Pearl has certainly had a lot of character growth, both in the show, and as hinted in her backstory. Rising from humble beginnings as basically a slave, to become a leader of a rebellion against thousands of gems with all odds stacked against her. Yet she fought for over a thousand years, she survived, when many soldiers who were much stronger than herself perished. And still, she has moments when she feels inferior to the gems around her. But, since 'Friend Ship', Pearl seems to view herself more positively, and it's really great to get to see her grow. Check out a great recap of how far Pearl has come, below!
Pearl looked up to and admired Rose Quartz so much
she wanted to be like that figure for Steven:
“I want to inspire you / and I want to be your rock / and when I talk it lights a fire in you”
And so in order to keep her own credibility and make sure that he didn’t think less of her, Pearl deliberately never told him about her servant background.
Then out of NOWHERE, Peridot just tells Steven EVERYTHING about Pearl’s place in the Gem hierarchy
(notice that the whole time this is happening she is blushing and looking towards Steven because she’s embarrassed that he’s finding out about her past in this way)
AND SHE FIGHTS PERIDOT IN ORDER TO PROVE THAT SHE IS CAPABLE AND SMART AND STRONG AND FEARLESS IN ORDER TO PROVE TO HERSELF AND TO THE REST OF THE CRYSTAL GEMS THAT DESPITE HER BACKGROUND, SHE STILL DESERVES TO BE A PART OF THE GROUP
AND WHEN SHE DOESN’T END UP WINNING THE FIGHT SHE IS FEELING DEFLATED, BECAUSE EVEN HER BEST EFFORT WAS NOT ENOUGH
BUT THE CRYSTAL GEMS ALL JUST END UP SUPPORTING HER EVEN MORE !!!
AND STEVEN, WHO SHE WAS SO WORRIED ABOUT TRYING TO IMPRESS ENDED UP LOVING AND RESPECTING HER EVEN MORE, NOT IN SPITE OF HER BACKGROUND, BUT BECAUSE OF HER BACKGROUND AND HOW HARD SHE HAS FOUGHT ALL HER LIFE TO RISE ABOVE IT:
“You’re wrong! If pearls are really like you say they are, then Pearl isn’t common at all! She trained herself to fight! She learned how to build things! And she works hard every day to be greater than she already is! That’s not common; that’s amazing!“AND SHE IS SO SURPRISED.
LOOK AT MY CHILD, SHE IS GLOWING, AND I AM SO PROUD OF HER !!!!! PEARL IS SO IMPORTANT!!!! SHE WAS SO AFRAID THAT LEARNING ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF PEARLS WOULD MAKE STEVEN LOSE RESPECT FOR HER BUT IT JUST MADE HIM RESPECT HER EVEN MORE !