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Vietnamese Celebrities Flaunt Their Wealth

It’s no secret that for most in Vietnam (and most of the world for that matter), success is measured by accumulation of wealth. For the country's celebrities who live in the spotlight, showing off their expensive cars and jewelry is a necessity for creating and maintain their image. But in a country where the average GDP per capita is $1407, these ostentatious displays of wealth are rubbing some people the wrong way.

If you’re a B-list celebrity in Vietnam and want to climb the ranks, it may be as simple as buying and showing off an expensive car. According to Vietnambridge, this was the strategy employed by singer and MC, Vy Oanh:

“Over one year ago, people did not know who she was. At that time she was an MC for a local TV station. But the girl has become famous after she showing her S500 Blue Efficiency car worth VND7 billion ($350,000) on a local newspaper. The showbiz was stirred because of the wealth of an unknown singer. After that, Vy Oanh announced to invest over VND1 billion ($50,000) in her new music videos entitled “Green field” and “Fly”. Vy Oanh also disclosed that she spent VND500 million ($25,000) for the debut of her new album. Thanks to showing off her wealth, the young singer has become popular on the media. She is employed as the host of a big reality show on the national TV channel VTV3.”

The author of the article went on to conclude that this has created a paradox – while some see the displays of wealth offensive, celebrities cannot reach or maintain their status without doing so:

“Many people commented that it is good if you are rich and you also have the right to buy and to wear anything you want, if you have money. But in a poor country like Vietnam and especially in the current economic downturn, it is not good for showing off that way. That's very offensive. However, now if they don’t show off their wealth, they will lose the chance to be famous. “

The flaunting of wealth is not limited to celebrities in Vietnam, but the upper class as a whole. And though the wealth gap is present in every society on earth, the common juxtaposition in District 1 between street vendor and Bentley makes a strong visual impression, especially for a nation that ‘shares the wealth.’

[Photo via Vietbao]

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