Join 3,558 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Overexposed Model
October 4, 2013 6:33 AM   Subscribe

She's the most famous woman in the world you've never heard of. The Overexposed Model is a blog dedicated to collecting appearances of a mysterious stock photography model whose smiling face has sold eyeglasses in Greece, healthcare in Peru, oral gel in Malaysia, Jamba Juice in the US, radio stations in Germany, and countless daily deal websites. Its readers report seeing the model almost everywhere they go.

Earlier this year, another blogger unmasked the mystery model.
posted by dontjumplarry (79 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
I haven't used this particular person in any ads, but I've definitely seen her before. Now I'll keep an eye out for her when I'm browsing stock photos.
posted by azpenguin at 6:37 AM on October 4, 2013


Like Reddit's Own™ Emma Kathrine.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:39 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like her smile!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:40 AM on October 4, 2013


It's quite difficult for me to say that is the same person in every picture. I don't do well on that facial recognition test either :(
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 6:41 AM on October 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


She has a great, friendly face that can work almost anywhere on the globe. A sort of pan-cultural "Earthling" look.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:43 AM on October 4, 2013 [17 favorites]


Young beautiful multiracial Asian / Caucasian female model joyful.

Yep, pretty much sums it up.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:44 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


From her facebook fan page - she has a really good sense of humor about being described as "overexposed big mouth girl." I think one of her charms is that you can really get a sense of her personality in her eyes and smile.

It's quite difficult for me to say that is the same person in every picture.

Yeah, some of them seemed a bit borderline to me until I read the "mystery model" link. She is, indeed, a stock photo queen.
posted by muddgirl at 6:45 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also: sorta previously: Darwin Deez gets himself inserted into various stock footage shots for a touching and hilarious effect.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:46 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Previously)
posted by ardgedee at 6:47 AM on October 4, 2013


I thought this was going to be "blonde girl with broad smile who holds books"
posted by Apropos of Something at 6:47 AM on October 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


See also the Time Traveling T-Shirt Wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork Bret.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:49 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Her profile on the 123RF stock photo site is interesting. Her life seems to consist of travelling to various places, photographing herself smiling doing generic things ("woman eating scone in London. Happy girl holding British pastry by River Thames") and then selling the rights. Like a sort of generic and more profitable version of what tourists do anyway. A life made interesting in the pursuit of the generic.
posted by memebake at 6:50 AM on October 4, 2013 [37 favorites]


I see someone took my suggestion to heart....
posted by Brockles at 6:51 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wtf She's being stepped out on in London WATCH OUT GIRL
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:53 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


My guess is her boyfriend is a photographer and got the bright idea to write off every vacation they take by dragging a DSLR and a reflector with them everywhere they go. Damn, why didn't I think of that.
posted by photoslob at 6:58 AM on October 4, 2013


Maybe she thought it up all on her own, photoslob.
posted by notyou at 7:06 AM on October 4, 2013 [40 favorites]


I was so certain I was going to see this face as there is really no escaping her and her merry band of co-students, no matter where I go.
posted by Skybly at 7:06 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Neil Gaiman had a short story about an elusive but ubiquitous model that the protagonist obsessively tries to trace. I don't remember if it ended with her being an eldritch horror or something, but just be careful guys.
posted by forgetful snow at 7:11 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


My guess is her boyfriend is a photographer and got the bright idea to write off every vacation they take by dragging a DSLR and a reflector with them everywhere they go. Damn, why didn't I think of that.

I think it's super weird to assume that a successful model is successful because of their boyfriend's bright ideas.
posted by Jairus at 7:12 AM on October 4, 2013 [58 favorites]


I like to imagine that these are all the result of one marathon photoshoot in 1973

Also that her mouth is actually Julia Roberts' mouth painstakingly photoshopped into each and every photo

her real mouth is thin-lipped and less than two inches wide and she has to consume all nutrients in the form of a soup slurry sucked through a straw because spoons will not fit in there

I am so proud of you Ariane for overcoming your terrible small-mouth disability with such verve and style

So very very proud
posted by ook at 7:13 AM on October 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


Click through her photostream of stock photos with her and her (equally photogenic) boyfriend and you're basically looking at an idealised Facebook Timeline of the life that modern consumers are supposed to want.

