Finding Hoami Vu

There’s a thing that attractive young women do, intended, I imagine, to dissuade the unwanted and frequent attention of hopeful suitors. I call it “the wall,” and while most women have one and wield it viciously at times, Hoami Vu presents it to enthusiastic inquisitors in another way. It’s still a rebuke equally as finite as any other. Yet, she delivers it with a reverence for the gentleman and his enthusiasm that takes nothing from him beyond the opportunity of being with her. She doesn’t punish the compliment of respectfully showing interest in her, and it leaves one feeling appreciative of the experience. That alone speaks volumes about the woman beneath her breathtaking beauty, driven personality, and deep scars from a dark and painful past.

Hoami Vu identifies as Asian, and she certainly looks the part as her father is Vietnamese. But when she speaks, then moves and breathes, it’s her mother’s hot Cuban blood that dominates all she does. When I first approached her, her beauty and overall presence were commanding, but I had different intentions in mind than the other guys. I wanted to photograph her and nothing more, and she picked up on that subtle difference immediately. The wall was still there, just in case, but as we talked about ideas and locations, something began to fade, and a warmth filled her eyes, and her smile held something more sincere.

We did our first photoshoot at sunrise on a deserted beach at Biscayne Bay, Florida. She seemed shy at first, almost acquiescent, but as we walked toward the water making small talk and laughing, there grew an ease between us, and I got the sense that I was meeting the real Huoami Vu. These are moments that photographers dream about when a model reveals her true feelings and emotions. It’s the stuff that makes the very best pictures even more compelling.

It’s been said that models who have experienced pain and hardship have more intensity, vulnerability, and a more impactful truth to offer the camera. Hoami brings all that and more. She comes from a broken home and a broken heart. She has struggled with self-esteem, a drug habit, financial issues, and more than enough bad relationships. She loves her mother profoundly, but they live together, and as can be expected, the relationship is contemptuous at times. She loves her father just as deeply, but her words reveal how much she misses him when she describes their annual visits together.

But there is another kind of beauty and one more entrancing than what pain can forge. It’s that rare spirit that finds the courage and discipline to turn the hardest parts of their lives into fuel to rise and find success and happiness then go even further to inspire others to do the same.

It took Hoami some time to find herself, but this is her path now, and she is flourishing passionately. Few things are more admirable or more beautiful to see.

Find The Good In The Difficult Times
“Everything I have gone through in my life until now has made me appreciate life to the max. Every day is a new opportunity to laugh, to appreciate, to love, and to take hold of every opportunity that comes your way and work to your highest potential. It starts with ourselves, the food we eat, the thoughts that we think, and acknowledging and respecting the need to take a moment for ourselves. I am becoming an entrepreneur, so right now, my goal is to improve my finances and my future in the fitness industry.”

“Love, to me, means sacrifice and giving genuinely. Right now, I’m not looking for Love because I am focused on myself right now and becoming the best version of Hoami Vu possible. The right person will come along when it’s time.”

Getting Clean
“Overcoming my addiction to cocaine was a great leap for me. I rose up through the darkness and the dark hole that I was on. I’m just very glad that I know where that takes me, and it does not take me closer to any of my goals. At a young age, I was hanging with the wrong crowd and had the wrong boyfriend who introduced me to drugs. Loving myself and being tired of my bullshit made me want to change. My lifestyle has completely changed now. I work out every other day, mostly six or five days a week, I eat clean and healthy with plenty of vegetables and lots of water. Sometimes in life, we have to experience things in order to know what is not best for us.”

Loving Mom
“I currently live with my mom, but my mom and I are very different. I love her, but we tend to have fights. The truth is our relationship is not as good as I would like it to be. I wish she would change certain things, and I just need to accept her as she is. She resents me for telling her what to eat. She has diabetes, but it’s been quite a difficult journey trying to help her change her eating habits. My mom has an amazing heart. She’s very brave, and I deeply love her. I wish all the health and happiness to the woman who gave me life, and I know she wishes the best for me in all aspects.”

My Father
“I love to see my dad, he is a very good person, and I respect him very much. I went to the Dominican Republic to see him recently. My father its a very smart man and he is very nice. He always has something to teach me. He told me to always be grateful to the person who helps you during your worst times, to never depend on anyone, to be happy, and always prepare for the future. We are planning a trip to Vietnam this year.”

On Beauty
“To me, beauty It’s much more than just a beautiful body, it’s a beautiful heart and a wonderful mind. I am a compassionate person, and I am a very passionate person with amazing energy. Fitness enhances these traits. Eating well, sleeping well, exercising, and taking time to have fun balances my life and gives me the ability to give the best every day. I take life one day at a time.”

Chocolate Wins Every Time
“My favorite comfort food is chocolate. I love chocolate and I drink wine on special occasions. I love comedies, dramatic comedies and action comedies. I love to laugh.”

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