Vietnamese fashion's 'Snow White'

August 21, 2022 - 08:13
Ngô Thúy Quỳnh has been featured on the covers of various prestigious Vietnamese fashion magazines and modelled for some local fashion brands.
Ngô Thúy Quỳnh in Metamorphosis photo collection of L'Officiel Vietnam. Photo

With her striking gentle beauty, Ngô Thúy Quỳnh has been featured on the covers of various prestigious Vietnamese fashion magazines and modelled for some local fashion brands.

Appearing on the cover of L'Officiel Vietnam and in the Metamorphosis photo collection of the magazine, the 24-year-old impressed readers with her elegance, white hair and snow-white skin caused by albinism.

Quỳnh could be seen posing professionally and confidently in front of the cameras, but just a few years ago, she was a shy girl who had to hide from the sunlight constantly.

Born with albinism, Quỳnh is different from other children her age, having very light skin, hair, and sensitive eyes. The condition greatly impacted her education.

“My eyes cannot see long distances. In class, even though I was given priority to sit at the front desk, it was still difficult for me to see what the teacher wrote on the board,” she recalls.

“Therefore, I always had to manage to take notes quickly or borrow a friend's notebook to rewrite the lessons at home.”

Moreover, she had to face many health problems. Having delicate skin, she is very susceptible to the sun's rays during the day, no matter how many layers of sunscreen and coats she has put on. Quỳnh rarely goes outside to avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible.

Her parents burst into tears when she was born seeing their daughter. Unlike others, they overcame the shock and became her motivators, especially her mother, who often said: “I see that you are different, but it's okay. I still see you as very beautiful. Try and prove to everyone that difficulties and differences can't affect your life.”

However, Quỳnh could not avoid negative comments from others when going out. She was often asked curious questions like "Are you a Westerner or a Vietnamese? If you are Vietnamese, why is your hair white like that?” which left her deeply saddened. At such times, she tried to hide in her own world, with music and movies, to forget her sorrows.

The opportunity for Quỳnh to work in modelling came in 2020 when she was invited to be a model for a photo series. The opportunity was an unexpected gift for a shy and reserved girl who never thought she was suitable for photography. It was the first time she knew she could be beautiful in the eyes of others and the first time she stepped out of her shell to venture into a new world, to discover and find herself.

Quỳnh models for a cosmetic brand. Photo Quynh Ngo Facebook

The photo collection showcasing Quỳnh’s delicate and striking beauty immediately went viral and was also published in many newspapers nationwide.

“I never thought I would like to take pictures like this before. I was so confused because I didn't know how to pose. It wasn't until the photo series was released and received positive feedback from the community that I realised that what I thought to be a weakness could completely become my strength."

Becoming the cover model for L'Officiel Vietnam magazine in a costume from Gucci's Epilogue collection has been likened to a "metamorphosis" of a girl who once closed herself inside for fear of life but is now in a new world where she can step out into the light and express herself.

''Becoming a photo model is a reckless decision for me. The first problem is probably that my eyes have to be exposed to a lot of light, which leads to constant nystagmus. Sometimes I have to consult poses of other models in fashion magazines to gain more confidence for my next photoshoot," she said.

Despite being a new face in the modelling world, Quỳnh has revealed a keen artistic sense and intuition. She indulged in her own magical transformation.

Quynh models for the fashion collection of Thuy Design House. Photo courtesy of Minh Nhon

After becoming a model, Quỳnh became more popular among many fashionistas. Many young people with albinism have also come forward to share their stories.

“Actually, no one can choose how they are born or look. But I think the important thing is a positive attitude. I don't want to be too sad. Being confident and loving yourself is extremely important,” she said.

“I hope that others with albinism will have more confidence in themselves, always look ahead with an optimistic eye. Most importantly: being different does not mean bad.” VNS