Top model Nyle DiMarco was sitting on the train one day when he spotted a woman opposite trying to sneak a photo of him. And she may have had no idea that he was onto her – that is, until she posted her photo to social media and he crafted a perfect response.
Those who are not familiar with the name “Nyle DiMarco” probably don’t watch much reality TV. That’s because DiMarco is a big-shot model from New York City who has appeared on numerous small-screen shows since 2015, including America’s Next Top Model.
And not only did DiMarco appear on America’s Next Top Model in 2015, but he also won the competition – becoming the only deaf person to date ever to do so. Following on from that, he was invited onto Dancing with the Stars, and he came out on top as the first deaf winner of that contest as well.
Since then, DiMarco has appeared in various music videos and TV shows and on catwalks; he was even seen in a fashion show for Giorgio Armani on one occasion. Aside from all of that, the aesthetically gifted young man has also become an activist for the deaf community.
And because of his various TV show appearances, it isn’t unusual for DiMarco to be recognized in the street. Furthermore, the model doesn’t mind if people want to take photos with him. However, as DiMarco speaks American Sign Language, he told the website UNILAD that it was sometimes “a little awkward” to communicate with fans due to the “language barrier.”
So when one Brazilian woman by the name of Loiba Maria spotted DiMarco on a New York train, it perhaps wasn’t so surprising that she wanted to take a photograph. That said, Maria couldn’t remember why she recognized the man she would later call “unbelievably gorgeous”.
So Maria, a martial arts trainer, decided that she would just snap a quick photo of the model; in that way, she could use it later to work out where she had originally seen him. As a result, she whipped out her phone and positioned herself to take a picture in what she thought was a discreet manner.
However, Maria would later find out that she hadn’t been as subtle as she may have thought in her endeavors. During the weekend that followed, the martial artist stumbled across an online article that just happened to feature the handsome model whom she’d seen on the train earlier that week.
That’s when the penny dropped for Maria: she had finally worked out who DiMarco was. Subsequently, she looked up the model’s fan page on Facebook and had a great idea. In particular, she wanted to double check that he was indeed the person she had photographed on the train.
Maria therefore uploaded the photo of DiMarco to Facebook. And alongside the subway snap, she wrote, “I think I saw you on the E train last Sunday. If this is you, you are very handsome in person!” When DiMarco saw the message, though, he couldn’t help but post a hilarious reply.
It turned out that the international model had actually noticed Maria trying to take a photo of him on the train that day. And instead of ignoring her, DiMarco decided to play her at her own game. In fact, his response to her online message brought the house down.
Hilariously, when DiMarco had realized that Maria was taking a photo of him, he had subtly captured an image of his fellow passenger without her even noticing. And he would upload that photograph of Maria with the caption, “Yes, I knew you were taking pics of me. Thank you, love!”
What’s more, not only had DiMarco brilliantly out-played Maria, but the photograph itself was hilarious. It showed the martial arts trainer with a crafty grin on her face as she surreptitiously tried to take her snap of the model.
And when DiMarco shared the conversation on his Twitter account, plenty of his 295,000 followers thought that the exchange was so great that they commented in their droves. “This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in some time,” wrote one person.
Meanwhile, other Twitter users couldn’t believe how calm Maria had been during her encounter with such a gorgeous model. “OMG, I would have been on my knees asking you to marry me,” came one response. Another individual wrote, “I think I would genuinely have a whole heart attack.”
Not only that, but people were also quick to compliment DiMarco. “You still look like you’re modeling even when you’re doing just a normal thing. I love it,” wrote one fan, while another said that it was a “life goal” to see the model on public transport.
Speaking to UNILAD after the photos had gone totally viral, Maria said that she was “overwhelmed” by the attention that the story had received. “I find it hilarious,” she said, before adding that the attention paid to the exchange was “surreal but nice.”
At the time, though, Maria had no idea that DiMarco was taking a photo of her as well. In April 2018, however, the model himself would explain to BuzzFeed that his “deaf eyes” had helped clue him in to Maria’s actions.
DiMarco added to BuzzFeed that his eyes are always “very alert”; therefore, he instantly noticed Maria’s camera phone pointing his way. And when he did, he made the decision to “pull a Cole Sprouse move” – copying the actor’s tendency to take photos of unsubtle people taking photos of him.
In the end, the occasion made for a great story that the Twitter community just couldn’t get enough of. DiMarco did have one regret about the subway encounter, however: he was disappointed that he wasn’t able to stop to take a selfie with Maria before he had to leave the train.