Not to be confused with racing or car show models, narrator models, also called "doumi," (Korean word for "helper") have been a fairly common sight on city sidewalks and in stores of South Korea since the early 90s.
Hired through agencies by businesses promoting grand openings, special events or sales, these ladies can be found outside the entrances to night clubs, restaurants, stores, or even in supermarkets like Jang Yoon-jeong (pictured at right, and not to be confused with the singer of the same name). Their duties include such things as handing out flyers and promo freebies, delivering sales pitches, and dancing to pulsating techno music pumped out by large PA systems under archways of colorful balloons.
In addition to their appearance, these girls are chosen through auditions for their speaking and dancing abilities, and have to be of a certain size, in order to fit into the outfits provided to them.
There aren't too many images of these ladies around the net (and I state that after searching Korean portals for them) and one reason for that is, despite their high visibility while on the job, a lot of narrator models aren't too keen on having their photos taken, which is something this blogger will cosign to. The snapshots below are from my personal collection. All were taken by me.
Although not a common sight these days, hats were often worn with the
outfits back in the 90s.
outfits back in the 90s.
Another example of the 90s-style outfits the girls wore
This and one above: Signing up new cell phone customers at Suwon Metro Station
Selling international telephone cards in Seoul's Itaewon district. You can
see yours truly in the window reflection, taking the photo.
Grand opening of a hof with a Western theme
got up to pose when I approached them on their break.
At a bakery's grand opening
This was an unusual narrator model sighting as they were outside the exchange
on a US Air Force base in Korea. The girls were primarily there to provide the
eye candy while a lady off to the side was delivering the sales pitch for military
calling cards, in English.
Promoting a special event at a nightclub
the USA-Germany match during the 2002 World Cup
Model in another outfit garnishing a Hyundai showcase car at the same event as above
She was also part of a chorus.
popular Songtan night spot with cheerleader-type outfits and dance moves.
Grand opening of a Popeye's Chicken franchise
turn back around until I put the camera away.
a good place to catch narrator models ....even off duty ones.
overstock of wine when I saw her. Not only was she quite charming, her English
was fluent, breaking the stereotype that narrator models cared little of study and
even less of English when they were in school.