A wish to make the world a better place is often vaguely uttered by most pageant queens. For Meghan Pearl it has been a lifelong calling. The beauty with brains is an educator of learners with special needs and the current Miss Planet South Africa International.
Born in Bloemfontein and brought up by her loving grandmother, Meghan always knew that she wanted to touch the lives of others. So when the time arrived for her to choose a career path, becoming a teacher was a no-brainer. “I think it was in Grade 9 that I met my inspiration in the form of my maths teacher. She was so warm and encouraging that when you talked to her about your dreams, she made you feel that you could absolutely achieve them. It was then that I knew that I wanted to make others feel the same way. So I decided to get into the teaching profession.”
It’s because of this unwavering belief in her dreams that she decided to pursue modelling and pageantry, despite the odds. In this way she has become a stellar example for many local women and girls who may not fit the strict mould of what a runway model or beauty queen should be by continuing to break barriers in the industry.
“Women from my grandmother’s era didn’t have chances to realise their dreams, so I think it’s important for us to create opportunities for ourselves and in that way open opportunities for each other. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to book ramp modelling jobs because of my height but when I do get them, it shows that what’s most important is to have a great attitude and confidence. I represent all the petite girls who want to make their mark.”
A testament to Meghan’s influence in her community is the warm send-off they gave her when she represented South Africa in the Face of Beauty pageant in 2019. Looking regal and poised in her Khoi/San-inspired outfit, designed by local fabric maestro, Gerhardt Shebe, she wowed both judges and fellow contestants alike in the Philippines. “It was my national costume. We wanted to make something that represented the Khoi/San as some of the first people to have walked on the African soil.”
As Miss Planet South Africa Meghan lives by the slogan “Beauty for Humanity”. “This phrase really speaks to me because it’s everything that I believe in. I’m so proud to be part of this pageant and I can’t wait to represent South Africa once again in Cambodia.” As part of her reign, she has initiated projects related to nutrition and education such as school gardens to help households in Heidedal and beyond.
As an ambassador of the pageant, Meghan represents not just her community but women as well. “When you’re overseas you don’t just represent yourself but your whole country which I’m immensely proud of. In the pageant industry the South African sash is known as the “power sash” because our women are always well-spoken and intelligent. We bring something that the others don’t have. I look forward to continue doing that.”
When she’s not walking the runway or in front of a chalkboard, Meghan enjoys travelling and tasting different cuisine around the country. “We have a beautiful country with locations that many of us may not be aware of, so it’s important to explore and protect them. For me, beauty is in the actions we take and how we make others feel. When you’re a selfless person who does what is right, it easily radiates from you without saying a word.”