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 Sports

Sunday Night Baseball on KPUG: Yanks beat Mets to win Subway Series

The New York Yankees at Chicago White Sox

The New York Yankees took advantage of one mistake after another by the suddenly sloppy New York Mets in a 6-4 victory Sunday night.

in Sports

NBA Playoff roundup

Updated
Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Cavs sweep Celtics, the Clippers earn a big win in San Antonio and the Wizards rout the Raptors.

in Sports

NHL Playoffs: Wild & Canadiens advance to second round

FILE - In this file photo taken Sept. 17, 2012, the NHL logo is seen on a goal at a Nashville Predators practice rink in Nashville, Tenn. The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, and if a deal with the players' association isn't reached soon the whole season could be lost. The league wiped out all games through Dec. 30 in its latest round of cancellations. Negotiations between the league and the players' association broke off last week, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday the sides are trying to restart talks this week.

The Blues had their third straight first-round ouster

in Sports

Kurt Busch leads 291 laps in dominating Richmond victory

Driver Kurt Busch, left, with his girlfriend Ashley Van Metre before getting in his car during qualifying for the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Kurt Busch dominated once he took the lead and won the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday.

in Sports

Cards ace Wainwright placed on 15-day DL but could be out much longer

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright smiles during a news conference Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, in St. Louis. Wainwright will start for the Cardinals when they play the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of baseball's National League Championship Series on Saturday in St. Louis.

St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left Achilles and left ankle injury, the team says, and could be out much longer.

Bellingham Traffic