Random Ephemera

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...

The Nevermind Baby

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."

The Ivory Snow Baby

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.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner