Diatribe: A Few Tattoos Is The Least Of Miss America’s Problems.
There’s been lots of talk this week about Theresa Vail, 22, who will be competing as Miss Kansas in tonight’s Miss America pageant. Ms. Vail will be the first contestant to proudly display large tattoos during the annual contest. She showed them off during Tuesday’s preliminary competition in Atlantic City and she’s been getting a lot of attention ever since.
Vail, a sergeant in the U.S. Army and only the second contestant ever to be on active duty, is receiving lots of support. She’s also received some negative feedback about her tattoos, but she believes that’s from older people who still associate tattoos with “bikers and thugs, and that just not the way of the world anymore.”
“Nobody expects a soldier to be a beauty queen. But I’m all about breaking stereotypes. My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers. What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink. How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can’t do the same? I am who I am, tattoos and all.” – Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas
I find it difficult to discuss the concept of “today’s woman” in the context of an archaic beauty pageant competition. Frankly, the fact that these contests still exist is baffling. When the first Miss America Pageant was broadcast on live television in 1954 it broke viewership records. Today, many woman are appalled by the concept of parading in front of judges like so many dogs in a kennel club competing for bests in show.
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