Baby Face: The People Behind Iconic Images of Tots
Recently Art Attack did an article of how people had turned the iconography of McDonald's into modern art. Through a thought process that you should really thank us for not mapping out for you this got us thinking about babies. Specifically, we've been seeing images of famous toddlers for years and have always wondered where they came from.
Wait! We mean we wondered about their background. We know where babies come from... In our case they come from a lab and a generous health insurance policy. What were we talking about? Oh, right. Famous babies like...
It's hard to believe that Nirvana's Nevermind is 20 years old. Seems only yesterday we were watching the news report of Kurt Cobain's suicide. The album and its famous cover are both regarded as classic examples of grunge music and times when public male nudity is acceptable respectively.
Originally Cobain and Dave Grohl wanted a shot of a water birth, having been inspired by watching a program about them on TV. After seeing actual graphic pictures of a water birth they decided to just go with a swimming baby instead. The baby was Spencer Elden who recently recreated the famous shot as an adult for the album's anniversary. Geffen worried about Elden's penis being visible, but Cobain said the only censorship he would approve would be a sticker that said "If you're offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile."
Pop culture and porn aficionados know that the adult model featured on boxes of Ivory Snow Ivory Snow is Marilyn Chambers, who went on to become one of the biggest adult film stars of all time. The juxtaposition of the wholesome image and her raunchy future means millions have seen the image, but who's the baby she's holding?
Despite some assertions, it's not Brooke Shields. Shields did do some Ivory Snow advertisements as an infant but wasn't ever featured on the box. One name that cropped up in our research was Lynn Olson of Villanova, PA.
Art Attack doesn't know much about the sun because, well, we never go out in it. Our people refer to it only as Namcap'sm, which translates into your language as "Yellow Hurty Thing." Still, we do know that some people brave the hazardous rays with a magic cream to protect them, and the Coppertone Baby is the most famous mascot in that particular product field.
Like Brooke Shields is with Ivory now, Jodie Foster is pegged as the original Coppertone Baby because she once appeared in a commercial for the lotion as a child. The commercial was actually her first time on camera.
The actual model for the Coppertone Baby was Cheri Brand. Her mother drew the picture used in the ad based on a snapshot she'd taken of 3-year-old Cheri in 1959. Brand handled the publicity pretty nonchalantly. "Everybody has their baby pictures in their family album with their diapers falling off, I just happened to have mine on a billboard," she once said.
For over 80 years Gerber has stuck with their baby mascot. Ironically, a person who was being fed baby food when they started using the picture might be back to eating it by now.
It's been claimed over the years that Humphrey Bogart was the Gerber baby. It's true that his mother was a successful commercial illustrator, and her drawings of Bogart did end up in several advertisements including some for Mellin's Baby Food, but his likeness wasn't used for Gerbers.
The real Gerber Baby is Ann Turner Cook, who is still alive and ended up a mystery novelist. A sketch of her was submitted by a neighbor named Dorothy Hope Smith in a contest held by the Gerber company to find a mascot. Hope Smith offered to complete the basic charcoal outline into a more professionally finished drawing if selected, but the company liked the image as it was so much they kept it as it was originally.
The Success Kid is our favorite meme at the moment. Something about his defiant face, a mixture of cuteness and bad ass, just calls to us. We've taken to striking his pose over even the most mundane of victories.
Did you know that there are people who spent huge amounts of time tracking down the origin of memes so that a concise record can be left for future Internet civilizations? Well, there are, and frankly we're thinking about switching gigs because that sounds kind of awesome. According to the people at KnowYourMeme.com the image first appeared in Myspace avatars in 2008 with the caption "Ima fuck you up." Later this was changed to him in the foreground while a child crying over the destruction of his sandcastle appeared in the background. The caption on the new iteration was "I hate sandcastles." A crack team of Internet archeologist is hard at work attempting to discover the true identity of this American hero.
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