Thai-Swedish beauty pageant titleholder Maria Lynn Poonlertlarp was crowned Miss Universe Thailand in 2017. She is co-founder of social enterprise S.O.S. Earth, an Ambassador for Food Systems and sharks for WildAid. Read her biography and join Maria on her path to sustainability.
Since being crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2017, Maria Lynn Poonlertlarp has been on a journey to learn how best she can live her own life sustainably. From fashion to food, she is exploring all the pillars that make up her entertainment and personal life whilst also inviting as many people as possible to join her.
Maria Poonlertlarp is on a mission to inspire people to live a more sustainable life and to get behind environmental issues. Her quest has included co-founding SOS Earth in 2019 and using it as a platform to promote creative activities and challenges that inspire passionate advocates.
In 2021, she became the Ambassador of Food Systems for World Animal Protection Thailand with a focus on factory farming. She is also an Ambassador of Sharks for WildAid and is on a mission to stop the demand for Shark Fins by showing how harmful the harvest is to our blue ecosystem. Maria manages her own YouTube channel and also hosts the TV program 2 Degrees on ALTV (Thai PBS) since 2021, where she explores environmental solutions to tackle the climate crisis.
Whilst filming the 2 Degrees series, the entire crew stopped to watch a magnificent Brown Spotted Himalayan Vulture soaring above them on the air thermals. It was at that point that Maria said to herself “I am one hell of a lucky person”. The bird species is very rare and the experience made Maria feel so grateful to be alive.
It was at this time that Maria knew that channeling her energies into sustainability, conservation and the protection of biodiversity was what she was meant to do.
Live. Explore. Learn. Grow.
Since dedicating her time to conservation, Maria has found that the more she explores this field, the more she explores nature, the more she learns about herself. Secondly, whilst following her path to sustainability, she has met many open-minded, loving people along the way, who are pushing for a beautiful future and are helping to make the world better.
These are the things that inspire her, fueling her passion for conservation, giving her hope for a better tomorrow. Maria believes that if we can’t live freely, happily, and healthily then the purpose of life itself is eroded. We should all be able to live a free, happy and healthy life but to guarantee this requires positive reinforcement, learning and peaceful coexistence.
Personal Philosophy & Motivation
Maria believes that what goes around comes around, a very Buddhist philosophy. Her interpretation of this is that we get out what we put in; the more energy you invest in what you are doing, the more you will get out of it.
Her source of motivation comes from two quotes; the first from her father who instilled in her that “You regret what you don't do”. The second is “It’s never too late and it’s never too soon” from Mitch Albom, and these form her day-to-day mantra.
We all live different lives, explore different things and speak, act and think differently. These are the things that make us all unique and Maria is still finding her path in this respect.
What makes Maria truly unique though is that if she hadn’t been crowned Miss Universe Thailand and hadn’t become a television presenter, model and actress, she would have either been an academic, focusing on astro physics, or a professional roller skater or perhaps a combination of both.
Personal Life & Education
Born to a Swedish father and Thai/Chinese mother, Maria attended international school in Bangkok. Through family and friends, she has been immersed in a culture of western and asian perspectives from an early age.
She attended international school in Bangkok before graduating from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University with a BSc in International Business Administration. She went on to gain her MSc in Business and Consumer Marketing from Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University.
In her spare time, Maria’s passions are singing and dancing which are her guilty pleasures; guilty because she thinks that her dancing style is weird and, as for singing, when she is alone she is unapologetic.
Awards & Accolades
During her career, Maria has received a growing collection of awards and accolades including:
- MThai Top Talk-about 2018: The most talked about female person
- Attitude 7th (2018): Icon Award for Outstanding Achievement
- Youth Award for World Peace World Peace Conference, Stockholm, Sweden (2019)
- Thairath : Person of the Year Award (2020)
- Certificate as a Person who Promotes LGBT Equality and Promotes Human Rights Work, UNAIDS and APCOM (2020)
- The 7th Kinnaree Thong Public Award (2021) : นางงามผู้ประโยชน์ต่อสังคม
The People Who Inspire Maria Poonlertlarp
Aside from nature and the environment, many people have inspired Maria along the way and continue to do so from the teams of people that she works with each day, to her family, friends, boyfriend and dog!
Where environmental inspiration is concerned, Singh Wannasingh, Lynn from Climate Strike Thailand, Vijo from Ourland, Baitong Miss Earth Fire, Richie the Vegan, and N’ Oat from Save Studios are all on her list.
On the global stage, Maria is inspired by Rob Greenfield, David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Al Gore, and Mahatma Gandhi.
She also would offer a standing ovation to Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Pangina Heals, Sabina Meisinger, Cindy Sirinya, Khun Daeng Kanasut (Miss Universe Thailand Original Team), Yo Yossawadee, Pa Ped (makeup artist), P Pom Vinij, P Ae Dum (Kiss Models), and so many designers, artists, comedians, and magicians.
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