Miss Kansas shows tattoos at Miss America pageant

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail participated in the swimsuit portion of the Miss America pageant on Sept. 10, 2013. Press of Atlantic City

Updated 10:36 PM ET

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. Miss Kansas Theresa Vail says she wants to break the stereotype that women with visible tattoos don't compete in pageants.

So during the swimsuit portion of the Miss America competition on Tuesday, Vail revealed two tattoos -- the Serenity Prayer on her right side and the insignia of the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder.

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail's tattoo on her right side.
Press of Atlantic City

Vail is a 22-year-old senior at Kansas State University. She's also a member of the Army National Guard who wants to become a military dentist.

Her platform is helping women overcome stereotypes and break barriers.

Given her platform, she wrote on her blog last month: "What a hypocrite I would be if I covered the ink."

"She feels very confident in the decisions she's made for the tattoos she has," said Susan Franz-Koslowsky, a Miss Kansas board member, as reported by CBS affiliate KWCH Wichita. "They both have very deep meaning for her."

The Miss America pageant is back in Atlantic City, N.J., after a six-year absence. The finale will be Sunday night.

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