The mystery behind the real Betty Boop has many questioning the iconic cartoon character.
Created by one of the best cartoon animators of all time, Max Fleischer, fans can’t help but wonder about Betty Boop. Meanwhile, the cultural symbol was as famous as ever, loved by millions around the world. And if you’re thinking how a 1930’s character can steal the hearts of so many, well, it’s true.
The wonderful cartoon attracted thousands of viewers across the board. Similarly, it was an instant hit with both adults as well as kids. But we have to admit, the latter occurred when the character received a little toning down.
But who was the real character? And what is the sudden fascination behind her existence? We’re answering all this and more, just for you.
Meet Betty Boop- a fully realized woman
More than a simple caricature of what you might think of flappers, she was more than meets the eye. She stood for a realized woman of today. And while we agree that there were plenty of other proactive female characters during the time, nothing hit it off like her.
Let’s take, for instance, Minnie Mouse. She was just another replica of her male counterpart. Yes, there were a few tweaks here and there, but the majority was simply meh! Likewise, the animations wreaked of artificial animals who failed to take on any form of humans. They were so childish while Betty was in a league of her own.
This female character spoke against the odds. Her sex appeal and other distinct traits went over and above all others. She was unique and the world loved her. However, soon, Betty’s character received a revamp, or shall we say, toning down. There was a distinct lack of sexual as well as psychological undertones.
Betty Boop was a household figure for years
We have to admit that you can’t find that busty animated figure anywhere, complete with that gazing doe-eyed grin.
She holds the title of one of the state’s most recognizable figures and rightly so. And when fans were asked to pick out who the original Betty was from a simple lineup of others, they just couldn’t. But who was the real character that everyone fell in love with? Where did her animator get the thought of designing her in the first place?
It’s a tale that’s making the rounds on the web and fans are gluing their eyes to the screen in shock.
May the real Betty Boop, please stand up
There’s quite a bit of controversy that surrounds the lead character’s inspiration.
Was it the famous Helen Kane who had a similar ‘boop a dooped,’ as the character, or was it the ‘it girl’ from the ’30s, Clara Bow? Is there a possibility that it might have been Baby Esther, a black woman whose voice resounds in the world of jazz.
Well, the answer is out and the revelations are shocking, to say the least.
Betty Boop’s inspiration wasn’t only Helen Kane
While we’ve been hearing, on and off, that Betty’s character was inspired by Helen Kane, the truth isn’t exactly that. And the major reason being, the animated character couldn’t ever have been created without famed Jazz singer of the 1920s, Esther Jones.
Yes, the woman known as Baby Esther had an integral role to play, when it comes to Betty Boop. The singer received her baby tag after her angelic and pure ‘baby singing style.’ Likewise, it wasn’t uncommon for many to find her at one of Harlem’s famous hotspots, Cotton Club.
Moreover, the singer was always called out for making use of phrases like her signature ‘Boop-oop-a-doop.’ And while the creators of the cartoon acknowledge the woman as the true original, others continue to associate Helen Kane with credit.
See, the reason has to do with the fact that original creators intended Betty to be Helen’s caricature. However, little did Mr. Fleischer realize that Helen was truly Baby Esther’s copycat version.
This was just one of the many controversies surrounding Betty. And we admit that it was quite striking for us too.