Monday, September 16, 2013

Inspiration from Miss Kansas

I apologize for my scattered thoughts. Just thinking and wanted to share. We generally don't watch the Miss America pageant (even though I have 7 sisters), but this year, even my most tomboy sister wanted to turn it on.
This year's Miss Kansas (my home state) is a sergent in the army, Sgt. Theresa Vail. She wanted to do archery as her talent (Katniss?) but apparently they were afraid of projectiles in the hands of a blond, tattooed Amazon warrior. So she sang opera for the first time in her life and won the Kansas competition.

Generally, this girl is out shooting M16s, hunting, boxing or motorcycle racing. She wants to become an Army dentist.

This last weekend, she competed for Miss America, making it through to the top 12 as America's choiceWhy did she decided to start doing beauty pageants? Word is it was someone from her unit who suggested she could be a real inspiration to young women, so she started looking for ways to have a state-wide voice. Her platform was "Empowering Young Women Through Male-Dominant Outdoor Activities," which she explains as  overcoming stereotypes and breaking barriers

To illustrate this, Vail strutted out wearing tattoos, traditionally a taboo. "Why am I choosing to bear my tattoos?" Vail says in a People Magazine article. "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." Her tattoos aren't fairies or butterflies either; on her left shoulder, she has the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps and the Serenity Prayer runs down on her right side. Our local paper, the Wichita Eagle, has a great article about her too.

All that being said, it was exciting that Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, won the pageant. I think it says a lot about the USA as a melting pot of culture to have a Miss America with East Indian roots. Her costume and dance for the talent competition were fabulous, and she is applying to medical schools to be a doctor.

This all makes me think thatthere are a lot of ways to impact and change our world. What is your way?

1 comment:

  1. So awesome that Sgt. Vail took part in Ms America. I hope she inspired a lot of little girls. :-)