A contestant in this year’s Miss America pageant made history when she showed off the tattoos on her body during the “Show Us Your Shoes” parade in Atlantic City on Tuesday. Theresa Vail, 22, is representing Kansas. In addition to the tattoos, Vail also changed things up by publicizing her military training.
So what was Vail’s thinking in showing off the ink that she has had done on her ribs and shoulder-blades?
“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 blog post. “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.”
In addition to being a senior at Kansas State University, Vail is also a member of the Kansas Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment, The Inquisitr reported. According to reports, Vail is also a boxer, skydiver and advocate for young girls.
The business manager for the Miss Kansas pageant, Kim Brom, thinks that Vail is a pretty unique specimen. “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 coming up on Sunday night.
A video about Vail is below: