Tattoos have a very harsh rep, one that a Miss America contestant is trying to rewrite.
Miss Kansas Theresa Vail wants to break the stereotype that women with visible tattoos don’t compete in pageants, so she showed off two of her own tattoos during the swimsuit portion of the Miss America competition on Tuesday (Sept. 10).
The 22-year-old senior at Kansas State University flaunted her two tattoos — the Serenity Prayer on the right side of her ribs and the insignia of the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder, both of which have significant meanings. Vail is a member of the Army National Guard, which explains her shoulder tattoo. But what about her massive rib piece (see a photo of her ink here)?
The Serenity Prayer was created by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the early 1900’s, but it has since been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs. The full text reads, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Vail’s platform is helping women overcome stereotypes and break barriers. “What a hypocrite I would be if I covered the ink,” she wrote on her blog.
The Miss America pageant finale will take place Sunday, Sept. 15.