Becoming the runner-up of Asia's Next Top Model 2017, Nguyen Minh Tu has affirmed her position and competencies when continuously winning many awards and taking on important positions in beauty contests in Vietnam.

Not stopping there, in 2018, Minh Tu became the representative of Vietnam to participate in Miss Supranational, earned a spot among the top 10 best contestants, and was crowned "Miss Supranational Asia 2018". With higher titles comes greater pressure, but few people know that the Vietnamese supermodel suffers a lot of psychological trauma. Instead of meditating or traveling to heal herself, Minh Tu chose to build her podcast channel called "Balcony Diary".  

In a conversation with MGI, Minh Tu opened up about her journey from an Asian supermodel to a podcast content creator and how that journey has healed her and her followers of “The Balcony Diary”.  

Podcasting is not for views but for spreading positive things to everyone.

Could you share why you decided to produce this podcast series and why it's called "Balcony Diary"?

It's just simply because I want to share with everyone my stories, memories and concerns, which were conveyed in my diary pages when I sat on the balcony to write. I live in an apartment. Every day after coming home from work, the balcony is a place for me to enjoy everything and record my feelings of the day, so it has a special meaning to me.

Why did you choose to heal by creating a podcast channel instead of participating in other healing activities such as psychological meetings or meditation?

Everyone will have different choices. If I meditate, I can only face myself and heal myself. However, when creating podcasts, I can share with guests, and young people so that I can get closer to everyone.

My podcast is simply confiding with young people, not something too focused on psychology. I think in today's busy life, the form of podcasting will be reasonable for everyone because of its convenience. For example, when taking a bus, cooking, doing housework, or getting ready for bed, they can listen to podcasts

What do you expect to bring to the audience when making "The Balcony Diary"?

I don't expect too much from the spread or influence of my podcast. One of my guests once said: "Don't care about the views, just 10 people watching the show and 1 person feeling positive, changing their mind and living better, that is a great success". Changing one's mind is inherently difficult, so I just hope that the stories I share will touch people's hearts and those in need.

Describing the content of his podcast channel, you said, "It was made to look back on what happened in the past with the desire to heal present wounds and understand myself in the future". So since starting this podcast channel, how have you felt healed?

Each person has their wounds of the soul, and the key to healing is to know where the wound is, and what to do to heal it. I, along with thousands of young people today, have a lot of pressures from life, from my own inner problems. The stories I bring in my podcast series are both empathy and freeing our minds. I believe that it more or less also gives young people a sense of empathy and sharing.

What is the most valuable thing that you received after starting this podcast channel?

I myself have learned a lot from the guests' sharing. I do it for healing, so I get very special emotions after each episode, after the guests' stories and even mine. Every day when I wake up, I receive emails from the audience sharing about the program, which makes me feel that at least what I am doing can be shared with the community and the young. 

How not to involve in the trend of “Celebrities making podcasts”?

According to you, what is the difference between a job as a content creator (owner of a podcast channel) and a job as a model, or beauty queen when both jobs require creativity and both are your favorite?

Personally, I think that both jobs are similar in the goal is to create value for individuals and the community. Famous people have numerous loving fans and supporting audiences so their products are easily accessible and spreadable. I feel that there are nearly no differences in the goals but also complement each other, however, the way of expressing and the job characteristics are different.

Recently, creating a podcast is more like a “trend” when celebrities are making their podcast channels. Do you create “Balcony Dairy” to “catch up” with the trend?

In the past, when we wanted to share an opinion or a concern, it had to depend on being invited to a program, an interview, etc., sometimes we are not able to control the entire content that we wanted. In my own podcast, I can take the initiative in everything and my perspective is bolder, nor is it limited in length or heavy in the form of a traditional TV program. Therefore, I think the more popular podcasts are, the more society develops and the higher the sharing needs of people.

The appearance of many podcast channels on the market leads to many podcast channels having not “deep” enough content to reach the audience, some even state that “the trend of podcasting is promoting dogmatical, nonmoral and cliché” content. As a content creator and investor caring for your podcast channel, how do you feel about this phenomenon?

Now, I think that podcasters should not impose or put too much of their point of view into a program of others. Each person will have a different perspective, life experience, and different ways of telling stories… A bad storyteller doesn’t mean they are mean, or a talkative person doesn’t mean they are good, whatever they say is true… Podcasts are like a form of food processing in culinary.

There will be chefs like this, and people like that… so if the audience, customers feel this dish or this cooking method is unsuitable for them, they will stop choosing and supporting it.

In a podcast with your friend, Puka, you shared that in your twenties, you were still playful, worked eagerly, and forgot about your loved ones. If you could go back to your twenties, what advice would you give to yourself as well as young people?

If you have watched the “Balcony Dairy” series, I have shared much about my youth, looking back at the period when I was young… The past cannot be changed, what I could do is learn from experience to become a better version of myself in both the present and the future. I have shared my story, invited close guests, and retold their stories…can youngsters see themselves in the stories, and how they are going to change or act, that depends on them.

In an episode of your podcast, you expressed the desire to develop your education path. Could you share a bit about your future study plan? 

Right now, I have had my study plan, after looking at the curriculum, the major as well as the training process, I have a choice for myself. But I’ll let everyone know about it when the official schedule is available. For me, learning and improving myself is always my top priority, and every day, I learn a lot not only in the lecture room but also in life.

Thanks for your sharing, Minh Tu!



Photo: Huynh Tri Nghia 
Makeup: Xi Quan Le
Hair: Quan Le
Set prop: Nien Lam
Assistants: Linh Linh - Minh Bao
Stylist: Pham Bao Luan
Fashion: #Dolcegabbana #DAFC





Content: Jue Dinh, Chloe - Designer: Moony