A Google search for “Elly Tran” turns up 366,000 results. The 22-year-old Vietnamese-American, who now lives in Vietnam, can be seen mostly revealing her ample bosom and tiny waist in pictures distributed widely on the net.
Some of her most revealing photos have found their way into adult magazines under headlines like “the Paris Hilton of Vietnam” and “the hottest girl in Vietnam.”
Thanks to this, she has achieved certain success in the fashion and film industries and is now acting in Vietnam’s first 3D movie “Bong Ma Hoc Duong” (school ghosts) that will be released during Tet (Lunar New Year) next February.
Another starlet who has flaunted her curves is 21-year-old “Thuy Top.” Boasting 135,000 results on Google, the Hanoi girl, real name is Huynh Minh Thuy, got her nickname after netizens dubbed hers to be the biggest breasts in Vietnam.
Thuy Top, like Elly, poses in titillating positions, revealing as much as possible without completely shedding her clothes.
Boys too are in the race.
A search for “Chan Thanh San” produces 7,270 results, 90 percent of them featuring him semi- or near-nude, including at a nude show in Thailand.
One picture shows the 22-year-old completely naked with one hand covering his vitals.
“I find him offensive!” My Van, a student at Ho Chi Minh City’s Architecture University, says. “I think he uses his body to get into showbiz in disregard of public morality.”
Following in Elly, Thuy, and Sang’s footsteps, many Vietnamese youths have began posting revealing photos of themselves.
“If they can do it, so can I,” says Vo Hoa, a girl in her early twenties who won a local beauty contest last year.
She has posted some daring photos of hers on Facebook and spends several hours every day emailing them to foreign magazines to attract attention.
“If some foreign magazines want my photos, I’m willing to go totally naked,” she says.
One photographer, who asked to remain anonymous, says everyone has a right to promote their image.
“Madonna started her career by showing off her body to draw public attention,” Hung Thinh, chairman of the Vietnamese Student Association in Sydney, points out.
He added that they should only be criticized if they rely solely on their looks and do not have talent.
But Bich Lien, a student of Foreign Trade University II, has a different opinion.
“The line between taking provocative photos and being forever tainted by those images is very thin. They are still very young and naïve… it sheds a negative light on Vietnam.”
Alton Chen, a Chinese-American also voiced unhappiness.
“They scare me and I scorn such people.”
He provided several examples, including that of Vietnamese-American model and actress Tila Nguyen who are “popular stars in the US... they are well-known but have not earned respect.”