It was in the year of 2018, when a beautiful Vietnamese girl sported a standout pixie haircut, hailing from Đắk Lắk – Buôn Ma Thuột (considered to be as one of the “Capitals of Coffee” in the world), was applauded by an estimated over 500 million viewers in over 190 territories, as one of the brightest stars that night, during the 67th Miss Universe pageant, held at the IMPACT Arena, Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi Province, Thailand. Before becoming a beauty queen, In 2015, Nie participated in “Vietnam’s Next Top Model” Cycle 6, which aired on VTV from August 2, 2015 to October 11, 2015. She finished ninth.
Nie was crowned Miss Universe Vietnam 2017 on January 6, 2018 at the Crown Convention Centre in Nha Trang, Khánh Hoà, Vietnam. The final three are all “Vietnam’s Next Top Model” alums.
H’Hen Niê, the first Miss Vietnam from an ethnic minority and the very first Vietnamese who reached top 5 of Ms Universe in the history of the pageant.
What was your life before you became a beauty Queen in your country?
H’Hen: I wanted to change my life. I wanted to help my family, my people in my hometown and my country, Vietnam. And most importantly, I didn’t want to get married. I was really scared of getting married. At that time I liked to swim, slide down slopes and play in the forest. I am just a simple EDE girl (an ethnic minority group in the Central Highlands). I was competitive and I loved to study. And I had lots of dreams.
I bravely fought the norms of my community and decided to study and make a different fate for myself and I decided to pursue my studies at my own expense and after finishing my schooling, I studied for a year at Nha Trang National Ethnic Community College. The life in my hometown is so peaceful, simple and the people are so kind and that’s where I get my inner strength and peace, from them. I absolutely wanted to become a beauty queen. I think the Universe agreed with my mission and vision, to be a good role model and help other people.And now I can share my story to the young generations around the World.
Tell me about your family background
H’Hen: My family and I lived together in Đắk Lắk – Buôn Ma Thuột, it is considered one of the “Capitals of Coffee” in the world. I was born to a poor family with six children in rural Vietnam. I worked as a nanny, serving food and cleaning houses, in order to finance my schooling.
How did you become interested in pageants?
H’Hen : I wanted to change my life and influence others because I know beauty queens have a voice, especially for their selected advocacy. My pageant journey is a testament that beauty can be very relevant in today’s world if it can inspire and empower the universe, the youth in particular, to rise above life’s ugliness, sadness and sorrow wherever they may be.
How did you prepare for Miss Universe 2018?
H’Hen : During the Question and Answer portion, the question for me was “The #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 #The MeToo movement has gone too far?”
And I answered it “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.” . I was confident until the end of the competition despite the language barrier and shined as one of the brightest stars of the competition.” It was an amazing journey in my life. I always tried my best to do everything. Learn more knowledge, skills, the catwalk, makeup, style and all those things that every woman can do in a beauty pageant.
What have you learned from pageantry?
H’Hen : First of all, I thank God for it. I felt happy and proud to wear the prestigious crown and bring glory to my family and hometown. What have I learned from the pageant? To remain humble. You’ll never go wrong with it.
Did you always want to be a beauty queen? If not a beauty queen what would you be?
H’Hen : I absolutely wanted to be a beauty queen. I think this is the Universe’s destiny for me. If not a beauty queen, maybe I would have pursued teaching or farming in my hometown.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
H’Hen : I’m a traditional girl. I would also like to mention that I’m a “cry baby” too, as I sometimes cried for the littlest things in my life, or when I would read a book or watched a movie.
Why did you choose to go to Dubai?
H’Hen : It’s actually my second time here. I love this country and I’m so grateful for this trip because I have a chance to work with an amazing team in Dubai and Victor Magazine’s team. Thank you so much for having me in this cover shoot and this interview.
Any message to all the aspiring girls who dream of being a beauty queen?
H’Hen :Always follow your dreams, work hard, think positive and try your best to have a beautiful future.