Written by R. Galvez [@the4ofustraveling]

Twenty nine years ago, Vietnam sent its first representative at Miss International and made it to the Top 15. Back then, Vietnam wasn’t that savvy and sophisticated in the world of pageantry and pageant analysts barely paid attention. However, it paved way for the country to embrace beauty pageants with unabashed enthusiasm.

Today, Vietnam is a rising star. As its economy went up, so did the interest in beauty pageants. The country hosted three editions of Big5 Pageants as well as co-hosting one. The decades-long absence in international pageantry was compensated by the stellar performances of Vietnamese beauty queens. The cherry on top of the cake was when Nguyễn Phương Khánh won the Miss Earth 2018 title. This is so far the first – and only – Big5 crown for the country. Generally speaking, Vietnam is doing well at Big5 pageants. It is currently ranked 49th at the Big5 Ranking and it is steadily improving. The question now is: when will its next major international crown?

Based on the latest trends, Vietnam has a good chance at Miss International. Currently, Phạm Hồng Thúy Vân’s 3rd runner-up finish in 2015 is Vietnam’s highest placement at Miss International. Last year, Nguyễn Phương Nhi made it to the Top 15 and now for the first time ever, a Miss Vietnam winner will be sent to Miss International pageant. Huỳnh Thị Thanh Thủy will be Vietnam’s representative at Miss International 2024 and she is perhaps its strongest candidate ever.

Vietnam is an attractive market for beauty pageants with its bourgeoning middle class and robust economy. It is a great place for hosting pageants too so much so that Miss Earth is returning this year. It has millions of enthusiastic pageant fans and its beauty pageant infrastructure and institutions are already mature. Indeed, Vietnam’s next major international crown is not a matter of if but when.