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being a model is not just my passion, but I’ve given it my youth.”  – Minh Tu

Minh Tu is a most talked-about figure in the professional modeling industry thanks to being a runner-up in Asia’s Next Top Model TV show, and a quick-witted coach in The Face Vietnam. She sat down recently with Culture to share some of her behind-the-scene moments.

You are known first and foremost as a supermodel. Why did you make this career choice?

Modelling for me is a passion.
I always thought that being a model is a legitimate job with which I can feed myself and enrich my life. I have to give it all. This career fulfills my dreams and my desires. And until now, being a model is not just my passion, but I’ve given it my youth.

What has been your greatest challenge? How did you make it through?

My greatest challenge when I started was overcoming the fierce disapproval from my family and my own insecure voices from within. My two brothers supported me, but my mother was vehemently opposed because she feared her daughter would fall under surmounting pressures. Like many other people, she never thought that modelling was a job.

My mother always hoped that I would finish university and land an office job to earn a stable living. I asked her to give me three years to pursue my passion. Should it not bear fruit, I told her I would follow her advice and get an office job. Step by step, I progressed and secured my status. Mom now supports me.

How did your participation in Asia’s Next Top Model and your presence in the final round as a runner-up impact you?

Both exerted a tremendous impact on my life as well as my work. It brought me closer to the audience, enabled me to develop and verify my status, experiences and qualities. On the other hand, my life is then restrained to its yardsticks, and bound me to constant self-development both at work and in real life, to nuture bigger dreams.

Was your role as one of the coaches on The Face Vietnam 2017 a turning point for your career?

The Face enabled me to demonstrate my qualities, my status and my passion at work.  The heat of the show brought me closer to the audience. It showcased my will, my personality and my capacity.

Before I was invited to The Face, my image was strong and firmly positioned in my field. Following The Face, that image was further promoted to brands. They could now understand my personality, inspirations and the image I built.

Do you want to stick to this reality show for the next season?

If there are opportunities and reasonable negotiations, of course I don’t mind joining its next season.

Showbiz is never free from scandals. How have you accepted and lived with those challenges?

Scandals are synonymous with life, particularly in showbiz. You have to face a vast array of hardships that prompt you to deal with and stand up to it with bravery.

I am particularly afraid of scandals. I have always devoted myself to this job in peace. However, if I was unexpectedly trapped in a scandal, I would keep silent and move forward and devote myself to the job I have chosen. Time will tell of my own capabilities and efforts to get rid of the rumours over time. It is the way I stand up to challenges.

What is your life philosophy and what are your rules for career development?

I always tell myself that “Work is work, play hard later.” At work, nothing can stand in the way or intervene. If you don’t build your own dream, someone will hire you to build theirs. These rules are always the North star for me. They guide my career and help me upgrade myself to being more complete and mature.

What are your future plans and next steps in your career?

In the future, I plan to bring to fruition some of my personal projects in beauty. In tandem, I will perfect my modelling career. The future plans with my own team I can’t reveal just yet. Please stay tuned and keep supporting my next steps.