Vietnam News

Controversy over ‘too many’ as beauty pageants proliferate

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There has been an explosion in the number of beauty pageants, with nearly 20 of them held in the first half of this year alone.

Mostly organized by industry groups and entertainment companies, they included Miss Universe Vietnam in June and Miss Ethnic Vietnam, Miss Ao Dai Vietnam and Miss Sports Vietnam in July.

Many more are lined up for this year, including Miss World Vietnam (August 12), Miss Peace Vietnam (September 11), Miss Grand Vietnam (September 25), Miss Vietnam Sea and Island (October 22), Miss Vietnam (December 15), and Miss Earth Vietnam (December 22).

The reason why new pageants keep popping up is that the Department of Performing Arts, in February 2021, eased regulations and organizers only need approval from the local people’s committee.

Before this decree was issued, there were only two licensed national beauty pageants in a year and a few smaller ones.

The number has since increased 10-fold.

The popularity of beauty pageants has admittedly aided the recovery of the entertainment industry post-Covid.

There are groups on social media that love discussing contestants and making predictions. Many of them have over 100,000 members and posts frequently receive thousands of ‘likes,’ ‘comments’ and ‘shares.’

The pageants also attract large audiences.

Hoang Nhat Nam, director of Miss World Vietnam scheduled to be held in August, estimates the event will be watched live by 20,000 people.

With new pageants being added at a dizzying rate, many contestants take part in multiple events.

Before being crowned the 2022 Miss Universe Vietnam, Ngoc Chau was the winner or runner-up in numerous pageants.

Dang Vuong Huyen Tran, who lost in the Miss Universe Vietnam semi-final, immediately registered to compete in Miss Ethnic Vietnam.

Critics say people are tired of watching the same faces repeatedly.

Pham Kim Dung, general director of Golden Lotus Company, which owns the rights to a number of beauty pageants, admits that the sheer number of contests is causing the public to be “overwhelmed”.

Le Xuan Son, head of the Miss Vietnam organizing committee, said the contest he had been overseeing for over 30 years is no longer licensed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

He is worried that the public would gradually lose faith in the long-standing and prestigious competition as titles are becoming a dime a dozen as pageants mushroom.

But Nguyen Quang Vinh, former director of the Department of Performing Arts, dismissed all the concerns saying this is a normal occurrence.

“I believe the contests help promote tourism and regional and national cultures, and fuel the economy.

“Everyone has the right to support high-quality competitions while ignoring poorer ones and allowing them to self-destruct. That is the rule of the free market.”

Every year there are as many as 60 beauty contests in countries like Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“The rise of beauty pageants demonstrates the growth of Vietnam’s entertainment industry,” Chu Tan Van, an executive at an entertainment company, said.

People in the fashion industry and beauty contest organizers believe that there must be screening and elimination so that only businesses that are dedicated and serious about pageants survive.

“What is important is how the organizers perform their responsibilities after the contest, and not just stop with granting titles and crowns to winners,” My Dung, a representative of the Miss Tourism Vietnam pageant, said.

By Tan Ha Dung – – July 14, 2022

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