Miss America 2014: Body Ink and Foul Language

Miss America: Body Ink and Foul Language

Things have certainly changed in the world of Miss America. While we have not seen any scandals along the lines of Vanessa Williams’ nude photographic spread that toppled her crown back in 1984, but the pageant has caused some controversy. So far the contest has been about body ink and foul language.

But that is only two of the hopefuls out of the 53 contestants who are vying for the crown.

Miss Kansas shot into the spotlight as being the first Miss America hopeful to show off her tattoos and to be a Sergeant in the United States Army. Granted, she is in the Dental Corps, but a soldier is a soldier despite their actual duties for Uncle Sam.

The 22 year-old Theresa Vail opted to show off her two tattoos instead of covering them up with makeup. Considering that one tattoo is the serenity prayer, which is the “short” version, and the other is her United States Army Dental Corps patch in ink on her right shoulder she looks like a wise soldier indeed.

The beauty from Kansas decided that she would not copy the other contestants who chose to cover their tattoos up. She is proud of her body ink and at least neither of her two tats contain foul language or obscene images.

The foul language department has been covered by Miss New York. The 24 year-old from Syracuse, Nina Davuluri, was caught using the F bomb when she described last year’s Miss America Mallory Hagan as being “Fat as F***.”


It could be seen as surprising that Miss New York resorted to four letter words to talk trash about the current crown holder. 20 year-old hopeful Miss Arizona, Jennifer Smestad, was diagnosed with tourettes syndrome when she was 10 years-old. She, however, managed to overcome her condition and has apparently been almost saintly in the language department.

While Miss Kansas has gone down in pageant history as the first contestant with tattoos, it has been acknowledged that she is the first woman who hasn’t covered them up. CEO Sam Haskell revealed in an interview that he was pretty sure other contestants have had body ink, but Theresa is the first to be brave enough to show hers off.

As for Miss New York?

Her comment about the current Miss America was caught on tape back in July this year after she won her own crown. After the self-proclaimed “Miss Diversity” was crowned, she invited some of her fellow contestants back to her hotel room to celebrate. It appears that all the celebrants were quite vocal. So vocal, in fact, that one of the other women who were not invited, decided to tape their conversations.

The contestant who taped the remark, had been offended by the tone of and language of the partiers next door so she wanted the noise captured for posterity. As well as Miss Diversity herself using the four letter word, her friend came out with racist remarks that are not in keeping with the pristine image associated with beauty contestants.

Since the tape came to light, Davuluri posted an apology on her facebook page. Although the apology does not really apologise for what allegedly came out of her mouth. She apologises for the other women in the room. But according to officials, the incident was investigated and she was found to be “innocent” of the charge of using bad language to describe the current crown holder.


The new winner of Miss America will be crowned on Sunday. This year’s pageant looks a bit different from past contests, body ink and foul language aside, this also the first year that a one armed contestant has gone after the crown. Miss Iowa, the 23 year-old Nicole Kelly, joins the other hopefuls and she brings a breath of fresh air to the pageant which will be broadcast on ABC at 9 pm ET Sunday.

By Michael Smith
United Kingdom


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