It would be a really interesting art project to photograph her smiling joyously in a series of dreary or dull scenarios. Flat tyre in the rain. Carrying box of personal possesions out of Lehman Brothers. Orange Guantanamo uniform etc.

(Not that I wish that on her, I think its great that she can make a living from this, just that it would be interesting to juxtapose her ubiquitous smile with unlikely things)
posted by memebake at 7:13 AM on October 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


But does she laugh while she eats salad?
posted by briank at 7:14 AM on October 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


But does she laugh while she eats salad?

I seriously doubt she can go near a bowl of salad without laughing.
posted by memebake at 7:15 AM on October 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Eh, she's no triple seven intoxibella like Ci~L.
posted by kmz at 7:16 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reading the articles, I was like, "I don't think I've seen this model", BUT looking at her photostream, I've definitely seen this photo of her as a tourist in London, and a bunch from her asian beauty makeup series.
posted by muddgirl at 7:27 AM on October 4, 2013


But does she laugh while she eats salad?

Because it tastes funny?
posted by MuffinMan at 7:30 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Omg, it is her. She's made it to Metafilter as well. There's no place that can escape her, is there.

I began noticing her in ads here in Singapore in February 2012, and told my wife that. At first she didn't believe me - she thought I was having an Asian people moment or something - but over the span of an evening, I convinced her as well.

You see, she is on ads in Every. Single. Mall. On. Every. Single. Floor. along Telok Blangah / Alexandra Roads here. Every MRT station between Rafflles Place and Bouna Vista on the green line has her image. University of London and Nanyang Technological University have her on their ads or websites; she's on Prometric's site, on posters for Canon, Swiss Bake, HDB and some sugar substitute whose name I forget. I'm on the MRT now, and I have already seen her photo twice in the last ten minutes.

My wife is a journalist here and had actually interviewed the photographer in question; I don't recall the details, but the model and him aren't in a relationship.

I just messaged my wife to ask her if she remembers anything from her piece on this. She hasn't replied as yet. I have a feeling she won't reply; this model is too ubiquitous, and too scary, for us to consciously remind ourselves of her overarching presence.
posted by the cydonian at 7:30 AM on October 4, 2013 [18 favorites]


Another job that will eventually be replaced by japanese robots.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:30 AM on October 4, 2013


I'm pretty sure this model was used on some promotional material my employer produced recently.
posted by trunk muffins at 7:32 AM on October 4, 2013


Woman Laughing with Salad fills me with such white-hot rage. STAHP!
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:45 AM on October 4, 2013


People have been wondering about her for a while.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:47 AM on October 4, 2013


She looks so breezy and natural.... so fucking happy. Hire her!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:47 AM on October 4, 2013


I thought this was going to be "blonde girl with broad smile who holds books"

Ermagherd?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:51 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


She also walks that perfect line between happy and "ironic-happy i.e. I'm actually making fun of the happiness of this product but the advertisers can't see it ha ha ha." This woman is genius.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:51 AM on October 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


OK advertising types, what's a ballpark on her salary do you suppose?
posted by peacay at 7:53 AM on October 4, 2013


I like the idea that she's taking her own photos and selling them (quite successfully) to various advertisers. Kind of like removing the middleman in the modeling biz.
posted by xingcat at 8:04 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


But does she laugh while she eats salad?

As advertising has taught us, all women lose their minds in the presence of food.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:08 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I believe I used her on a website I once made for a home cleaning service. She was far and away the best person to represent the "I'd be absolutely ecstatically happy to clean your house for you, and I wouldn't be your typical downtrodden, disgruntled cleaning person!" look we were aiming for. She was obviously thrilled to pieces to be wielding a mop.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:09 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Never mind reality, capitalist propaganda grinds on with happy smiling people!
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:14 AM on October 4, 2013


There is no way I'm clicking on any of these links. I already find day-to-day life too distracting -- I don't need my mind to be shouting "hey, there she is again!" at me every day!
posted by Jonathan Harford at 8:16 AM on October 4, 2013


I was really hoping that she wouldn't be identified, and that the whole thing turned out to be some sort of Unknown Armies-style high magic weirdness.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:28 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


You people are all fools. You cannot see the terror before you. There is a reason She is Everywhere. All Things become Known to Her.

