It’s that time again: Which Miss America contestant can reap the most pre-pageant buzz as a trailblazer? Miss Kansas Theresa Vail threw down the gauntlet Tuesday with news that she will parade on stage in Atlantic City Sunday in a little swimsuit. . . and two big tattoos.
“My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers,” the National Guard member told People. Her left shoulder bears the U.S. Army Dental Corps insignia; her right side, the Serenity Prayer. “What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink.”
Yeah, well, Miss Iowa Nicole Kelly is already coming in with her own hype — as the first contender with one arm.
Since 1921, the pageant has checked off most of the standard boxes — first Jewish winner (Bess Myerson 1945), first black winner (Vanessa Williams 1984), first deaf winner (Heather Whitestone 1995) — so now the buzz is ever more exotic. Nicole Johnson was the first contestant to display her insulin pump; she went on to win the 1999 crown. Last year, Miss Montana Alexis Wineman was the first contestant with autism — while Miss Delaware Kayla Martell, the first bald one.
Earlier: Miss America Mallory Hagan in D.C.: Making most of short tenure, 6/12/13
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