Entrepreneur, model, actress and tourism ambassador, Ly Nha Ky shares her insights on beauty and lifestyle with Oi
As someone skilled in business as well as acting and modeling, what do you think is the value of beauty?
While many people claim that beauty is not important, in many situations, its value can be precisely measured. Beauty is really a gift, something given freely by one’s parents and by fate; so in fact it’s very precious. I’ve never thought that beauty is unimportant—if that were true, why is it that all women seek to achieve and preserve their beauty? It is the same for men. However, I do believe that beauty is not something outside of us, but something of an “inner-shining light.”
How has beauty helped you to develop your career? And how has your career changed your concept of beauty?
I don’t believe my beauty has helped me to develop my career, because I’m not a “Miss Beauty” who stepped out and built my vocation based on a beauty contest. I started out with empty hands, with only my brain and my sense of diligence. My beauty has only helped me in gaining some good feeling from my business partners during our conversations. Despite how I might look, if I work badly, any beauty I have is quite useless. It’s important to understand that, in work, if you’re beautiful without being wise, the effect of your beauty will work against you in the eyes of your partners. There are no words that hurt more than hearing someone say: “She’s beautiful but empty.” Wisdom, the beauty of the mind, is the light that illuminates physical beauty. I’m an actress, so beauty is important for me to be noticed; but if I didn’t know how to act, I would never have been chosen and couldn’t be successful. Today, I have a career that people regard as being successful, which helps me to understand this more thoroughly. For a businesswoman, beauty is like a blank sheet of paper, if you want that paper to have content and value, it depends on wisdom and talent, the inner beauties.
You are often associated with diamonds—the symbol of wealth, perfection, and flawless beauty. What is the reason that people associate you with diamonds, and do you feel it is a suitable representation of yourself and your heart?
First of all, I admit that I am a woman who loves beauty; I love the perfect beauty of a diamond as much as any other woman in this world. As I understand it, people associate me with diamonds because of my diamond business; I do trade in world-leading brands of diamonds. About the significance of the diamond as a symbol, I’m not so sure—that answer should be provided by the public. If it is really an identification of the perfect beauty, I’m so very grateful, as this means I am highly valued. That in turn puts pressure on me to live and devote myself better.
I understand that you grew up in Vung Tau. Do you feel that you grew up in a beautiful environment? How did your experiences in your childhood shape the woman you became?
To me, the place where I was born and grew up is extremely beautiful, and I’m very proud of my hometown. I love the long romantic seashores, the beautiful and peaceful streets of my whole childhood, every corner, every line of shady trees, the merciful and friendly souls of the people in my hometown… I believe that everyone who has been to Vung Tau must sense those wonderful things. I think I’m lucky to have had the chance to grow up and to be embraced and soul-nurtured by that land. There I have my family, with my parents and siblings who always love and care for each other after years of difficulties. There are childhood friends, who love us with all their hearts, and who always stayed close to my family during the hard years. There I had my first business “lessons”, asking for permission to go to pick cashew fruits, so that after their nuts were removed, I could arrange for them to be taken to market to sell, to help my mother to earn money… I think all of the difficulties, hardships, happiness and love that I had in my childhood have helped me to be stable and strong, to be flexible in business today. Being raised by the love and peacefulness of Vung Tau, the land and the people, no matter how “hard” I am in business, I’m still a dreamer, emotional, and an artist.
Can you tell me about your parents, and what kind of person they raised you to be? How did your parents inspire you, and did they give you a happy childhood?
My father was a soldier who undertook a special mission in Sac Forest, he fought wholeheartedly for the peace of our country, as did many other courageous comrades. He was seriously ill when he returned, and confined to bed. My mother is a brave woman; she worked plenty of jobs to support our family, took care of my sick father and raised her children. After that, when her health deteriorated, we sisters took turns to help her take care our family. During those tough days, my parents always tried to direct us to live steadily, strongly, and to always overcome certain situations to love and embrace each other and live as good people. Although life was hard, the other family members and I were always happy, because we lived in a warm, loving atmosphere. During the years of my father’s illness, although he had to stay in bed, he was still our family’s “mental breadwinner.” His will is extremely strong and courageous; he never wanted his wife and kids to worry for him, he never complained about his pain, but I could feel it. Our father raised us with his lessons on how to behave in life, relying on our willpower. Until today, strength and tenacity is my greatest inheritance from my beloved father, which helped me to overcome the difficulties in my life, and to always know how to stand up after failure.
