Theresa Vail is fluent in Chinese, an accomplished archer, a member of the Army Dental Corps, a university graduate with a double-major, and will be competing for the Miss America crown this year. I was happy to read about her this morning because she has taken it upon herself to empower women through competing (and succeeding) in male-dominated sports. She is also open to sharing her experiences with bullying during adolescence and to breaking the mold of standard pageant beauty (although she is fit, pretty, blond, and has nice teeth, she will be showing two large tattoos during the swimwear portion of the pageant). See a local news article about her here, and a magazine article here. Also, read her blog at missoutdoorgirl.com.
While pageantry makes me cringe on some levels (the whole physical beauty part of it really), I see the positives to it for many women as pageants provide scholarships, leadership experiences, and philanthropic opportunities. It provides the contestants with the forum for being positive role models.
I appreciate that Theresa is bringing a new face to women who compete in pageants and sharing her unique life story along the way.