One day, Irvin Randle was just a Houston, Texas, elementary school teacher. Then, he became something more. He became #MrStealYourGrandma.
Randle, a native Houstonian, had taken a picture of himself with a selfie stick, which, through the magic of the internet, took on a life of its own; the older man’s good looks and suave fashion sense made his Instagram exactly the kind of viral sensation the internet sprouts every week.
“I’ve always had this type of ability for fashion and when I was younger, I’d look in the GQ magazine and say, ‘I want to dress like that,’” Randle told KHOU.
And it turns out that the 54-year-old was prepared for his unexpected celebrity, just by coincidence.
“Now we are in 2016, I start buying things a little tighter for me, you know, I said, ‘Why not? I’m a papa, I work out, let me show the grandmas what they want to work with,’” he told Houston’s KHOU.
Why not indeed? Unfortunately, though, #MrStealYourGrandma isn’t actually going to be doing any stealing in the near future. “I am taken and I’m very happy, very happy,” he said.
That said, he’s still going to make himself available to his adoring public: “I’m going to get a Twitter account now,” Randle said. But, he added, “I need somebody to show me how to set it up.”
Photographs of him in stylish outfits circulated around Facebook and Twitter as people asked: “Whose grandpa is this?”
You may think Instagram is the natural home for teenage girls and Taylor Swift to post pictures of their food and selfies, but Randle has blown them all out of the water.
He now has 101,000 followers on the social network as people follow him for style inspiration.
Mr Randle had no idea he was a Twitter trend until it was pointed out by his daughter.
He told the Houston Chronicle: “She called and said, ‘Dad, you’re trending on Twitter.’ I told her I’m not on Twitter, and I don’t know what ‘trending’ means.”
His friend from Nigeria also called to tell him he was trending over there.
“He said my photos had 7 million likes. I was amazed at first. Now, I’m overwhelmed. I appreciate all the great comments,” he said.
“I’ve always dressed like this. I’ve just been wearing a thing a little tighter that’s all.” –Compiled frrom People.com/telegraph.co.uk