Were you considered beautiful as a child? How did that affect your concept of yourself as you grew up?
I was considered the beautiful princess, the “cupcake” of my family since I was a little girl. I was embraced and cared for by them all. However beautiful those memories are, I grew up in difficulty searching for success in my career, in order to help my family to be free from those difficulties of my childhood. Sometimes I forgot how pampered I was when I was a child because of my beauty. When I got a call from the film industry, beauty was an advantage for me to become better noticed, but I didn’t use it as a “weapon” as some have said; I believe that success comes from talent.
How do you maintain your look and figure now? Are your beauty and health difficult to maintain? Do you rely on any products, diet, or exercise? Is this a big priority for you, or not so much as before?
In my life, something that always bothers me is how I can mistreat myself like this. I have very little time for myself, because my workload is too heavy, every day is the same, from dawn to dusk. So I have no time to take care of myself, as well as no time for working out, for my diet I used to dine with some international stars, and their diets are very strict with detailed calorie regulations, while I myself eat a lot. They thought that given my eating habits, my figure is a miracle. My workload is great, so if I went on diet, I wouldn’t be lucid enough to work. So I do believe that my appearance really is a “gift” from above.
What has been the most difficult part of your career so far, and are you successful in overcoming these difficulties, or do they still trouble you?
I’m someone who is always looking ahead, so it’s easy for me to forget the difficulties of the past and I can’t identify which was the greatest difficulty in my career. Maybe the biggest difficulty is still in the future and I haven’t faced it yet.
Why were you chosen to represent Vietnam as the first tourism ambassador? How did you work to promote the image of Vietnam, and what difficulties did you face in showcasing Halong Bay and Vietnam to a world unfamiliar with its beauty?
I have had the chance to travel overseas a lot, attending many big international events. The more I travel, the better I understand that the beauty of Vietnam is not well-known in the eyes of international friends, and impressions about the country are often inadequate. So my desire is to make our country’s image more widely known. I’ve traveled to many places and seen that our country is very beautiful, from landscapes to natural resources that can easily infatuate visitors. There are some wild places that are the world’s intangible treasures; and I believe that Vietnamese people are honest and friendly, these are basic elements to attract travelers to Vietnam. When I was entrusted and assigned as Tourism Ambassador by the Department of Culture, I decided to take this role because I want to carry out my desire of promoting our beautiful country to the world. This desire, until now, has never faded although I’m no longer holding the position of Tourism Ambassador. During my tenure, I worked enthusiastically, especially to encourage the selection of Halong Bay as one of the new natural wonders of the world. That difficult task required me to know how to link to the public and to other countries in order to encourage them to support Vietnam, and I worked nonstop to take that connection everywhere, to take advantage of every international relationship that I have to seek support. I trusted that, if Halong Bay won, this would be the best chance for Vietnam to be seen by other countries. Vietnam would become more well-known thanks to that. And I was right.
What attracts you to charity work, and what has made you such a dedicated charity worker?
As I mentioned, I was born and grew up in the midst of family difficulties, and my family and I received help from our relatives, friends, and national social organizations. Since I was a child, I had a wish that when I grew up, I would be able to bring happiness to unlucky people, just as my family was offered help. I have done so since before achieving any success in life. I do always work devotedly. I bring happiness to others, but in return, it brings me happiness. Every time I approach someone who has had a tough life, I share with them; every time I see children with callused feet caused by walking a long way to school for years, I see they are so happy to be given a new bike to ride to school; every time I witness the breathtaking emotion of a certain family when they enter a good house of charity; when sick elders hold my hand tightly to thank me for their receiving check-ups, being given free medicine; the kids who say the first person they ever want to see is me after their blind eyes are operated on, I’m filled with emotion. That happiness is a source of energy for me to work better, live happier and be more successful.
What are your plans for the immediate future and the next steps for LYNK Group?
I plan to keep developing and maintaining LYNK Group as a leading brand in the field, and enhance its position and reputation in the Asian market, which is our intention in the near future. In the long term, we are making efforts to more deeply penetrate the international market through investment projects and in the fashion and jewelry businesses. I’m continuing with my plan of turning Vietnam into a destination for classy world-lead fashion brands, just as we’ve been doing so far.
Images Provided By Ly Nha Ky