Why Miss Vietnam 2018 Is The REAL Millennial Role Model

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H’Hen Nie, Miss Vietnam 2018, may not have won the pageant, but she won many hearts

Miss Universe 2018 recently announced Miss Philippines Catriona Gray, as the winner on December 17. But another beauty queen stood out for different reasons beyond just her good looks. And that was Miss Vietnam 2018.

Although she reached the top five and did not win, Miss Universe Vietnam, or H’Hen Nie, emerged from the competition unscathed with much grace and poise.

Why Miss Vietnam 2018 Is Truly A Role Model

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by H'Hen Niê (@hhennie.official) on

This is significant considering she, along with Miss Universe Cambodia, were at the receiving end of racist remarks by Miss Universe USA, Sarah Rose Summers.  

Not only did she not continue to drag and worsen the issue, H’Hen even defended Summers in an interview with CNN.

“Everyone in this competition, myself included, loves and respects one another, " said H'Hen.

“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," she continued.

Miss Vietnam’s mature handling of the controversy has melted the hearts of everyone around the world, and all eyes are on her ever since. But her grace and intelligence are not the only two qualities that bowled people over. Her humanitarian efforts and generosity has also made her a true queen of the millennials!  

Miss Vietnam Is The Real Beauty Queen

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by H'Hen Niê (@hhennie.official) on

Some talk the talk, and some walk the talk.

Miss Vietnam certainly does the latter, as it was announced that the spunky and down-to-earth 26-year-old with a pixie cut decided to give away all her prize money after the pageant to build more libraries in rural areas in her community. And, to benefit less privileged students for their education through providing scholarships.

H’Hen was awarded US$43,000 for winning in the top five at the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, converting to an estimated SGD$58,849 or 1 billion Vietnamese Dong.  

Earlier this year, H’Hen donated US$10,000 from another pageant to similar educational causes.

Her humble attitude had won many hearts over, especially after news of her intention to donate her prize money broke.

Definitely deserving of more recognition, H’Hen is also the first Vietnamese from an ethnic minority to represent her country on an international platform. She has defied conventional beauty standards in Asia, and instead proved critics wrong by gaining victory with her melanin skin and a pixie cut.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by H'Hen Niê (@hhennie.official) on

Growing Up Miss Vietnam

Behind all that glitz and glamour, is a simple girl. Miss Vietnam started from humble beginnings. Hailing from an ethnic minority group in Vietnam that is just five percent of the total population,  H’Hen comes from the Rade people, with outdated customs such as marrying young.

But she resisted against her own upbringing and refused to marry early, when asked to do so at the tender age of 14.  

"I was born in a family with six brothers and sisters. At 14 years old my parents told me to find a husband, but I told them that instead, I had to follow my dreams," H’Hen said in an interview.

She also learned to speak Rade, a separate language from Vietnamese, becoming a fluent speaker at a later age.

Education Was Miss Vietnam 2018 H'Hen's Priority  

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by H'Hen Niê (@hhennie.official) on

Growing up in Dak Lak, Vietnam, H’Hen chose to shift her focus on education, which helped to transform a harsh childhood.

She funded her own education and daily living through much hustling, working in several jobs like a nanny, domestic helper, tutor, leaflet deliverer, and modeling. Her hard work paid off when she started her journey of becoming a pageant queen.

Clinching the Miss Universe Vietnam crown is not only a testament to her hard work, but also challenged the definition of a beauty queen in Vietnam.

"I've found great happiness in many social activities I've done"

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by H'Hen Niê (@hhennie.official) on

Miss Vietnam 2018, H'Hen looks forward to leverage on her newly found influence and further her cause of helping less privileged children everywhere in the world with their education, as well as working with organisations to improve girls' lives in developing countries.

"I've found great happiness in many social activities I've done throughout a year as the Miss Universe Vietnam. Thank you Ngoisao.net for giving me the award "The star for the community". It's really meaningful to me," she wrote in an Instagram post.

"And please continue supporting me in fundraising $22,000 for the project #ActiveforEducation. I hope there's not only 1, but more children-friendly libraries from @roomtoread organization will be built and more schoolgirls around the world can access educational support," the caption continued. 

If that isn't inspirational, what is! 

Also read: Meet Miss Universe’s First Transgender Contestant Who Broke Barriers And Won Hearts

(All images courtesy: Instagram)

Written by

Melia Widjaja