Photo courtesy Gerber
Oh my cuteness!
Seven-month-old Grace, from East Petersburg, Pennsylvania, was crowned the 2015 Gerber Baby on Wednesday, beating out more than 180,000 other little ones for the title.
The winning photo in Gerber’s 5th Annual Be Our Baby Photo Search shows the adorable little girl sporting a killer smile, her little hands folded beneath her chin. It’s easy to see why it was a winner.
"The photo that won was taken only five photos from when I started taking pictures of her that day," Gabrielle, Grace’s mother (who has asked Gerber to keep family’s last name out of the press because of privacy concerns), said in a press release. “She must have taken her hands out of her mouth and posed them like that for a split second because I didn’t even realize how cute she was posing until after I was completely done taking pictures and looking back at what I had just taken!”
Grace and her parents will receive $50,000, one year of Gerber Baby Food, and the opportunity to appear in a Gerber ad.
The original Gerber baby, Ann Turner Cook. Photo courtesy Gerber
While this photo search has been around for five years, the original contest to find the face of Gerber was held in 1928. Artist Dorothy Hope Smith entered the winning sketch – the pursed-lip face that is internationally known as the Gerber baby. But it wasn’t until 1978 that the identity of that adorable face was revealed to be retired English teacher Ann Turner Cook, who lived next door to Smith all those years ago.
Cook, now 87, told CBS Sunday Morning, “I always had that expression with my mouth hanging open. Kind of a quizzical expression.” She was only a few months old when Smith drew the charcoal sketch, and found out that it was her face on all the baby food packaging when she was three. Now a great-grandmother herself, Cook said she loves being a part of such an iconic picture. “I can’t think of anything nicer than to be a symbol for babies,” she said. “It reminds people of their own babies. Everybody says, ‘my baby or my grandchild looks like the Gerber baby. And it doesn’t matter the ethnicity. And I say, ‘Yes, I’m sure they do!’”