SAN FRANCISCO — If you like dimples, cuteness, tiny smiles or joy, you’ll love the latest Gerber baby Isla.
The 7-month old just won Gerber’s annual Gerber Baby photo contest, and she looks quite pleased about it. The winning photo shows Isla grinning confidently under a shock of brown hair, her face resting on one wee but chubby hand.
Isla hails from Troy, Michigan, where she lives with her parents, Grayson and Rachael, and her older sister Nora. She enjoys reading, jumping, playing peek-a-boo, dancing to music and blowing raspberries, according to her parents.
Her photo was picked from more than 170,000 entries by a mysterious panel of judges, who may or may not be experts in adorability and cheek-to-smile ratios. Parents were invited to submit photos of tots ages up to pre-school age for the contest. Judges looked for key Gerber-like features, such as happiness and “expressiveness,” likely ruling out any baby Blue Steels.
Isla’s parents will receive $50,000 in prize money from Gerber. They say the money will go toward paying off some debts, savings for the kids’ future and charitable causes. Isla’s photos will be shared on Gerber’s Instagram and Facebook pages throughout the year and she has the option of appearing in ads. Isla is still pondering her plans for the future.
“We don’t have any immediate plans to get her into modeling, but who knows,” her parents told CNNMoney.
The first ever Gerber baby was Ann Turner Cook, whose drawn portrait was the only image on Gerber products for more than 80 years. Cook went onto to become a mystery novelist and English teacher, and never lost her signature round cheeks.
Six years ago, Gerber decided to find a new baby to help represent the Gerber brand with an annual online photo contest. Last year’s winner was 7-month-old Grace, who was also exceptionally “squeee!” inducing and fond of resting her chin on tiny chubby fists.
Even though they can appear in ads, the winning babies do not actually replace the official Gerber Baby in title or on products. Cook’s iconic sketch continues to grace the company’s logo.
Isla will reign as Gerber’s “spokesbaby” for the next year, though she probably won’t do much speaking as she is a baby.