S̩͇͔̞̥̟͡ͅh̤̮e̲̝͓̞̮̟̜͠ ̶͔̹̫̭̥͔̗i̻̜͚̤̠ș̸̩͈͙͖̜̹ ̤̙̠̭̗̟H͕̤͉̤̹̞̀ͅi̺͈̭̠͙m͏̹͙̯̤̳̗.̙̝̝͈̖͙̪ ̨̻̻̟̥͈T͏͙h̫̘͈̤̳̤̬è̬͔͖̜͔y̷̮̗̠ͅ ̵̲͚͖̩w̼a̸̪̯̳͓it͔̭̰͚̫̠̬. ̼̘͙̭Z͙̖̫̻̞A̸̮̜̜̹L͍G̨̮̫̩̣̘͔O͉̜͠!
posted by aramaic at 8:34 AM on October 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


There was an article about her in Esquire, April 2013
Ariane grew up in Canada, the child of "a French-Canadian dad and a Chinese mother - I was lucky to grow up in a very multicultural environment," she tells us. "I was doing modeling contracts during my studies [Ariane has a law degree], before we started producing our stock photos. I only worked part time [for] about five to six years. I actually did editorials for Cosmopolitan and Marie-Claire China."
posted by memebake at 8:39 AM on October 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Neil Gaiman had a short story about an elusive but ubiquitous model that the protagonist obsessively tries to trace. I don't remember if it ended with her being an eldritch horror or something, but just be careful guys.

I can't speak for Gaiman, but Fritz Lieber wrote 'The Girl with the Hungry Eyes' in the forties with that exact premise. Perhaps the bedraggled Mr. Gaiman wrote an homage.
posted by winna at 9:06 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


As advertising has taught us, all women lose their minds in the presence of food.

And their proprioception in the presence of water.
posted by zamboni at 9:09 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


MuffinMan, was it your intention to show that she even shows up in that very video? Because if so, good catch!
posted by sutt at 9:13 AM on October 4, 2013


And their proprioception in the presence of water.

That's why they laugh when they eat salad--they're thinking "hey, at least I'm not stuffing this salad up my nose!"
posted by yoink at 9:15 AM on October 4, 2013


But does she laugh while she eats salad?
Is this her?
posted by broken wheelchair at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I haven't seen him for a while but back in the late 90s/early 00s there was this twenty-something spikey-haired Asian guy with kinda sexy-nerdy glasses and headphones who seemed to be EVERYWHERE. He was the stock-photo embodiment of hip/young/dotcom. I could swear there was at least one article about him but I can't seem to find it.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:38 AM on October 4, 2013


The Esquire article memebake posted explains a lot about her input into the process (copartner with the photographer) and how they make money off the images.

As an advertising type, I can say that we usually try to avoid stock photography as much as posslble to avoid "Hey it's that girl" and also so we can influence creative direction and style. But yeah stock photography is way cheaper.
posted by sweetkid at 9:48 AM on October 4, 2013


Next challenge: identifying the curly-haired, light-skinned black (or possibly multiracial) woman who appears in every print ad showing a "diverse" group of happy, late 20s/early 30s BFFs. Not to mention, an awful lot of yogurt commercials.
posted by elmwood at 9:55 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]



model whose smiling face has sold eyeglasses in Greece, healthcare in Peru, oral gel in Malaysia, Jamba Juice in the US . . . happy to clean your house for you . . . thrilled to pieces to be wielding a mop. . .

You know what's next for her, yeah?

That's right. Right wing astroturf websites.

Expect to see her featured in a TRMS (over-) exposé around Septruary or Octembro of 2016.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:58 AM on October 4, 2013


Is this her too?
posted by mareli at 10:07 AM on October 4, 2013


lastofhiskind, George Chen is his name! Hyphen Magazine did a George Chen on George Chen interview for one of their first issues I think.
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:13 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mareli, that's not her.
posted by RobotHero at 10:13 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


And their proprioception in the presence of water.

