Modelling agencies reach out to college student after university homecoming photos went viral
You can expect to see a couple of things at any given homecoming event around the US: a game of American football, a parade, marching bands and maybe a banquet. There's undoubtedly a dance and a subsequent coronation of a Homecoming Queen (and King, if he's lucky). But for one student attending homecoming festivities at Howard University in Washington DC, she got way more than expected.
A photographer capturing the "best dressed" at the homecoming festivities wrote that "Howard University is not voted one of the best well-dressed schools on the planet for nothing". And one from the handful of students that caught his eye was Plymouth State University sophomore student Anok Yai.
When asking to take her photo for his Instagram account TheSUNK, the photographer said there was a chance that his photos could go viral, given that he has a following of 16 thousand people. But little did the 19-year-old know exactly the kind of attention his images would attract.
He snapped two images of the New Hampshire biochemistry student, who was wearing high-waisted denim shorts with a sheer black top. Yai said when she first saw the what the photographer captured, she initially considered it "an average photo" and thought that she didn't really like the way her face looked.
But, it seemed that everyone begged to differ.
"Saw her right at the end of Yardfest," TheSUNK wrote in the caption to accompany the two photos, "Stunning @anokyai".
Sure enough, the photos racked up a huge 11,300 likes, and Yai's own Instagram account tagged in the post was flooded with new followers and comments. Her Twitter account got equally as much attention.
"My phone just started vibrating rapidly for a long, long time," Yai told The Boston Globe, telling them about the moment she noticed the photos were going viral. "At first, I honestly thought someone made a meme of me or something."
She said her new followers began tagging different modelling agencies on her Instagram posts and Twitter to give her a contract.
And it looks like it worked – Yai said she's been directly contacted by three modelling agencies. It's something the 19-year-old never thought would come true, who said fashion and art have always interested her but that modelling was only a far-fetched dream.
"It was a dream that I always wanted, but I wasn't sure if it was going to happen," she said. "At first, I questioned what everyone was seeing because I didn't really see it. Honestly, I think that people get so used to seeing themselves that people don't see their own beauty because they see it everyday."
Now that a few agencies have reached out to her, Yai said she could see herself modelling as a part-time thing. She studies biochemistry, and many people are urging her to finish that degree while also taking the modelling opportunity.
Thanks to the viral photos and a band of supportive new followers, Yai has been given a chance that she's only dreamed of. Whatever she chooses to do next, it's sure to be exciting.
"Big things are happening," she tweeted mysteriously. Whatever that means, we wish her all the best.