Be Authentic: an interview with Ariel Pearse

In our lives we all have life changing experiences that we will remember for life – Ariel Pearse was recently selected as a top 6 finalist in Miss World New Zealand 2016. We asked Ariel to share what she learnt from the experience.

Ariel, did you ever imagine you would be competing in the Miss World competition?  What were your reasons for entering? I’ve always known that it was an attractive option for someone who wants to get involved with charity on an international scale. It was one of the avenues I wanted to take in order to learn more about international service organisations.

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Every experience in our lives gives us opportunities to learn – can you share with us three things that you learnt through the Miss World New Zealand competition?

Learning can be likened to exercising a muscle. When we exercise our ability to learn one skill it simultaneously increases our ability to learn other skills or interests. While I am in New Zealand I am excited for the prospect to learn how to speak Maori.

There is always going to be opposition. There will always be people that don’t like what you are doing or what you stand for, in opposition to those who do celebrate your achievements and dreams. It’s critical to evaluate your values in order to achieve and to feel fulfilled in your successes. Don’t let other people’s opinions pull you down.

Never underestimate the value of your integrity. It is inspiring and powerful. To be authentic in how you publicly present who you are will lead to precious relationships with new friends. To be authentic in your dealings with everyone is extremely valuable and is a trait worth seeking for.

Your national costume was stunning – tell us who designed it and what it represents. Lamanga Burgess was my designer for my national costume. Some would say it was coincidence that a close family friend happened to be in the pool of designers for this year’s Miss World competition. Without either of us knowing, Lamanga was chosen from her school to be a designer for Miss World and I was chosen as a candidate. I believe it was by design that I was blessed to work a woman my family admired, she made my mother’s wedding dress and was a very close friend of my grandmothers.

The national costume is designed with the inspiration of the Kakariki bird, New Zealand native parakeet.

Ariel Pearse Miss New Zealand Tourism International National Costume image by CCS.jpg
National Costume designed by Lamanga Burgess. Image by CCS.

Your values play a significant part in your life, and one of values is modesty in dress. Throughout the competition you were able to stand for what is important to you – how did you do this? Keeping an eternal perspective. I just don’t see the point of sacrificing what is most important for something that is secondary. The only way to know if a value is of worth is to try and live it. I have done this with modesty and it is clear to me that it is of more worth than the alternative.

We noticed your red evening gown – who designed your gown? Desiree from Clothing By Desiree designed my gown. She was very excited to show some creativity in designing a gown that was elegant while not being revealing in any way. I love those colours.

Ariel Pearse Miss World New Zealand Finalist 2016 Evening wear.jpg

You’ve been crowned Miss World Tourism New Zealand – what does the year ahead hold for you? I plan to make the most of it! I can justify indulging in trips! I can’t wait to see what I can do in tourism New Zealand. I will be representing New Zealand in Malaysia at the end of the year. I will be preparing for that and probably be making public appearances at charity and corporate events.

The Miss World New Zealand competition would have lead to meeting so many new people – can you tell us about one person you met? Having relocated to New Zealand from Australia I feel like almost everyone surrounding me now is a new person. I am so grateful for each of the friendships I have made and for the love and support they have shown. I made a friendship with one of the contestants that I believe deserves so much more than a physical crown. Her name is Lauren, she is one of the most selfless people I know and she will give and give regardless of her own personal resources. Most of all I am so grateful for the love and support we had for each other, both of us were new to pageantry and felt a little clumsy to begin with. She always brightened my day with her infectious personality and warm smile.

Who inspired you and how they inspire you? Yay! I get to talk more about Lauren. She inspires me with her integrity. She has a heart of gold. She doesn’t just recognize that there are things more important than looks, she lives it every day. I know that if something were to happen, she’d be there and she would know exactly what to say.

What was your highlight of the competition? The highlight was getting to know and create friendships with the other contestants. People expect that with the pressure of competition, there would be foul play. I found that they were all really lovely and I treasure the friendship I have made with each of them.

Ariel Pearse Miss World New Zealand 2016 Final

You can follow Ariel’s journey on Facebook and read more from our earlier interview with Ariel here.

Images from the Miss World New Zealand final by CCS.

Featured image and more by Pyrefly Pictures.

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