I have had this problem after eating mushrooms. Perhaps the struggling-to-drink-water ladies are all on hallucinogens? That would explain a lot.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:19 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I also have been fascinated by seeing this person EVERYWHERE.
My own cyber-stalking has uncovered that she is Maridav @ Shutterstock
posted by exparrot at 10:29 AM on October 4, 2013


sutt - yes - saw she was in video early doors and it made me laugh.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:40 AM on October 4, 2013


Being a stock photo model is strange because you have almost no control over how your image is used. Your likeness can be used to promote any number of products or brands, and you have no way of knowing, unless you or someone you know happens to come across it.

I did a stock photography shoot about 5 years ago when I first moved to my current city. I didn't think anything big would come of it, and I didn't get paid (we had a trade-for-pics agreement, since I needed headshots).

Every few months, a friend or family member will contact me to say, "Hey! I saw your photo at a gym/at the airport/on TV/wherever". One of my fellow graduate students used my image in her capstone presentation and didn't realize it was me until everyone else in the class kept awkwardly staring at the screen, and then back at me.

The strangest instance: One of my mom's co-workers invited her to some MLM health and beauty product party. When my mom was looking through the catalog, she saw my face as one of the makeup models. She got so excited, she decided to join the business and start selling the products, so she could show everyone my picture in the catalog. She apparently wasn't phased by their use of deceptive advertising; I wasn't even wearing the company's makeup.
posted by chara at 10:42 AM on October 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


Ahh, as predicted now I am seeing her everywhere.
posted by muddgirl at 10:51 AM on October 4, 2013


My guess would be she's getting a decent income from this but given that these are stock photos she can't be pulling in the kind of money that would get Christy Turlington out of the yoga studio.
posted by Ber at 11:05 AM on October 4, 2013


Neil Gaiman had a short story about an elusive but ubiquitous model that the protagonist obsessively tries to trace.

See also: "The Chair Model" episode of The Office. Micheal's chair model even looks kind of the same.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:58 AM on October 4, 2013


She bears a freakish resemblance to a friend of mine who could be described as "Young beautiful multiracial hispanic / Caucasian female".

This friend also used to be a model and is freakishly photogenic. She also looks like she could possibly be related to anyone she happens to be standing next to.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:14 PM on October 4, 2013


That blog post is wrong. Overexposed Model is not Maridav; Maridav is the photographer, not the model. The model's name is actually Ariane and she runs her own Facebook page.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:30 PM on October 4, 2013


That blog post is wrong.

Maybe have a closer look at Update III.
posted by zamboni at 3:38 PM on October 4, 2013


Maybe have a closer look at Update III.

Yeah sorry, I got instantly irritated by the blogger's confusion and stopped reading.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:43 PM on October 4, 2013


I haven't seen him for a while but back in the late 90s/early 00s there was this twenty-something spikey-haired Asian guy with kinda sexy-nerdy glasses and headphones who seemed to be EVERYWHERE. He was the stock-photo embodiment of hip/young/dotcom. I could swear there was at least one article about him but I can't seem to find it.

George Chen, a.k.a. "The Internet Guy"

I stumbled across this while trying to remember the name of a slightly newer related phenomenon, The Everywhere Girl. (Most of those links have rotted, but she still has a Facebook page.)
posted by yuwtze at 5:59 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was an article about her in Esquire, April 2013.
Thanks for linking that! I wrote that article, haha. Hit a dead end tracking her down till someone on Reddit kindly got me off looking for "maridav" and pointed me to "ariwasabi" instead. :)

Also, for the sake of full disclosure, the article appeared in the Philippines edition of Esquire.
posted by micketymoc at 6:42 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


> Earlier this year, another blogger unmasked the mystery model.

MetaFilter's own micketymoc wrote the Esquire Philippines article cited there. :)
posted by Lush at 7:46 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like that in amidst "fitness", "tea and coffee", etc they have a Quebec City set.
posted by jamesonandwater at 8:15 PM on October 4, 2013


Oops sorry micketymoc, should have credited you :)
posted by dontjumplarry at 8:36 PM on October 4, 2013


No worries, larry! There's huge, huge interest in her particularly in Singapore. I've fielded several inquiries about Ariane from Singaporean reporters in the past few months. I honestly think she could make a tidy living as a celebrity in Singapore if she wanted to.
posted by micketymoc at 9:42 PM on October 4, 2013


I think there's a very good chance that Ariane is based out of Montreal, Quebec. How have I come to this conclusion? None of the clues mentioned below are definitive; but as a whole they do tend to lean towards Montreal being a very strong possibility.

