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Miss Kansas Almost Committed Suicide Following Bullying! Says Tattoos Remind Her How She Got Through It!

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miss kansas first miss america contestant to have tattoos says she was bullied almost committed suicide

In many people's minds, Theresa Vail was the ideal candidate to win Miss America!

Representing Kansas, she is a sergeant in the U.S. army, she can handle a bow and arrow like Katniss Everdeen, and she's the first ever contestant to sport a couple of tattoos!

Theresa's ink was clearly visible on her ribs during the swimsuit portion, and she opened up about how tattoos in a beauty pageant is usually a big no-no:

"I have two. The Serenity Prayer down my side and the army dental insignia on my left shoulder blade. There’s a big taboo in the pageant, nobody shows their tattoos for fear of losing, but I said, 'What a hypocrite I would be if I say be all you can be, embrace your individuality, embrace your differences, break barriers, if I couldn’t even do that myself.'"

Preach, sista!!

But before Theresa was Miss Kansas and competing in one of the biggest beauty pageants of the year, she said she had a difficult childhood and was bullied a lot.

She talked a little bit about those tough years and said things got so bad, she actually thought about committing suicide:

"Yes, I was about 10 years old. I’d been bullied pretty much consistently up to that point. We lived in Germany at the time and it got so bad that I nearly took my own life. Thank God it was my Dad who saved me. I remember I didn’t know the words of the Serenity Prayer at that point but I knew what I wanted to say to God, which was, help me find peace in these things that they’re making fun of me for, because I can’t change them, but on the other hand I also prayed for courage to just stand up for myself and change things that I really could. So when I was old enough I knew I never wanted to forget that story because I wanted to inspire people who may be in the same situation. That’s why I got the tattoo."

Wow! While it's sad to hear she had a difficult childhood, it's great to see she got through it!

Not only did she turn out to be a beautiful woman, but she proved that she's incredibly strong on the inside and the outside!

Talk about a great role model!

[Image via Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.]

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