Meet András Arató: Hero of 'Hide the Pain Harold' Meme

Published September 13th, 2021 - 11:17 GMT
András Arató
András Arató (Twitter)
A stock photoshoot led to one of the biggest memes on the internet and changed one man's life forever.

What would you do if you unexpectedly found internet fame in your 70s? It happened to András Arató, the Hungarian lighting engineer who’s known around the world as smiling stock-photo model “Hide the Pain Harold".

Hide the Pain Harold is the internet meme personality of Andras Arato. 

Andras, the man behind the meme, is a retired Hungarian lighting engineer whose stock photos first went viral in 2012. 

"I thought the pictures would just be used by businesses and websites, but I wasn’t expecting the memes. People overlaid text on my pictures, talking about their wives leaving them, or saying their identity had been stolen and their bank account emptied. They used my image because it looked as if I was smiling through the pain."

The photos were turned into memes that became well-recognized on Facebook, Instagram, and various social media platforms. Since then, Hide the Pain Harold’s audience has grown to over 300,000 followers on all platforms combined. With videos and posts reaching millions, Harold has established a loyal following from nearly every country in the world. 

"My wife hated Hide the Pain Harold – until I got paid for a Hungarian TV commercial."

Hide the Pain Harold got his name from fans that noticed that his smile seemed forced, implying that he was not as happy as he seemed. Fans suggested that there was a pain being hidden by a smile. 

"People online thought my smile, combined with the look in my eyes, seemed terribly sad. They were calling me “Hide the Pain Harold”."

Andras Arato has recently embraced his popularity as a meme. Now, he wants to show others how they can live happily too, by smiling and hiding the pain.

András István Arató was born on 11 July 1945. He is a retired Hungarian electrical engineer and model. Best known for becoming an internet meme, András has been in and out of the stock photo and advertisement industry as a model since disclosing his identity. He took up traveling to foreign countries such as Turkey and Russia for recreational purposes and kept a blog about his life and travels. 

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