The State of Kansas has found itself another Dorothy.
Theresa Vail, the Miss America contestant breaking stereotypes with her self-expressive tattoos, is changing the true perception of beauty. Her platform is to empower women, overcome stereotypes and break barriers.
Vail, a 22-year old senior at Kansas State University with a 3.8 GPA is figuratively drop-dead gorgeous in the literal sense. Not only does the striking blonde portray her beauty so expressively, she bravely displayed tattoos as she strutted down the Miss America competition catwalk in a small, red bikini.
Bikini tattoo baring is completely unheard of in the beauty pageant’s history. Theresa Vail’s tattoo revealing statement opened up conversations within the beauty pageant realm.
Don’t think that Vail is the only contestant to wear tattoos. Many contestants bear their tattoos, but conceal them when competing.
Jumping on the tattoo, display bandwagon, beauty competitor Miss Montana has since begun showing off a tattoo of her own, a Rosary inked on her ankle.
Vail is very new to beauty competitions. She entered her first pageant nine months ago in the Miss Leavenworth County Pageant, then moved on and won the Miss Kansas pageant in June.
On a sad note, Theresa did not win the itsy-bitsy swimsuit competition, but her statement made an enormous impact with women everywhere.
Tattoos are Vail’s signature for being fearless and true to herself. The reasons behind the tattoo statement addresses that Theresa likes to exercise society’s mind and make the unexpected normal.
Beauty pageants are more than just about viewing the outside of a person. Inside women there is so much more than the naked eye can comprehend and women need to embrace this grand concept.
Theresa Vail’s message was not defiant when displaying her inked mantras. It was to get the message out that all women alike have a say and must be fearless and strong. Just as is with Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games, women also can demonstrate excellence and combat with success in all dimensions.
Prior to participating in the swimsuit portion of the competition, Vail received approval from the Miss America Pageant office to display the tattoos.
Etched on her right shoulder is the Dental Association insignia and down along her left ribs, the Serenity Prayer. As a teen, Vail was bullied. The serenity prayer is what gave her strength to keep going through the tough times. Theresa’s story is inspirational to all those children who feel they are under the fear of school bullying, granting them courage to do something about the aggressive intimidation.
But Theresa’s tattoo statement is just the beginning of what she is all about.
At 17, the teenager joined, and is still active in, the National Guard where she is training to become a prosthetic dentist. She is also an expert with a M-16 rifle and hunts and skins deer. Currently Vail is coordinating a new gig to host a hunting series for The Outdoor Channel. As a teen she raced motorcycles until her fingers were broken, is currently studying Chemistry and Chinese and is in the process of obtaining her pilots’ license. Oops, and don’t forget her skills as an expert archer.
During the Talent portion of the Beauty competition, Vail wanted to use her archery skills. But due to pageant rules stating no use of projectiles, Theresa turned to opera. Never having trained or sung opera prior to this, Theresa had 48 hours to learn and master Puccini’s operatic piece, Nessun Dora for which she performed beautifully.
And speaking of beautiful, as opposed to wearing five-inch heels and gowns to the pageant parade as is customary, Theresa’s attire consisted of an army uniform and combat boots still looking beautiful as ever.
In the dramatic and heartfelt workings of her life, Theresa Vail has changed the rules to competitive beauty pageantry. Tattoos that break stereotypes placed on women should be proudly worn making the real statement that all women are beautiful no matter what package they come.
Written by Lisa Graziano