Tag Archives: Miss USA

American Beauty: Nothing Wrong With Tats or Pageants

God, grant me the courage to change the things I can.”

That idea is taken from the famous “Serenity Prayer”, and it also is the motto that the current Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, has adopted as her own personal inspiration to guide her in life.

During the preliminary events to the Miss America Pageant, Vail has gained much publicity this past week, some of it good, some of it not so much, for the thing that separates her from any other contestant in the pageant’s history.

Vail has a tattoo.

We’re not just talking any old tattoo either. Not a little image on the shoulder or calf. We’re talking a full-blown phrase tattooed all the way down the right side of her torso. The tattoo reads with the text of that serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.”

She actually has two tattoos, though it is this largest which gains the most attention. She also has tattooed on her left shoulder the insignia of the unit she serves in the U.S. Army Dental Corps, along with the letter ‘D’, for her Dad. You see, not only is Vail a beauty pageant contestant, she is also a member of the Army National Guard.

At age 17, Vail joined the Guard in her home state of Kansas. Turning 23 years old in just over two weeks, she is now the section leader with her Kansas Army National Guard Medical Detachment. She is a Distinguished Honor Graduate of both the Army School of Health Sciences and the Army School of Ordnance. This is a woman who can help her country in both the dental chair and a foxhole.

In her education, Vail is now a senior at Kansas State University, with a dual major in Chemistry and Chinese – she actually speaks Chinese fluently, something picked up in her military travels. An avid outdoors woman, she is an expert archer who has run an all-girls archery clinic, and is an expert marksman with the M16 rifle in the Army.

She is CEO and founder of her own ‘Miss Outdoor’ brand and website, and spokesperson for the hunting company ‘Suburban Woodsman’. Her talent for the pageant? Singing opera style.

As you can see, Theresa Vail is far more than any beauty pageant stereotype. Her platform issue for Miss America is “Empowering Women: Overcoming Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers.” She grew up being bullied as a small child, made fun of due to some childhood dental issues.

Her father, an Army dentist, fixed her teeth at age 10, and she says the results changed her self-image and her entire life. It gave her immense confidence, and has inspired her most important life choices, including her following him into service to her country and the dental profession.

There are many people who have a problem with beauty pageants. Those individuals in general feel that pageants are exploitative of women, or that they emphasize physical beauty too much. The critics say that these pageants and the physical appearance of the women who participate in them lead young girls to feel inferior when they can’t match up to such standards, or hurt themselves trying to reach them. There are also ultra-moralists who simply think that things like a bikini element are immodest, even immoral.

In Vail’s case, there have been critics who, while supportive of the pageant experience, feel her tattoos are nothing to be celebrated. Their comments have been along the lines of the tattoos taking away from some natural beauty that they believe should be the basis of the contestant’s appeal.

One critic to come has been Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe Organization which runs the Miss USA pageant: “I don’t understand what’s going on with tattoos. I would certainly not want it. I would not want somebody that I’m close to to have it.

Trump is entitled to his opinion, as are the critics of beauty pageants in general, and bikini competitions in particular. As for me, I feel that there is nothing immodest or immoral about pageants or physical beauty contests. As a man, that type of opinion can be open to it’s own smirking criticism. I don’t care. I think that a beautiful woman with a beautiful body should not be viewed at all negatively, but instead as an inspiration to health.

No, not everyone will reach some perceived ideal, but there should always be examples for all of us to try and emulate to become our own personal best.

As for the tattoos, and in fact pageants as well, to me it is all about the “what” and the “where” and the “why”, and nothing at all to do with the tattoo itself. A positive message or image in an attractive location that does not take away from the rest of a person’s look? I see that as only positive. And if it makes that individual feel better about themselves, all the better, all the more inspirational. Miss Kansas’ tattoo meets the criteria in all of those ways.

Theresa Vail is a fine example for any young woman to look up to: God-loving, attractive, intelligent, educated, self-reliant. She serves her country, and is setting up her life to serve her fellow man in the medical profession.

Critics of her should frankly be ashamed of themselves. This is exactly the kind of young person that we all should be praying for more of in today’s society. No, there is nothing wrong with Theresa, and there is nothing wrong with pageants or tattoos.

