PHOTO Miss Kansas Theresa Vail’s tattoo from Miss America swimsuit prelims

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail tattoo Miss America swimsuit prelims

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail has been making headlines this week as she announced she will be the first Miss America pageant contestant to openly display a tattoo during the competition. The 22-year-old Kansas Army National Guard Medical Detachment Sergeant participated in the preliminary swimsuit competition Tuesday night in Atlantic City and we have the very first photos of Theresa and her rather sizable side tattoo strutting the stage for the judges!

Sadly, the photos we have (so far) are of rather low resolution so we can’t see the tat very clearly. But, thanks to Theresa’s openness about her ink, we know that the tattoo, which is on her rib cage on her right side, is the Serenity Prayer, which reads:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Theresa also has the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps tattooed on her left shoulder, but it is not visible in the photo above. (I believe it is small and would not have been very clear in the image anyway.)

We will update the post as soon as we get any higher-quality images from our photo agencies. (Wehope they had at least one photographer in Atlantic City for the event!)

UPDATE – Here’s a great shot from Twitter (you may need to give it a minute to load):

Here is a photo of Theresa at the Miss Leavenworth County pageant in December of 2012 wearing a bikini with her tattoos covered. You can see the slight discoloration on her right side where the tattoo is:

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail swimsuit competition bikini photo

* By the way, Theresa credits her AMAZING physique to trainer Donovan Seay and I feel obligated to give credit where credit is due because Donovan is obviously fantastic at what he does!

Theresa discussed unveiling (unVailing?) her tattoos on her blog back in August, and made it very clear that she does not take tattooing lightly:

As I was growing up amidst the bullying and neglect, I found myself asking God on a daily basis to give me peace in knowing I cannot change certain things about myself, but also asking Him to give me the strength to change things that I had the power to. Praying to Him for these characteristics got me through my adolescent years, high school and boot camp. When I was 20 years old, I knew I wanted to always be reminded of my past and its connection to this prayer. Thus, I chose to have it tattooed onto my body. I have no regrets.

The second is the military medical insignia. Though much smaller than the prayer, the significance is just as great. Since I was a child, God placed a strong passion for service into my heart. Service to my Country, and service to people through medicine. In the middle of this symbol is the letter “D” to represent my dad, whose influence was paramount in choosing this career path.

As you might have noticed, I did not mention dragons, flowers, hearts or other frivolous items as one of my tattoos. I am a firm believer that lengthy and conscious thought should be given before getting “inked.” I am also firmly against (personally) getting a tattoo for the sake of getting a tattoo. All too often I run into individuals that have no rhyme or reason for the choice they made, other than “I just wanted one.” Most likely they will regret their decision after a few years.

Sadly, Theresa didn’t win the swimsuit preliminary round tonight — that honor went to Miss Mississippi, Chelsea Rick, who was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for lifestyle and fitness in swimwear, sponsored by Catalina swimwear.

No worries, though! Theresa can still take this thing! #CrownTheCamo

Just in case you were wondering what Theresa looked like in uniform and as a brunette, we’ve got both covered with this photo from November of 2011 featuring Theresa and her dad, which she captioned, “Everything I aspire to be…”

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail in uniform and with dark hair with her dad

If you wanted Theresa Vail as a brunette, but not necessarily in uniform, we’ve got you covered there too! Here’s another photo of a dark-tressed Theresa looking absolutely lovely while attending a wedding in October, 2009. (Once again, Theresa is posing with her pop.)

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail as a brunette

The 2014 Miss America Competition will air Sunday, September 15 at 9/8c on ABC.

And if you’re curious to know more about Theresa, be sure to check out our previous post on her!

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  • Dani

    She is so much prettier with toned down makeup and brunette.

    • dobro

      yeah bro, you don’t dye your hair brah. ever. I like the ponytail look too

      are those dreamcatcher earrings???

      • Dani

        I don’t have a problem with dying hair. I just think she looked prettier as brunette, her blue eyes stood out more with dark hair.

        They appear to be dream catcher earrings.

  • Kaja

    I like tattoos but this one looks like a tramp stamp. and she has huge breasts for her tiny frame, maybe we should discuss the fact that girls think they have to starve themselves and get fake boobs to look beautiful. much bigger deal than the tattoo.

    • Dani

      I want to say it looks like a lot help from a push up judging by the orange swimsuit, though she looks like at least a solid C in her older photos.

    • Jenn

      Large breasts on a tiny frame does not automatically mean they are fake. From the looks of it they look as large as they do because that swimsuit gives them a good lift and push. There also is a difference in starving yourself to be thin and being in shape. Seeing as how she is in the military that body is from being in shape not starving herself.

      • Jorge

        Lots of people are jealous of her.She is in good shape becose she exercise every day and take care of her self .
        I agree with Jenny
        She looks good for miss America

    • David White

      Good old Jealousy

  • Grammar Nazi

    Let’s go Miss Kansas!!

  • Jerry D. Schenck

    Gorgeous lady, beautiful mind ,in the Military, Let her compete! Be proud Dad ,
    as you should be

  • warren22theape

    She looked better with brown hair! Still really hot.