Miss Vietnam 2018 H’Hen Nie only lasted until the top 5 in last year’s Miss Universe competition, but she won hearts around the world, especially among pageant-loving Filipinos.
Nie crowned her successor, Nguyễn Trần Khánh Vân, in bare feet and the traditional costume of the Ede ethnic group, of which she is a member. Her final outfit went viral on Twitter in the Philippines, catching her attention too, as seen in her Instagram Stories yesterday, Dec. 9.
After Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi was crowned as Miss Universe yesterday, Nie expressed on Instagram her love for the winning queens, including Miss Universe 2019 Catriona Gray.
“Giving all my love to my sis @catriona_gray, you [had] a wonderful reign, we are always proud of you and now you begin a new journey, I wish you all the best,” she said yesterday.
To Tunzi, she said, “I wish you will have a great reign, you are so amazing tonight.”
Nie stood out in Miss Universe 2018 by being unapologetically herself. During the competition, she maintained her hair in a pixie cut and wowed in trousers. In the question-and-answer portion, she said the #MeToo movement had not gone far enough, stating that “protecting women is the right thing to do.”
She also drew fans with her backstory and advocacy for girls’ education: Nie hails from rural Vietnam as part of the Ede or Rade ethnic group, where girls are expected to marry by age 14. The beauty queen instead pursued an education and took up finance in college.
Nie donated her Miss Universe Vietnam cash prize worth $10,000 to scholarships. /ra