The Miss America pageant just got its first tattoo.
Theresa Vail became the first contestant in the history of the fabled pageant to sport visible tattoos while stalking the catwalk during a preliminary event.
Vail, who is also Miss Kansas, showed off skin ink on her ribs and shoulder blade as she strode onstage in a red bikini during the “Show Us Your Shoes” parade in Atlantic City on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old senior at Kansas State University, who’s also a National Guard member, said she didn’t take the question of showing off her tatts lightly.
“My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers,” Vail wrote on her blog. “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.”
The tattoos themselves consist of the text to the “serenity prayer,” which Vail says she used to recite to cope with being bullied as an adolescent, and the insignia of the U.S. Army Dental Corps. Vail’s stated goal in life is to become a prosthetic dentist.