By Lifestyle Food
Miss Earth pageant is an annual international environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awareness and responsibility fully accredited and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme. The reigning titleholders dedicate their year to promote specific projects and often address issues concerning the environment and other global challenges. In this issue, we have Miss Earth 2018 Nguyễn Phương Khánh, who has worked relentlessly as the environment ambassador! Time to take a sneak peek at her efforts in transforming our Planet.
Nguyễn Phương Khánh is the exemplary person who has time and again reiterated the fact that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Born April 5, 1995, she is a Vietnamese model and international beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Earth 2018. She is the first Vietnamese woman to have won the Miss Earth title, one of the Big Four international beauty pageants. She has undertaken many humanitarian projects, one of them being a project through the Southern Customs Office Department in Vietnam that awarded 20 scholarships worth 1 million VND to 20 students with financial difficulties, and also environmental projects like tree planting activities and marine environment cleaning in Nhon Chau island to name a few. Here is an excerpt from her interview with us.
For the first time in the history of the beauty pageant, a representative from Vietnam has been crowned the top honor. Congratulations on being crowned as Miss Earth 2018! We’re sure that this competition is another milestone in your life. What is that one thing that you ultimately achieved with this tremendous success?
Thank you for the question. First of all, this is a big honor for me as the first Vietnam woman to win Miss Earth 2018. It is my honor and my pride for working hard and I could not have achieved this without the relentless support from family, friends, and the team behind me. Understanding your ability and your purpose in life is very important because without a purpose and ability there is always a lacuna before you can achieve success.
Which FastTrack event were you confident about acting at the Miss Earth 2018 pageant?
When I joined the Miss Earth pageant in 2018, I realized that I didn’t have the height as others, I didn’t have the catwalk skill or even the experience to perform on a big stage. But soon I came to the realization that I have a purpose and with my presentation skill which I learned in university and along with the understanding that Miss earth requires a heart and a mind that works in favor of Mother Earth led me to the belief that I could make it and I did it!
Credit : Photo: Hai Nguyen, Stylist: Mach Huy, Dress: Le Thanh Hoa, Tung Vu, Makeup: Tu Hao Huynh
You’ve shown yourself to be incredibly supportive of the topic of community – volunteering with social work such as protecting the Mekong river and the people who depend on it for their survival- Few of the many things you’ve done to help give back to the community. Why do you feel these are important areas to address as a society and what are some other areas you’re passionate about?
What I have done is just a small part of the mission of society to the place that we live in. I am the girl from the Mekong river, and I see how people suffer from pollution, especially the children. I just hope the act from me can influence more youngsters to care about the environment around them. I also believe everyone has a purpose in life, and with that, we can collectively work the environment.
Another area that I am supporting is for the ocean. I currently am working with one project called #lessplasticvn. With this, we hope to help educate the children from primary school, high school to be aware of what happens with the world and especially the island that they are living in; Help them build a green lifestyle.
In what way is Miss Earth different from the other beauty contests?
I think each beauty pageant has its own mission. And Miss earth is the only one that works 100% towards the environment. Every contestant from all around the world comes to learn to protect it and to use their voice for the voiceless and for Mother Earth, the one that suffers from human ignorance.
Miss Earth has been hugely focused on making the world a better place and that makes sense considering the environmental awareness pageant winners receive, especially in Asia. You brought a lot of attention to a lot of issues. So what is Phương Khánh championing to save the planet Earth?
I believe there are many ways to save or at least help our planet. But my personal ability will not be enough. Instead, everyone in the community, the society, and from this planet should join hands together. One small action multiplied by a million people can transform the world in unfathomable ways. And my mission is to work as hard as I can to help and to influence other people, especially youngsters to make them more aware of the environmental issues.
You are involved in many charity works, please share about it with us.
Besides working as an Environment ambassador, I am also into charity and helping other people. But most of the time I work in silence. I want to help the old people because they have sacrificed for their family and society. Also, the orphans because they deserve to be loved.
Miss Earth Competition has strived its best to make this edition a success. Any special memory from the pageant days you hold close to your heart?
I have a lot of memories of the pageant in 2018 but the moments that connected me with other contestants are priceless! They became my sister and we love each other so much. I could not believe 1 month can turn us from competitors to sisters- from strangers to family.
“I am working hard to be the role model of my own life because I am the one who is responsible for all the decisions in life.”
We have huge technological advancements and large parts of the world have access to it too. Do you think we are still living in ignorance towards the wellbeing of the Earth and also of our fellow humans despite this?
Every day I read articles about the environment and today’s world. I am happy because the Millenials know more about the environment and they are not just sitting there, they are doing their part and using their voice. Those people who own or create the technology to help the environment are actually listening and they are working towards the wellbeing of the Earth and the life that inhabits it. However, we need more of those people to brainstorm to reach more effective solutions.
How has your experience of green practices shaped the way you think about environmental concerns?
I think the countries I have visited and the people I have met have shaped my perspective of environmental concerns. I am still a learner with a big mission on my shoulders. My sisters from Miss earth are looking out for me and helping me. And thanks to the opportunities to learn and develop my knowledge about my mission.
“Building a lifestyle that makes you healthy is more important than following a lifestyle that you feel might make you beautiful only”
How do you stay motivated throughout the year to stick to your fitness routine?
Everything is in the mind. You can do wonders if you put your mind to it- the mindset of a healthy lifestyle and also the habit of exercising. No one can help you but yourself.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
I want to thank you all for your support and without you, I will not have enough strength to continue my duty. My deepest appreciation to all of you and I hope you have a hale and healthy year.