Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, who has become the center of question for showing off her tattooed shoulder and side during the swimsuit competition. She is being herself. She isn’t going to hide anything. She will be showing the judges and viewers who she is and what she stands for.
Miss Kansas, age 22, is a United States Army sergeant and she has a lot to smile about. She will be competing for the title of Miss America, which will be broadcast by ABC on Sunday, September 15 at 9 p.m. Along with other beauties from each state, The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands, Vail will stand her ground and radiate her beauty.
It seems as if every year when the gals in sandals step out, the fouls of scandal cast doubt. What is a pageant without controversy and intrigue? What are the contestants’ stories, who should be the winner and why? The production will be met with anticipation of the outcome, as it is aired from Atlantic City, N.J., the original home of the event.
The line-up will be familiar with the usual evening gown, swimsuit and talent competitions, plus the ever burning questions from the judges. A contestant for Miss America is required to have it all, to know the world and be voiced in almost every topic imaginable. To be able to stay poised and deliver all the politically correct answers makes for a challenging evening.
Each girl is unique and has worked hard to achieve the chance at such a monumental quest. Each one is already a winner in their own right and will surely advance in life from the experience. Winning or losing is certainly not the end of the road for any of these young women. Their grace and style will continue to inspire many.
“Oh, it’s just a beauty contest! You have to look like ‘Barbie’ to even enter.” We’ve all heard those words before, but beauty is really more than skin deep. It’s okay to be pretty and fit with gorgeous hair and teeth. If you’re ambitious and smart on top of that, it can only be better. The stereotype of a contestant has run the gamut over the years, and sure every woman is beautiful no matter what size or shape. But here we are with fifty-three lovely contestants ready to take on the world with their smiles and ideals.
Theresa Vail is just one outstanding example of a well rounded person, a self-made individual, competent, skilled and willing to serve others. Her tattoos are expressions of who she is and just happen to be written in permanent ink. She bears the emblem of the U.S. Dental Corps. on her shoulder and The Serenity Prayer on her side. Representing her dream to be in the dental field and her past obstacles, her tattoos have brought her positive attention and she is not ashamed. Just like Dorothy from Kansas long ago, this little girl may just find more smiles of serenity as she continues to inspire us all somewhere over the rainbow.
Written By: Roanne H. FitzGibbon