Korean Narrator Models

Jang Yoon-jeong

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, the lovely lady pictured above (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 taken by myself.

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Although not a common sight these days, hats were often worn with the outfits back in the 90s.

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Another example of the 90s-style outfits the girls wore

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Signing up new cell phone customers at Suwon Metro Station

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A rear view of the above ladies’ outfits

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Grand opening of a hof with a Western theme

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The ladies in this group were happy to have their photo taken and even got up to pose and dance when I approached them on their break.

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At a bakery’s grand opening

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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.

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Promoting a special event at a Songtan nightclub

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A pair working the Hyundai promotion outside of Ulsan Stadium just prior to the USA-Germany match during the 2002 World Cup

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Another model in a different outfit garnishing a Hyundai showcase car at the same event outside Ulsan Stadium during the 2002 World Cup

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Gas stations occasionally use narrator models in their promotions, as shown here.

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Handing out sales brochures for Toshiba in one of Seoul’s busiest districts
during the Christmas season. This girl was also part of a chorus.

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Very young-looking (but over 18) doumis who promoted the re-opening of a popular Songtan night spot with cheerleader-type outfits and dance moves.

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Grand opening of a Popeye’s Chicken franchise

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An example of two doumis who were not keen on having their photo taken. They wouldn’t turn back around until I put the camera away.

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Handing out free samples in the Myeongdong district of Seoul, which is always a good place to catch narrator models, even off duty ones.

Choi Ji-ae
Seoul narrator model, Choi Ji-ae was recruited by her friend to help sell her store’s overstock of wine when I saw her. Not only was she very charming, her English was nearly fluent, thus breaking the stereotype that narrator models cared little of study and even less of English when they were in school.

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0 thoughts on “Korean Narrator Models”

  1. i like how conservative and non-flashy the outfits are. u.s. import models take note – you don’t have to slut it out with a bikini and fuzzy boots to look cute! neither do you have to have orange hair and blue contacts. or a boob job that looks like two flesh-coloured watermelons stapled to your chest.

  2. I love this site! I learn so much.

    This post reminds of a few years back when Hyundai was going broke…the political leaders said that Koreans should go out and buy Korean cars to help the country. They sold every existing car in three weeks. Perhaps it was these women…

    By the way, what is it with Asian models and the peace sign? What does it mean?

  3. It’s not just models. Pretty much any east Asian posing for a photo does that sign.

    I agree with Christine. They need not look like whores in order to perform their duties admirably!

  4. This is common in Japan also. Even inside malls or even a mega-grocery stores (a normal sized grocery store by USA standards). The outfits don’t have to show much, just their fetish-like nature and the shapely young women in them are enough to catch the eye and quicken the pulse.

  5. As with most Korean girls I’ve seen, the ones here I like I like very much — the others not so much.

  6. Interesting and thought provoking piece. Certainly there are plenty of girls like this also in China that I’ve seen over the years, perhaps not as many as it seems there are in Korea. Don’t have any pictures of them of hand but the outfits are similar. How about Japan,Thailand,Vietnam etc. are these girls common across all Asia?

  7. That 3rd pic is horrifying.

    I get the feeling that its really hit or miss when you encounter these girls.

  8. I have seen this same thing in Thailand, but with more talk, more clothes (a little more anyway), and less entertainment.

  9. I inquired on why do Koreans do their little V when photoes are being taking of them. And most of my Korean students said it stands for Victory. Kinda like I’m Number 1!! I have seen students from the ages of 5 and up do that little V. cute at times…. not so much at other times.

  10. I see these girls portrayed quite frequently in Korean TV dramas-it’s almost a cliche,with the balloon arch and a couple of girls dancing around,and handing out samples or flyers.

  11. It’s do-woo-mi, not domi. The first girl on blue and white is a singer. Her name is Yoon Jung Jang. She’s pretty big now especially among middle aged people.

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