- Get to know more about Miss Universe Vietnam 2018.
- She is the first-ever beauty queen from a Vietnamese ethnic minority community.
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray may have won the title, but alongside the newly crowned Miss Universe 2018, there were other contestants who won the people’s hearts.
One of them was Miss Vietnam, who had experienced her own ups and downs in life and in the international pageant.
Her Growing up Years.
H’Hen Nie grew up in an ethnic minority, the Rade tribe, which only makes up about 5 percent of Vietnam‘s population.
The community is accustomed to women marrying early and having kids at a young age. It has been handed down from many generations. Because of that, she has been told to marry at 14-years-old.
View this post on Instagram
Growing up as an ethnic minority in Vietnam, I have seen firsthand that education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty. I want children everywhere to flourish, dream big and have the resilience to overcome obstacles. ❤️ #MissUniverse #MissUniverse2018 #Vietnam #Bangkok #Thailand #ConfidentlyBeautiful #ActiveforEducation
But Nie had bigger dreams than that and decided to move to Ho Chi Minh. This marked the start of her Miss Universe journey.
Her life at the city was far from smooth as she had to work as a domestic helper, tutor, and leaflet delivery girl just to afford her studies and basic necessities.
She touched hearts at her homecoming video, wherein she plopped down on the floor and ate using her hands. It gave the Netizens a sneak peek of the life she used to live.
The beauty queen also rode an overpacked motorcycle through the muddy roads and visited houses to give gifts to the elderly and kids.
Miss Universe Vietnam 2018 – H'Hen Niê's Homecoming
Posted by Sash Factor Vietnam on Friday, December 7, 2018
The controversy surrounded Miss Vietnam as she was deemed to be bullied by Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers in one Instagram live.
Alongside Miss Cambodia, Nie’s lack of English speaking skills were said to be made fun with by the Western contestant.
“She’s so cute and she pretends to know so much English, and then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she goes… [laughs and nods],” Summers said.
View this post on Instagram
Regina George, is that you? This is basically like the most dramatic reality show, but condensed into 1 minute lol. @sarahrosesummers hopefully will prove that ignorance will not win you a @missuniverse title…whatever that means these days. This is basically what normalized xenophobia looks like. If she’s trying to show empathy, the condescending, intolerant tone tells a different story. A reminder that you’re participating in a competition in a country/continent where English is NOT the primary language. Cc: @francesca.hung @valeriamoralesd @rern_sinat (Miss Cambodia) • #sarahrosesummers #rernsinat #valeriamorales #francescahung #missuniverse2018 #missuniverse #missworld #missusa #missaustralia #misscolombia #beautyqueen #beautypageant #pageant #pageantlife #missamerica #wiwt #ootd #realityshow #meangirls #reginageorge #gossip #catty #lol #wtf #dietprada
Nie, on the other hand, had nothing but positive words for Summers.
“Everyone in this competition, myself included, loves and respects one another.
“When she knew about my difficulties with (the English) language, she took an interest and showed me love. That’s why she knows about that. Thank you Miss USA for taking care of me, showing me love and helping me recently.”
Netizens showed appreciation.
The Netizens didn’t fail to show their admiration for Miss Vietnam as tweets about her touching backstory and notable donations to the charity.
Miss Vietnam was dirt poor when we competed for MU Vietnam and could only afford one pair of heels for the entire competition but when she won SHE STILL DONATED ALL HER WINNINGS AND BUILT A SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRYSIDE I stan a selfless queen 😭😭 #MissUniverse2018 #MissVietnam
— dumbo (@heytrit) December 17, 2018
A twitter user said that aside from Miss Philippines, Nie is also worth congratulating.
Besides congratulating Miss Philippines, I want to say how proud I am of Miss Vietnam. She was judged on how she had bad english, yet without an interpreter she advanced to top 5, further than any vnm beauty has ever been. Even without the crown, we are proud of her. pic.twitter.com/CoeDAPyDJM
— ~UWU TOKKI~ Welcome back Jeonghan!!!!!! (@hanie_tokki) December 17, 2018
They also commended her decision to defy the Vietnamese society’s beauty standards.
Can we PLEASE talk about this year’s Miss Vietnam?! How she ditched the beauty standards of Vietnamese society like long jet black hair and pale skin for a PIXIE CUT and a TAN?! I am living for this! YES! pic.twitter.com/nWp55XyG7l
— Gina (@MissGinaDarling) December 14, 2018
Miss Vietnam could run over me and I would thank her. pic.twitter.com/tpZxAHG0Ln
— LAURA (@laurxcastrx) December 17, 2018
Translations sparked outrage.
Translations are tricky when it comes to international pageants as it may cost anyone from the winning crown.
Netizens have voiced out their disappointment when it comes to Miss Vietnam’s translator as they said that the English translations of her answer is not accurate and messed up.
The question presented was, “The #MeToo movement has sparked a global conversation. In response, some have said that the world has become too politically correct. Do you think the #MeToo movement has gone too far?”
And the translator’s response was as simple as: “I don’t think that it has gone too far. Protecting women and women’s rights is the right thing to do. Women need protection and rights.”
But according to a Netizen named Audrey, the translator totally missed the key points of Nie’s answer.
I’m a Vietnamese native speaker and this is Miss Vietnam’s fully translated and accurate answer: “Protecting women’s well-being/health and protecting women from sexual abuse is the right that every women need. Everyone of us needs to be protected and we need freedom. Thank you.” pic.twitter.com/6B40EqCCmv
— Audrey (@aintyourputa) December 17, 2018
Others even said that the beauty queen could’ve ranked higher if only the translator did her job correctly.