Miss Ethnic Vietnam Nong Thuy Hang said working in the entertainment industry was much harsher than she ever imagined.
“I thought celebrities made money easily. However, after winning the beauty pageant and becoming a celebrity myself, I realized that this is not the case,” she told VnExpress.
“Those [working in the entertainment industry] who want to maintain their values and pursue their passion have to be able to deal with pressure, chaotic schedules and work much harder than common people,” Hang, 24, said.
Since her agency encountered hardships in doing business, she has had to work as a free agent. Sometimes she has gone through bouts of self-pity, after having to ask friends to help her attend events and not having an entourage to assist her in taking photos and preparing outfits like many others in the industry.
“I had to find jobs, prepare my outfits, and establish connections with others on my own. I experienced financial pressure as well, as there were times when I didn’t have any work,” she said.
Difficulties of making money were not the only thing that left Hang struggling. After her coronation in the beauty contest last year, Hang had to deal with countless comments about how she didn’t deserve the title.
Some went as far as accusing her of bribing the judges, having a financial sponsor, and even endorsing adult websites.
Recalling these hard times, Hang said that the slew of ungrounded rumors and negative photos of her appearing on social media left her exhausted, depressed, and mentally unstable.
“I even got into arguments with netizens in attempts to protect myself against false accusations,” she said.
Still, Hang said she has learned a lot through these seemingly rough experiences. Many positive changes have come as a result of support from her family and friends.
She has also sought help from mental health experts and became interested in meditation, which helps her to “put myself in others” shoes and “understand their opinions about me.”
“I learnt how to respect all the comments from others, as well as be willing to improve myself based on these opinions,” she said.
Hang added that she has been working on improving various aspects of her life over the past months in order to be best prepared for any chances that come her way.
“It’s not even one year since my coronation. As time goes by, I can prove myself to the public. If there is any international beauty contest that suits me, I will definitely enter,” Hang said confidently.
The beauty queen is from the Tay ethnic group in the northern province of Ha Giang, and will be the Vietnamese representative at Miss Earth 2023.