Name: Julia Petersen
Region: Greenwood Park, Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Occupation: I have a degree in management and communications from the University of KZN Howard College in Durban. At the moment I am a professional model at Models International in Durban.
Previous beauty competitions/pageants won: In 2008 I was a top 12 finalist in the Miss SA Teen pageant. I won the pageant title Miss Four Seasons in 2011.
What lessons did you learn during The Road to Miss SA TV shoot at Sun City?Never underestimate yourself and no matter what obstacles you face, if you believe in yourself you can achieve it. Most of the tasks were challenging for me but I overcame them with a positive attitude. These challenges have also taught me to focus on my strengths more and realise that with continuous self-improvement I will see growth in areas I once thought impossible.
What were the highlights of your Sun City stay? Waking up every morning and getting our hair and makeup done. I really felt like royalty. Being able to participate in the challenges was absolute fun and definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. Most of the challenges were similar to those in America’s Next Top Model TV show. To be involved with something like that is awesome.
Why do you want to be Miss SA and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role? I have great leadership skills that will ensure I will be a successful leader and ambassador for our country. I am driven, dedicated, passionate and humble and I am compassionate towards people. I have a strong passion to empower young women. I have been through the same challenges growing up as young women are facing today, such as low self-esteem and a lack of identity, and I believe I can use my testimony to empower them to become confident and secure in who they are. I feel I can motivate them to realise their purpose and help release the great potential hidden inside each and every one of them.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you? There are two –Melinda Bam and Marilyn Ramos. The reason being is that both of them are beautiful but they have that inward beauty that shines from within and radiates on the outside. They are also hard-working and focused.
Who are your role models? Tyra Banks and Adriana Lima. I look up to Tyra Banks because not only is she one of the top supermodels in the world but she uses her platform to encourage and empower young girls and women. She sends out the message that there is no one definition of beauty and that beauty comes in different shapes and sizes. Adriana Lima is a gorgeous Victoria’s Secret model and what I admire about her is that she remained a virgin until the age of 27 when she got married.
Tell us a bit more about your family? My dad is Shaun Petersen. He is a full-time technical consultant but after hours he is a drummer. My mother Katherine is a practice manager at an orthodontic practice. My sister Carla is 20 years old. She is studying towards a BSc in Environmental Science.
What do you do in your spare time? When I’m not modelling and doing fashion shows and shoots, you will find me on the beach jogging or at the pool swimming on a hot summer’s day. I love exercising and keeping fit. It has become a part of my lifestyle. I also enjoy reading motivational books to feel encouraged and uplifted. I love watching Bollywood movies.
2014 is the year in which SA celebrates its 20th year of democracy – what does that mean to you? This is a huge celebration for our country as we are celebrating democracy in which we are all working towards a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society and country. By this celebration we are also not forgetting the patriots that have sacrificed their lives to make this possible and to celebrate the journey of how far our country has come.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? Never give up on your dreams. Know your worth and never settle for anything less but the best. Remove negative people in your life that are holding you back from moving forward and achieving your goals and dreams. As young girls you shouldn’t conform to the world but realise it’s important to stay true to who you are.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I am terrified of the dark and used to sleep with my sister in her room. This year I started to sleep in my own bed room, on my own, without the light on!
What are you reading? The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. What is on your iPod? Coldplay and Linken Park.
Your favourite TV show? America’s Next Top Model.
Your favourite meal? I love hot, spicy Indian food. I would say a hot mutton bunny and a cold glass of coke would be a perfect combination.
Twitter handle: @JuliaEstelleP (https://twitter.com/JuliaEstelleP)
Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-SA-Julia-Petersen/521601447961325
Facebook Page Name: Miss SA Julia Peterson