What a Hateful Liberal Bigot Looks Like

They have always existed, but they have become more emboldened with the recent leftward lurch in American political direction.

I am talking today about liberal bigots, those lefties who are not only obstinately or intolerantly devoted to their own opinions and prejudices, but who also regard and treat those who disagree with them with vitriolic hatred.

You frequently hear them harping about wanting freedom of speech, the right to express their opinions and viewpoints publicly, even the right to have their alternative lifestyles accepted by the mainstream public as ‘normal’ or at least ‘acceptable’. But this freedom of speech, this right to express opinions and viewpoints, can never, ever extend to those who disagree with them.

Perfect case in point came this past weekend with the Miss USA pageant questioning incident. As I previously discussed in another recent post, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was a contestant in the pageant. She is a beauty queen, a model, and she had a simple goal, to win a beauty pageant title.

She wasn’t looking to change the world on Sunday night, and certainly when it came to the question-answer stage she did not expect a controversial question on an epic hot-button sociological and moral topic.

In any event, that is exactly what she received from pageant judge Mario Lavandeira, who goes by the professional name of ‘Perez Hilton’. Lavandeira is a gay activist and celebrity blogger, and basically asked Prejean whether she supported ‘gay marriage’, and to give the reasons behind whatever her feelings were on the issue.

Carrie Prejean simply replied from her heart, basically saying that she did not support the idea, that she believed marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and that this was how she was raised, taught, and now fundamentally believed.

In the immediate aftermath of the pageant, at which she nearly won, finishing as the first runner-up, Hilton said that Prejean was a ‘cunt’, and then took to the internet and video-blogged that Hilton lost because she was “a dumb bitch.”

So in other words, Hilton as a gay activist has a right to voice his opinion on the issue, and the mainstream American public is supposed to tolerate not only that viewpoint, but also his public expression of it.

But the same right is not extended to Carrie Prejean. Because she disagrees with Hilton on this issue, and because she had the audacity to answer his question with honesty, she is pilloried as some sort of bigot and neanderthal thinker, and then called names as well?

How far does this freedom of expression, this right to your own viewpoints go, Mr. Hilton? And it wasn’t just Perez Hilton, but also most of the ‘gay rights’ movement, and in fact most liberals as well, who ganged up on Carrie Prejean. In doing so they exposed themselves publicly for what they really are, a group of hateful bigots, everything that they claim to be against.

This is the United States of America, and we are supposed to celebrate, support, and grow from the expression of differing opinions, not denounce them with hatred, ignorance, and profanity.

It isn’t as if Carrie Prejean said that any gay who actually got married should go to hell. She didn’t say they should be arrested, tortured, or even publicly embarrassed if they tried to marry. She did not express that she didn’t like gay people in general, and didn’t call them any names.

In short, she said nothing that would incite hatred or intolerance of gays. She simply answered the question put to her regarding the issue of marriage, stating that it should be between a man and a woman, which it should.

Not an opinion, by the way, but a fact since the early days of man, and one that has only gained any public forum at all since the fringe gay element of society began imposing it’s radical views on the vast mainstream ‘straight’ majority just a few decades ago.

Carrie Prejean simply answered a direct question without lambasting or profaning anyone, but the response that she received in reply has been what we have come to typically expect from the liberal community.

We conservatives love an open debate, love ideas expressed in public, and embrace the notion of having them put to the test of a vote. That is the true spirit of American freedom and diversity and exceptionalism at work.

There are groups who have wanted that freedom of speech repressed in the past: Nazis, Communists, and brutal dictators of all stripes go this way. Add now to that group the ultra-liberal bigots who want anyone shut up and shut down who does not agree with them, from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to Ann Coulter to Carrie Prejean.

For anyone out there who agreed with Perez Hilton’s response to Carrie Prejean, not his view on the topic of gay marriage, but with his response to Sunday night’s question-answer session, then you can count yourself in that group of liberal bigots.

NOTE: As with every entry at this Blog, there is a ‘Comments’ button below. You can do so anonymously, but it would be appreciated if you had the courage of your convictions to add at least a real name.