1) Ariane does claim French-Canadian heritage and Montreal is one of our largest bilingual cities. In the interview, it's mentioned that she has a law degree. McGill University, here in Montreal, offers one of the best law programs in Canada.

2) The Meridav iStockphoto portfolio features both Quebec-city and Montreal photoshoots. However, the Meridav photoshoots of Montreal are in both summer and winter, which leads one to think that they are probably here year-round, compared to their one-shots in other locales. Meridav also has numerous landscape-only photos of Montreal in his various online stock photography portfolios.

3) On Ariane's Facebook page, on June 1st of this year, she posted a very casual non-photo-shoot pic of herself running across a bridge. That particular bridge is a unusual bike & pedestrian bridge called the "Estacade" which is located in Montreal; it's railing is particularly distinctive. The Estacade crosses the St. Lawrence river and runs parallel to the more famous and recognizable Champlain bridge, which can be seen over Ariane's shoulder.

In the casual photo, she is seen wearing a specific Nike racer-style tank top in a medium blue with white trim. After searching through her racing/running/jogging/exercise photo sets by Meridav on multiple stock photography websites; she is not seen wearing that particular t-shirt in any of them. Chances are the shot was not done during one of her photo-shoots since it's very casual and lower quality with much harsher lighting.

4) Again on July 31st, she posts a casual photo of herself when she came across her own pic being used in a large promotional wall in a mall. The promo is posted in both French and English, with the English promo being in a small font and overall size -- something which is distinctive to Quebec language laws in regards to marketing.

The sign makes mention (just above her head) of Foot Locker and it being on "Niveau 1" (Level 1), and we have several locations of Foot Locker here in Montreal. The one in downtown Montreal is in Centre Eaton, and according to their official website, is located on "Level 101". Centre Eaton features a light-toned speckled stone flooring with a wide black border near the walls. If you look carefully at Ariane's feet, you can see the same pattern.

5) This one is a minor one, however it concerns one of the expressions she uses in the interview "It was always serious, no smiles, when me, I like to smile so much!". When one is very familiar with "Québecois french" one can distinguish that this particular phrasing comes someone who is used to speaking french, as it is more of a direct translation of "...moi, j'aime tant sourire".

So again, nothing conclusive on it's own; but it as a whole, it makes me think that there is a good possibility that they are based out of the Montreal urban area.
posted by Jade Dragon at 3:07 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Skybly, you and me both!

She seems to be going out of fashion lately though. (Sorry, crappy image, but you'll recognise her.)
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:17 AM on October 5, 2013


Found her! It's Emma I was expecting!
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:25 AM on October 5, 2013


she's extremely beautiful, but what i'm makes me glad is, i always assumed all those adverts were fake and insincere, but part of me still wondered 'what if that person really does work for that agency/enjoy that coffee/use that makeup?' because i am so sceptical i'm borderline mentally ill ('everything's shit, it's all lies, life's not worth living!') so i did think maybe it was me. Biggest smile ever, eyes included ^_^
posted by maiamaia at 12:53 PM on October 7, 2013


She showed up in the mail on the cover of my credit union's magazine today. She looks super happy to be thinking about electronic banking services.

I hadn't ever remembered seeing her in the wild when I read this post a few days ago, but now I'm probably going to see her everywhere. Good for you, stock photo lady!
posted by fussbudget at 1:08 PM on October 9, 2013


Is that her on the healthcare.gov website?
posted by Alnedra at 5:05 AM on October 24, 2013


I don't think so. Mareli linked to that, too.

The smile is kind of lackluster in comparison but if you need something that couldn't just be she was having a bad day, compare it to this and notice how different her earlobe shape is. Also the front two teeth on the HealthCare woman have gums that go up further than the teeth on either side, while our stock model has all four gums close to straight across.
posted by RobotHero at 10:28 AM on October 24, 2013


« Older Teddy Bear Roll Out...  |  “Movie theaters wanted nothing... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments