A 26-year-old woman of ethnic minority descent has done what no other Vietnamese beauty queen had been able to do before – making it all the way to the Top 5 of Miss Universe, one of the ‘Big Four’ international beauty pageants.
H’Hen Nie, Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, and 93 other contestants entered the Miss Universe 2018 finale in Thailand at 7:00 am on Monday.
After the swimsuit and evening gown competition, the Vietnamese beauty was among the Top 5 candidates announced by host Steve Harvey at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.
The Top 5 candidates, which also included Miss Philippines, Miss South Africa, Miss Venezuela and Miss Puerto Rico, were then set to face the question and answer segment, where the Vietnamese beauty queen was asked if she thought the #MeToo movement had gone too far.
“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?” Harvey said.
#MeToo is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault, especially in the workplace, and spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag on social media soon after the sexual abuse allegations against former American film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Nie answered the complicated question in Vietnamese, saying she did not think the movement had gone too far.
“Protecting women and women’s rights is the right thing to do,” Nie strongly affirmed through a translator.
The translated answer was much shorter than what Nie really said. The Vietnamese stated that protecting human health, victims of sexual abuse, and women is a big right.
But Nie and Miss Puerto Rico had to end their journey after the Q&A, as the Top 3 only called the names of Miss Philippines, Miss South Africa, and Miss Venezuela.
After the Top 3 toured the stage in the background music of a song performed by the American singer, songwriter, dancer and record producer Ne-Yo, the large culturally-diverse audience inside the beautifully-lit Impact Arena held their breath for the announcement of the new Miss Universe.
They eventually burst into joy as host Steve Harvey informed that the crown went to the Philippines’ Catriona Gray.
Miss South Africa and Miss Venezuela were named first and second runner-up, respectively.
Gray’s crowning also marked the fourth time a Filipino beauty bagged the Miss Universe title, following Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margie Moran in 1973 and Gloria Diaz in 1969.
|Top 5 finalists at Miss Universe 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, December 17, 2018|
Monday’s finale also honored Miss Laos On-anong Homsombath for wearing the best national costume in the segment that took place on December 10.
Although Nie only stopped in the Top 5, the Vietnamese representative left a very beautiful impression on the Miss Universe audience.
She was mocked for her English command by Miss America just before the finale, but chose to offer an olive branch to the U.S. contestant. Her national costume, an outfit inspired by banh mi, or Vietnamese bread, also wowed global audiences.
H’Hen Nie is of E De minority descent, one of the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
|Miss Philippines Catriona Gray is crowned Miss Universe 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand on December 17. Photo: Reuters|
|Vietnam's H'Hen Nie dons her evening gown at the semifinal of Miss Universe 2018 on December 13.|