Theresa Vail Breaks Miss America Stereotypes, First Contestant To Flaunt Tattoos

Theresa Vail, 22, is bringing the edge to the Miss America pageant by flaunting both her military training and her tattoo.

The New York Daily News reported Theresa Vail became the first contestant in the history of the fabled pageant to sport visible tattoos while stalking the catwalk during a preliminary event.

Vail, who is representing her state as Miss Kansas, showed off the ink on her ribs and shoulder-blade as she strutted her stuff on stage in a red bikini during the “Show Us Your Shoes” parade in Atlantic City on Tuesday.

So why is Vail choosing to bear all her ink to the public?

“If there is one thing that competing has taught me, it’s that you need to be unapologetically yourself and not let others dictate how you feel,” she wrote in a May 25 post on her personal blog.

“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.”

According to the Huffington Post, Theresa Vail is not only Miss Kansas and a senior at Kansas State University, but she is also a member of the Kansas Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment.

Oh, and you can’t forget she’s also a skydiver, boxer and advocate for young girls.

Kim Brom, the business manager for the Miss Kansas pageant, told People magazine:

“I’ve never seen anyone this focused and determined. She has so many different qualities –- she’s a hunter, she’s in the military, she’s fluent in Chinese, she’s very educated and, even more than that, she has that unquantifiable star quality.”

The finale to the Miss America pageant is on Sunday night, September 15.

What are your opinions on Theresa Vail, the first Miss America pageant contestant to openly show off her tattoos?

[Image via Miss America Organization]