Betty Crocker turned 100! Though it’s her “birthday,” Betty Crocker was never born. While she has changed over the years, she never ages. She doesn’t look a day over 40! Her image has been altered by artists to keep her current.
Betty’s most recent official portrait was painted in 1996 to celebrate her 75th birthday. It was inspired by a composite image, itself based on photographs of 75 real women reflecting the changing demographics of America. Betty doesn’t represent an actual woman. She represents a cultural ideal.
So how did Betty Crocker come to be? From the very beginning, Betty Crocker emerged in response to the needs of others. In 1921, readers of The Saturday Evening Post were invited by the Washburn-Crosby Company (makers of Gold Medal flour) in an ad to complete a jigsaw puzzle and mail it in for a prize. The advertising department got more responses than it expected. In addition to contest entries, readers sent in questions, asking for cooking advice.
The company’s mostly male advertising department staff wasn’t sure the mostly female customers would trust a man’s response. So Betty Crocker was invented as a customer service tool to answer those requests. Quickly, Betty the fictional cook and homemaker caught on in the culture. She received so many letters that multiple company employees had to learn to produce her familiar signature.
In 1950, the company—now renamed General Mills—produced the first Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book. It was filled with the more popular or in-demand recipes the company had collected over the years. But the volume contained more than just recipes and instructions.
Cookbooks aren’t valued solely for the quality of the foods they help others produce. The most inviting ones are often imaginative and present the possibilities of a hospitable setting would-be hosts and hostesses aspire to achieve. Recipes anticipate a future in which one has cooked and served something delicious to loved ones gathered together. They may also reflect a fondly remembered past, harkening back to dishes prepared by beloved matriarchs (or often today, patriarchs too) with love and care. When cookbooks include personal anecdotes, they invite a feeling of connection that mimics the nostalgic history collected in a generational recipe box.
An ad for the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book explained how the edition was a product of those personal connections among women who never even met one another. It read, “The women of America helped Betty Crocker write the Picture Cook Book,” and the resulting book “reflected the warmth and personality of the American home.”
Why? Human culture produces icons that influence daily life. Betty Crocker and other such figures change over time in order to remain popular and profitable. But our God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
GO Betty Crocker! I will forever be grateful to her for saving my time! Box cakes may not be as impressive, but they taste good!
It's funny how much she
It's funny how much she changed over time!
My favorite portrait is the 1986 one. What's y'alls favorite?
I like that one too. -Lucy C.
I Thought She Was Real.
I thought Betty Crocker was real.
I like either the one made in
I like either the one made in 1955 or 1969.
wow i thought she was a real pereson for a second.
at first I was a little
at first I was a little confused lol
I think I like either the 1980 or 1955 one. I actually thought she was real too. But this was really interesting! Cookbooks are so cool! My sister got "My Prairie Cookbook" by Melissa Gilbert for christmas. Melissa Gilbert played Laura Ingalls in the TV series, so besides recipes from that there are all kinds of behinds the scenes stuff and bloopers and cool things! Is anyone else here a fan of the Little House on the Prairie TV show? My family is. We are at the end of the fourth season.
This is Mylee
Wow I thought she was a person as well XD I like the 1986 and the 1965 ones the best LOL I always use the box brownies it saves a lot of time XD. I never enjoyed Little House on the prairie (Not to be rude)
Really!?!? What did you not like about it? Do you just not like the movies, or the books as well?
I read the books when I was younger, and loved them but reading them now I don't care for how they're written (which is understandable xD)
My family doesn't like the TV shows bc they say there is too much drama...so I've only watched a few. I liked the ones I saw tho! Haha!
I think we have a cookbook with 1955-her on it.... How interesting!
P.S. I really enjoyed the little house in the prairie books because my mom read them aloud to us.
(The shows were okay - but it doesn't really go off of the books)
@NA: What do you mean by too much drama? I guess I don't understand what that means. I actually find them really interesting and sometimes inspiring, but mostly funny! It has been fun to watch them and see everyone grow up. The actors and actresses are all so good!
@Acacia: Yeah, they don't really follow the books at all except for the pilot movie, and a few things in them that are the same, like Mary going blind, but they are still interesting, or so I think. They would have been very limited to what they could do if they had stuck to the books. To be honest, I was a little frustrated with it at first for not sticking to the book, but the more I have watched it the more I have enjoyed it. Michael Landon picked his actors so well. They all seem to match who they were in the books, their characters I mean. Especially the Oleson family! XD
True; they are funny..... I haven't watched all of the shows, but they are very entertaining.
Also - is anybody here able
Also - is anybody here able to use emojis?
Wow! That is so cool! I guess
Wow! That is so cool! I guess I alway's envisioned Betty Crocker as some old lady who makes really good box cakes!
I like the 1955 one best. @Acacia, I'm not able to use emojis, so I do this, :)
@Caroline Ya... I just tried
@Caroline Ya... I just tried - it didn't work
I thought Betty Crocker was real too!!! what a shock.
This is Mylee
@Riley nothing is wrong with it XD. I just like more adventure or sit coms XD
no little house on prarie SPONGEBOB BEST SHOW THAT EXISTS
I love the Little House on
I love the Little House on the Prairie books, especially the third and second-to-last one, but I don't like the shows because I get frustrated that they don't follow the books very well.
My favorite portrait is the 1986 one
My favorite is 1986
(By the way I am not Ella but her little sister) I love the Little house on the prairie books, me and my sister always listened to them when we were younger. I have not watched the show. I don’t know if I’ve ever tried any of the mixes
That one's my favorite
I started the little house on
I started the little house on the prairie books but never finished them. they're really good though
This is Alecia
My sisters believe Betty Crocker was a real person!