Miss California Gives Straight Answer

What was very obvious early on in the Miss USA pageant held this past Sunday night was that Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was a beautiful young woman on the outside.

She was the typical stereotype of what we all would expect from a ‘California Girl’: blond, long legs, gorgeous face. And when it came time for the bikini/swimsuit competition she displayed the great body that you would expect to come strolling down the beach in Malibu.

But what did not become apparent until right near the end was just how beautiful Carrie Prejean is on the inside. It took an incredibly controversial question under those circumstances from an incredibly outrageous, over-rated, quasi-celebrity judge in the pageant named Perez Hilton who demonstrated his own internal ugliness to bring out Miss California’s inner beauty.

Hilton, an openly gay male and celebrity gossip blogger, had the task of asking a question of Ms. Prejean during the final portion of the contest. All of the other finalists had to give their opinions on the somewhat difficult questions asked by a particular judge when their own turns came, but none got a more outrageous judge with a more sensational question than Ms. Prejean.

Hilton asked his question with wide-eyed enthusiasm, quite obviously expecting a different response: “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?” 

With the relative softballs that the other finalists were being tossed in comparison to this bomb shell of a question, Miss California looked momentarily lost as she searched her mind and her heart for an answer. She quite obviously knew that this was her make-or-break moment.

Many people thought that she was the odds-on favorite to win, and the results of later voting showed that was indeed the case heading in to this question period. A politically correct answer, even some non-committal answer, very likely would have resulted in her being crowned as Miss USA.

But fortunately for everyone in attendance and for everyone searching for good examples in these increasingly amoral days, Carrie Prejean is a Christian, and she simply could not sell out here true beliefs for a pageant crown.

She stumbled through her answer as she tried hard to balance those beliefs with an answer that might still salvage the title. Some of her reply included “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

Well hallelujah! First, a young woman with integrity enough to answer a controversial question with honesty. She very well could have gone another way with her public answer, won the crown, kept her personal beliefs to herself for now, and perhaps revealed them down the road as a ‘change of heart’.

But that’s not how Carrie Prejean rolls. This beautiful young girl just a few short years out of high school stood on that stage in front of thousands watching her live, and millions more on television, and spoke from her heart and soul.

And secondly, big kudos go out to the parents and family that raised this young woman to also be beautiful on the inside, and to understand at such a young age that truth cannot be compromised for expediency. She later would comment that she now believed that God had placed her in that position intentionally, and I would have to agree with her.

Immediately, the exasperated Hilton was taken aback, and he along with numerous gays in the audience and later on the internet and in other forums had negative, hurtful, and profane comments to make about this wonderful young lady. There is only one word that comes to mind: typical.

The fact is that God instituted marriage as a sacrament to be between a man and a woman. That is in no way a hurtful or sexist or demeaning statement towards gays. It is simply the truth.

Though there were a smattering of boos, the large majority in the audience cheered and applauded when Ms. Prejean gave her answer, one that she had to know once she was finished would derail her Miss USA hopes. As it turns out, it was still very close. She finished as a very close 1st Runner-Up in the judges voting.

In the aftermath, the Miss California Organization denounced her answer and said that they did not agree with it. Shame on them for not standing up for their California girl. One of the most liberal states in the American union has already turned thumbs down on gay marriage when it was put to the public for a vote, which only shows that even many people with generally liberal political and social viewpoints understand basic, fundamental truths.

In response, Hilton commented that she lost the pageant because of her answer, and then later video-blogged that she did not lose because of the answer, but because she was a “dumb bitch“.

This one should not even be considered in any way controversial on Prejean’s part, but the controversy should be squarely on Perez, who showed with his attitude and his words that he is a total and complete horses ass. Perez Hilton is a perfect representation of all that is ugly in the world today, while Carrie Prejean represents all that is right and true.

After his outrageous attacks on her simple honest answer, Prejean said simply that she would pray for Hilton. Thankfully, she stood up and showed all of us her beauty on Sunday night, both inside and out. Congratulations to Carrie Prejean for her high finish in the pageant, but more importantly for her, for taking the higher ground that night and ever since.