By Ignacio Mardones
May 15, 2024

“I thought I had been turned into a meme,” she admitted.

Anok Yai is a 19 years old student just like any other. She studies at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and she was hanging out at Howard University’s homecoming party in Washington DC when a photographer took her picture with his camera.

He uploaded two pictures of the young woman to Instagram and what could have been a normal post went viral because of the girl’s beauty. And not only the internet exploded with comments for the girl, but she caught the eye of multiple modeling agencies.

These are Anok Yai’s pictures taken at the party.


The photographer was looking for the best-dressed students at the event -he uploads a lot of fashion pictures- and Yai immediately caught his attention. Meanwhile, she thought that posing for a picture would get her more followers on her Instagram account.

But she never imagined that it would be so much, the picture now has more than 11k likes and hundreds of comments, so much that it went viral on the internet and reached modeling agencies.

View this post on Instagram

Hi Howard #howardhomecoming

A post shared by ROCK (@anokyai) on

“My phone started buzzing for a long, long time. At first, I honestly thought that someone had made a meme of me or something like that.” -Anok Yai to The Boston Globe.

Anok Yai to The Boston Globe.

According to Yai, the picture is nothing more than a normal picture, without anything special added to it. She says she didn’t look particularly special.

“Honestly, I think people are so used to seeing their selves that they can’t see their own beauty because they see it every day.” 

Anok Yai to The Boston Globe.

Three modeling agencies have formally contacted her to sign a contract with them and start her modeling career. The young woman admits that she’s always been interested in fashion, but that she never thought that dream could come true, so she has every intention to start her life in the fashion world but without leaving her Biochemistry career behind.

“It’s a dream I’ve always had, but I wasn’t sure if it was ever going to happen.”

-Anok Yai to The Boston Globe.