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Hoang Thuy and Her Road to Miss Universe 2019


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Winner of Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2011, Hoang Thuy has risen to be one of the most famous faces in Vietnam’s modeling world and was first runner-up in Miss Universe Vietnam 2017. This year, she again officially represents Vietnam at the Miss Universe pageant in December.

Thuy is known for her strong personality, enthusiasm, passion, and determination. “Whether I am the 19-year-old Thuy or the 27-year-old one, my passion remains the same. I have the enthusiasm and the desire to assert myself at Miss Universe 2019.”

She shared some of her thoughts and feelings with Culture Magazin before heading to the pageant.

How fearless was the 19-year-old Hoang Thuy when she decided to join Vietnam’s Next Top Model and then won the competition?

The decision to join the competition was one of the most important turning points of my life. Even today, I’m still grateful for the reckless and courageous younger self who dared to do it.

When I was younger, I had nothing but my youth, passion, and hunger. I always thought that with these empty hands, I have nothing to lose. Therefore, I just tried my best with no fear. In the end, surprisingly, all the effort and tears I put forth paid off when I won first place.

Are there any differences in your mindset or passion today?

There are definitely differences between the 19-year-old me and the 27-year-old me. For example, the second one is eight years older [she laughs]. Actually, the biggest change is maturity. I’ve had eight years to accumulate knowledge and cultivate myself. Today, I am the best version of myself thanks to the invaluable help I’ve received from everyone in the industry. Besides, today, I’m much stronger and more confident than I was eight years ago. However, the thing that has never changed is the passion I have for my career.

From 2011 until now, you have experienced a few challenges. Can you tell us about one

One that comes to mind is that I’ve always wanted to work for IMG Modeling, but I have failed after six attempts. Maybe the time has not come yet, I guess. I did try one more time in 2018, but their response did not change. So, maybe participating in Miss Universe this year will help this desire of mine come true.

How does your modeling experience help you in beauty pageants? Do you have any difficulties transforming from a model into a beauty queen?

Being a model is my starting-point. It has provided me with a strong media presence. Years of experience on the runway has given me the confidence I need on my path to conquer the crown.

Being a contestant of Miss Universe Vietnam 2017 and becoming the first runner up, I experienced a lot of pressure. There are plenty of different opinions about my achievements. That pushes me to try more, and work harder every day to prove that I deserve the title.

You’re the official representative of Vietnam at Miss Universe 2019. How does this make you feel? What is your goal in this pageant?

I think it’s inevitable to feel pressure when you’re joining an international competition, but I am proud to show the world my beauty and intellect.

The purpose of being in the pageant is to assert my own abilities. Secondly, I would like to spread the humanistic message that I have been nourishing – introducing my campaign Women Empowerment (WE) to everybody, especially women and little girls all over the world. Finally, this is a stepping stone to join IMG Modeling.

Preparing for one of the biggest beauty pageants in the world, which traits of Vietnamese women will you focus on? Which parts of Vietnamese culture do you want to present to international friends?

I think Vietnamese women are gems and always have been. The standard of beauty changes with time. Vietnamese women are smart, insightful, and always know when to raise their voices.

Vietnamese culture is also diverse in religion, cuisine, and attire.

This is a chance for me to show how delicious our food is to friends from around the world.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?  

After eight years of modeling and walking on international runways, I have confidence on stage and the courage to deal with challenges and pressure.

In terms of weaknesses, I think I should try to develop my English so that I can effectively communicate my message at Miss Universe.

What is your life philosophy?

“…. it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.Do you know who said that? Steve Jobs. And this statement has helped me to think more positively, to complete myself in spite of failures and always move forward, never to give up on my dream.

Do you have a message for your fans?

Currently, I am devoting much time and enthusiasm to Miss Universe 2019. In this journey, I need your encouragement and support to motivate me every day.

I hope that everybody will always support my future projects!

Text by Alex Tu
Design by Sammy Tuong Hoang

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt