Miss Kansas, aka Theresa Vail, is a 22-year-old sexy woman competing in the Miss America Pageant 2014 who has just won America's Choice. Her platform is Empowering Women: Overcoming Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers. Take a look at our 5 Fast Facts about this tattooed beauty who brings a new flavor to the pageant scene.
1. Vail Is the First Contestant to Ever Show Off Tattoos on the Miss America Stage
The Miss America pageant is over 90 years old and very traditional. So, you can imagine that a little controversy might occur when one of these lovely ladies is bearing tattooed skin. Nonetheless, Vail told the Daily Beast:
We’re in the 21st century ... With my platform and what I’m doing, we’re gearing our actions toward modern women.
Though Vail has received some negative criticism in regards to her tattoos, she refuses to cover them up because she doesn't want to be phony and just wants to be herself. Vail told CNN:
I'm all about breaking stereotypes ... Everybody thinks of Miss America as this girl on a pedestal. I want her to come down from that. She is just a normal girl.
2. Vail Contemplated Suicide While Growing Up
Vail lived in Germany when she was a child and was often bullied, which led her to think about killing herself at times. She overcame her feelings and remembers her past through one of her other tattoos, which is a serenity prayer. In a confession to the Daily Beast, Vail explained:
I remember just asking God, praying for peace and for the things I couldn’t change that I was being made fun of for and more to grant me the courage to stand up for myself,” Vail said. “So when I was old enough and I was thinking, hey, I want to share my story and let people know you can overcome anything. That’s when I decided I wanted to get a tattoo of it—to remind me of my past and guide me through my future.
As one of nine children who moved around as an army brat, it was difficult for Vail at times.
— Miss America Org (@MissAmericaOrg) September 16, 2013
3. Her Father Inspired Her to Join the Army
My dad rode with me in the Show Us Your Shoes parade! What a phenomenal experience! pic.twitter.com/vBayly3DgV
— Theresa Vail (@MissKansas2013) September 15, 2013
That's right. Vail is an army chick. In fact, one of her tattoos is in honor of her dad who was a dentist in the army for 33 years and inspired her to join as well. Vail also wishes to be a dentist in the army. The tattoo is an army symbol on her shoulder.
I certainly wouldn’t be Miss Kansas without my military experience,” Vail said. “I attribute every positive quality I have to my dad or the military. My leadership, my public speaking ability, my diligence, I credit all of that to being in the military and that’s what you need in a competition like this.
Vail is now a sergeant in the Army National Guard. She also is a senior at Kansas State University, majoring in chemistry and Chinese. To view her entire resume of achievements, click here.
4. Vail Was Not Allowed to Use Archery as Her Talent
Vail is actually an expert marksman on an M-16. In the Miss Leavenworth pageant, she initially planned to use archery as her show talent. But, two days before the pageant, she found out that the pageant had an insurance policy against projectile objects. Vail is so skillful with a bow and arrow that she actually uses them to hunt deer, according to CNN.
5. Miss Kansas Learned Opera in Two Days
When Vail learned that she wouldn't be able to use her archery skills as her pageant talent, she had to figure out a plan B. So, what did she do? She took up opera singing. Vail actually taught herself the opera aria “Nessun Dorma” in the two days before the pageant. How amazing is that?!