Beauty pageants like Miss America are pretty silly. Beauty pageants are even sillier when people politicalize the results with some derpy, racist redneck "She ain't even an 'murcan!” commentary that completely contradicts any sort of American values.
That said, people sure do love Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail. She has quite a bit going for her. For starters, she is the second woman from the Armed Forces to compete for Miss America. Secondly, Vail has two big tattoos that she rocked unabashed during the contest, which was a first: One is the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder and the second is the Serenity Prayer on her right side. In terms of hobbies, she used to race motorcycles until she was forced to quite for breaking her finger. Also, she's an expert M16 marksman. She knows how to skin a deer and has mad archery skills. Oh yeah: She also sings opera and she double majored in chemistry and Chinese at Kansas State.
She's got a very "Most Interesting Woman in the World" vibe. She gave some pretty interesting quotes to People Magazine last week:
“Why am I choosing to bear my tattoos?” Vail says. “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.”
“I was bullied when I was a kid. It got so bad that I nearly took my own life … My dad [an Army dentist stationed in Germany] took me hunting with him and it saved my life. Ever since then, I’ve been an outdoors girl,” she says. “My passion is empowering girls through male-dominated outdoor sports.”
She adds, “I want to help them develop confidence, to let them know that they have what it takes to accomplish anything they want to accomplish. I know many young girls look at beauty candidates and think, ‘What a perfect life they have.’ But I want them to know that I haven’t led a perfect life. And that beauty comes from the inside.”
As much as you love her, no reason to be all sour grapes and come across looking like a redneck sore loser:
Miss Kansas may not have been able to use archery but she sure pierced America's heart. Winner. Done. #MissAmerica— Princess Problems (@PrincessProbz) September 16, 2013
Miss Kansas should have won. She's tatted, fought for our country, hunts (even with a bow), and is gorgeous. But k. pic.twitter.com/5WwfDMU7T1— Tomkat (@katelyntompkins) September 16, 2013
The liberal Miss America judges won't say this - but Miss Kansas lost because she actually represented American values. #missamerica— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) September 16, 2013
Miss Kansas, a gun-toting, deer-hunting, military veteran was America's choice - but not the liberal Miss America judges' choice.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) September 16, 2013
And then there's this guy:
#MissKansas not deterred by defeat, enters the Miss Trailer Trash USA 2013 competition. Your tattoo is gross. Don't care if Im offending you— Jeff Hill (@JHill_21) September 16, 2013