News

Tattoos, shoes among Miss America accessories

Tattoos, shoes among Miss America accessories

Miss America after arriving in Atlantic City, N.J. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. The pageant held a welcoming ceremony for the 53 contestants, one from each state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Mel Evans

Miss America 2014 contestant, Miss Kansas Theresa Vail, competes in a preliminary round during the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City
Miss America 2014 contestant, Miss Kansas Theresa Vail. Photo: Reuters

By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Kansas woman hoping to be crowned the next Miss America on Sunday night keeps her personal mission statement close to her heart: it’s tattooed on her torso.

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail became the first Miss America contestant to visibly show her tattoos during competitions this week, pageant officials said. Her two pieces of ink are expected to be on display during Sunday’s nationally televised pageant.

Tattoos aren’t the only thing that sets Vail, 22, apart from her beauty queen competitors. She’s also a member of the Kansas National Guard, making her the second contestant in the history of the Miss America Pageant to be an active member of the military.

PHOTOS: Miss America’s Shoes

Sergeant Vail, who lists her hobbies as hunting, archery and cooking, addressed her tattoos on her personal blog. She said her decision to not cover them during the contest was an attempt to challenge traditional definitions of beauty and femininity.

“I do not want to shock the nation when I’m seen in a swimsuit, bearing my marks,” she wrote. “I am opting to show them proudly.”

Her goal, she said is “empowering women to OVERCOME stereotypes and break barriers.”

Vail’s two tattoos include her “personal mission statement,” the Serenity Prayer, down the right side of her torso. It reads “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

Her other tattoo is the insignia of the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder. Vail says she hopes to go on to dental school in the future.

Another Miss America contestant making headlines is Miss Iowa, Nicole Kelly. Kelly was born without part of her left forearm and says she has never let her disability get in the way of doing what she wanted.

The 2014 Miss America will be crowned Sunday night.

Recent Headlines

in National

US women rout Angola to finish pool play 3-0

USA's Sue Bird shares a light moment with teammate Maya Moore before a women's exhibition basketball game against Canada, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Bridgeport, Conn.

U.S. women's national team routed of Angola on Tuesday night and close out preliminary play at the women's world championship.

in Local Sports

Mariners to be aggressive adding bats in offseason

New Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon, right, answers a question as general manager Jack Zduriencik looks on at a news conference introducing McClendon Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Seattle. McClendon spent eight patient seasons as a coach waiting for another opportunity to be a major league manager after his stint in Pittsburgh. The Mariners are giving McClendon that chance and formally introduced him on Thursday as their new manager.

After narrowly missing the postseason, the Mariners say they will raise payroll in 2015 and aggressively pursue offense during the offseason.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Middle school team runs ‘Ugly Kardashian’ trick play

17-overlay2

Lewis and Clark Middle School's football team gets tricky with a special play called the "Ugly Kardashian."

in National

Michigan AD apologizes for mistakes with QB injury

University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon, left, stands with new head football coach Brady Hoke at a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. Hoke becomes the 19th coach in the 131-year history of Michigan football and arrives in Ann Arbor after spending the past eight seasons as a head coach at Ball State and San Diego State.

Michigan A.D. Dave Brandon says a "serious lack of communication" led to ailing quarterback Shane Morris playing when he should not have.

in Sports

Raiders make Tony Sparano interim coach

Oakland Raiders assistant head coach Tony Sparano looks on before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Oakland Raiders have promoted offensive line coach Tony Sparano to interim coach to replace the fired Dennis Allen.