Who Was Betty Crocker?

Who was Betty Crocker? She wasn’t the old housewife you would think of treating her kids’ acne, baking home cooked meals, cleaning house, wearing the fashions of the time for mothers, etc. In fact, Betty Crocker wasn’t even a woman. The Washburn Crosby Company of Minneapolis, now part of General Mills, or at least as of 1928, received thousands of requests each year in the 1910’s and 1920’s for baking advice and answers. So this in mind, they created a name so that it would seem more personable, Betty Crocker. What you wouldn’t necessarily know is that the name actually came from a retired executive of the company, William Crocker. They thought “Betty” was personable, and they had a company secretary sign the letters, who had won a contest among female employees.
In 1924, they officially started a radio debut cooking show. This show featured 13 different actresses across the country and eventually became a national broadcast. They finally circulated a portrait, giving people the idea that Betty Crocker was a real person. They actually took all the women in the company’s Home Service Department, combining their faces into one. This imaginary woman became the second most famous woman, second only to Eleanor Roosevelt. She officially became younger in 1955, and her face changed various times over the years. She became a professional in 1980, and in 1996, she became multicultural. You would think that after all this, the notion that she was a real woman would be quashed all together.
The thing I find most ironic about this whole thing is that the basis for her creation wasn’t even created around a woman. She wasn’t a housewife, a wife, a mother(which now would be the equivalent of a soccer mom)attending to all her kids’ needs like acne and puberty, she wasn’t any of those things, partly because she wasn’t a real person, and partly because the name didn’t even technically come from a woman.


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