I've never liked pageants. Truth be told, that's probably because I've never been crowned "Miss" anything.
Maybe if I had made it onto the homecoming or prom courts in high school my view of chasing the crown would be different. But up until now, I've had absolutely no interest in watching a parade of swimsuit models that alter their natural beauty with too much make-up, hair extensions and spray tans.
I understand that they're being judged on more than just their looks, but we don't get to see enough of their personality or inner beauty on television.
What's worse is that, aside from the winner, what usually ends up all over the news and internet the next day are those awkward moments when the contestants are flubbing through questions about worldly issues.
Well this week my thoughts on pageants have changed. I'm actually looking forward to watching this year's "Miss America" broadcast, and on Sunday night I'll be rooting for Miss Kansas, my new hero!
Not just because she proudly chose to show off her Serenity Prayer tattoo in the bikini competition, or because at the young age of 22 she's already served in the Kansas National Army Guard for 6 years.
Theresa Vail is an inspiring role model for women of all ages. She's a mechanic, a skydiver, a boxer and a retired motorcycle racer. She's also a real life Katniss Everdeen: A master archer that can skin a deer and cook up squirrel stew.
In an exclusive interview with People, Vail revealed that she mastered Luciano Pavarotti's "Nessun Dorma" in just two days for the talent competition, after being told she was not allowed to demonstrate her archery on stage.
Whether or not Vail takes the crown on Sunday, she's already a winner in my book.
When asked why she chose to bear her tattoos in the competition, she said, "my whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers."