Tattoos in the News (Breaking Boundaries Edition): Theresa Vail


    If ever there was a defining moment for the massive paradigm shift in attitudes toward tattoos, it will come this Sunday (September 15th), when the Miss America pageant will have its first contestant openly displaying her tattoos.


   Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, proudly showed off her torso tattoo during the swimsuit portion of the Kansas competition.  It is a script design of the famous ‘Serenity Prayer’:

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.


    The meaning is deeply personal to this Kansas State senior.  While growing up, she was victimized by terrible bullying.  The words of this prayer helped her find the strength to perservere.  After masking the tattoo in previous pageants, Vail got the green light from the Miss America officials to show off her ink during the statewide and national competitions.  She felt it was important to show off everything that tells her story, tattoos included.  She considered herself to be hypocritical if she did not.

TVail_Pic04    In ways that go well beyond body art, Theresa is a boundary breaker.   She is also a seargeant in the Kansas Army National Guard, as well as being an avid outdoorswoman.  She also likes to skydive and can sing opera, a talent she will be displaying during the Miss America pageant.



   Theresa has proudly embraced her position as a role model who is showing that females do not need to be defined by particular, and restricting, stereotypes.  A beauty queen who also serves her country, loves outdoor living, is an opera singer and proudly displays her body art tosses convention and pre-conceived notions out the window.  I know who I will be rooting for.

You can find out more about this amazing woman on these sites:

Her outdoor life blog:

The Miss Kansas official website:



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