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Cartoon Culture

Betty Boop: Latino Icon


Apparently lots of Latino people think they look like Betty Boop. This article in Swindle Magazine discusses the popularity of the character in East LA, from wall murals to look-alike contests:

During the competition each age group is given a different challenge, other than the babies, who just look cute. The 2-year-olds must blow a kiss. Three-year-olds say “boop-oop-be-doop.” Girls aged 4 and 5 must sing a song. Every child gets a trophy for participating. The contestants have ranged from 20-days old to the cut off age of 5. She’s had over 1,000 children in the contest over the years, 90 percent of whom are Latino. And for 15 years Denise has been able to place the winners in the annual Montebello parade, for the crowds to marvel at tiny Betty Boops on procession through town in sparkles and strollers.

  • Soy de México y amo a Betti. Ella es la onda!

    I’m mexican and love Betty! She’s rules!!!

  • Yukel

    And all this time I thought Betty was Jewish.

  • “Boop-oop-be-doop, qué no Raza?” :-P

  • B. Baker

    Betty — whether officially licensed, I couldn’t say — appeared for decades on the bottles of Mexico’s “Lulu” soda.

  • Is there a competition for puppies too?

  • Of course it wasn’t licensed B. Barker, anymore than they licensed the image of Donald for the “Pascual Boing” sodas. They kept the Donald image for decades, but nowadays they have a new brand mascot that’s a really generic and ugly duck with it’s backward cap.

    But the Lulú image hasn’t changed, I suppose because they tweaked the original Betty design so much that they can avoid reprisals.

    This is the website of that company.

  • Richard: Yep. The black dog who looks the most like Bimbo—and the white one who looks the most like Pudgy—have an opportunity to win prizes. It helps if the black one can stand on its hind legs and sing “Where Do You Work-a, John?”

  • Er, I hope people realize I’m joking.

  • Wait what!? She’s not Mexican???
    That’s what they taught us in our giant sombrero schools.

  • Homer J. Simpson

    I saw a Betty Boop sticker on the rear window of a car a couple of days ago. I wonder if that’s related to this. It’s possible since I live in a fairly heavily hispanic west Texas town.

  • Samlouvert

    Wow, actually there was a photo of Halle Berry? (I think) and she was wearing a shirt that had the Lulu Betty Boop. It was identified as Betty, but I was confused because it wasn’t her, but now it all makes sense. Also Betty is on so much non-licensed products, it’s not even funny.

  • J. J. Hunsecker

    I wonder how many of those kids have actually watched a Betty Boop cartoon? Do they know her as anything other than an icon?

    On another note, I always find it disturbing when children parade around pretending to be sexy adults in these types of contests and beauty pageants.

  • zavkram

    And what’s the deal with the polka-dot outfits? I don’t remember Betty appearing in any such attire in any of her cartoons…

    Maybe the dots are the pageant-organizers’ way of getting around licensing issues.

    Maybe they should hold a “Squishy-Guy” look-a-like contest!