Fashionista and writer Plaaastic frankly discusses life and death, mental disorders and her loyal fanbase of misfits.
When we finally meet at a quiet café near Hanoi's Old Quarter, the multi-talented Plaaastic has just survived her third suicide attempt.
She is slim, about the size of a typical Vietnamese teenager. But there's nothing typical about her: bindi piercings, dark ombré red lipstick and a black backless, tie-waist mini dress.
The young woman insists I call her by her intimate nickname G, not the famous name tied to her public persona.
“It’s human instinct to be afraid of death. I’m born lacking that, so it’s an error,” she says with astonishing calm.
The matter-of-fact answer draws a few ears and eyes toward our table. But G keeps her eyes focused, her deep voice loud and clear. Once in a while, she laughs.
G has a bright, warm smile. The social media emo queen, known for her poker face poses, is radiant and upbeat throughout our conversation.
Humor also runs through her new book, "Error 404," an autobiography detailing 15 years of struggling with depression and other mental disorders.
Unusually provocative and uneasily personal, "Error 404" sold over 2,000 copies within a month, a great feat in the country's small and cautious publishing industry.
During a book fair, her fans queued from 6 to 8 a.m. and battled for all of 150 autographed editions in just a few minutes.
In Vietnam, where depressive disorders affect 4 percent of population but remain a personal, discreet issue, Plaaastic raises an important existential voice pioneered elsewhere by Sylvia Plath and Melissa Broder, the women who shed light on the darker side of the human mind.
Read the full article on VnExpress.