It was our pleasure to catch up with Ariel Pearse, Miss World New Zealand 2016 Finalist. Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Ariel lived in both New Zealand and Brisbane Australia, before embarking on eighteen months of volunteer work as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ariel, what motivated you to enter the Miss World competition? When I was little I remember I’d always feel anxiety about the future and what was going to happen – I always wanted to help people since I was young, that was all I desired. When I got home (from my mission), my desire to help people really increased, I wanted to do more, I’ve always been able to do that (help others) in my own sphere, and I’d like to expand my ability to do that.
Ariel is also studying through the University of Canberra, studying a Bachelor of Social Entrepreneurship. Ariel is aiming to start a social enterprise, which is similar to a charity, however social enterprises are not reliant on external funding, much like the Thank You group. Ariel is interested in a few avenues such as mental health and drug rehabilitation.
Ariel, what advice do you have for young people who are figuring out what to study, or do with their life? When we overcome self-doubt we can do anything.
As a finalist, you are taking on new challenges and learning new things. Can you tell us what else you do to challenge yourself to grow and improve? I wake up early, every day. I go for a walk and I always listen to an inspiring speaker, normally a General Conference talk but it may also be a podcast of some sort.
Our theme at Omika this month is “Challenge: Question your thinking, improve and innovate.” Can you tell us about one of your challenges in life and how it impacted on your life? One that I experienced with my brother. He was born with extreme club feet and I was there when he was born. They did experimental surgery on his feet and he was in casts for most of his young life, double casts. I remember watching mum massage his feet and he would always cry and scream. I would watch mum and she would be crying as she did that, but she knew that in the end it would be better for him and so she was able to do that for him. I feel if she wasn’t as strong as she was my brother wouldn’t be able to walk – the pain didn’t exceed the benefit that she knew would come, he can now function just like anyone else, run further than I can, a very talented sportsman.
What gets you through hard times? Prayer – definitely. Prayer is the number one thing.
As a Finalist in Miss World New Zealand, you are supporting the Ronald McDonald House as well raising awareness for skin cancer prevention and early detection of skin cancer. I feel so many lives are wasted because it is so easy for us to prevent skin cancer, wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun. It is the most common form of cancer affecting New Zealand families, with almost 2 people dying from a skin cancer related disease every day.
Raising awareness of skin cancer prevention and early detection is very relevant in Australia also. Can you share with us what else you would like to achieve as a Finalist in Miss World New Zealand? I want to be an example of how someone who still has strong values and lives moral principles can achieve within the world. We are so pulled back by our fears, our fears hold us back and some of us feel like we don’t fit in or belong, but we can succeed. Being a member of the (LDS) church, having what other people call restrictions, being able to live through them – one of the things is modesty. Too often we are controlled by what other people think and often times girls dress in a way that they feel they will be more accepted and more beautiful – I believe if we take the power back and choose what we want to wear, we empower ourselves.
I remember choosing before a party, I had two options of an outfit to wear, neither were extreme and I remember the moment where I chose to wear the other option that was still beautiful but didn’t draw attention to my body – I remember driving away and feeling not only good but in such good control. One of my mentors said, “You gain power through the small things” and I knew that this was one of those small things. Through that experience I am a champion for empowerment, using your own choices to help others by being completely you – you can’t help others by being anyone else.
Lastly Ariel, what is your favourite quote?
Thank you for sharing your journey with us Ariel, we wish you all the best! You can follow Ariel’s journey on Facebook and Instagram! Read more about Ariel’s journey to becoming Miss World Tourism 2016 here on our blog!
Images by Sunlit Studios.