Ninety years ago, a culture-shifting symbol of female empowerment strutted her way to the mainstream and defied the stale, inequitable gender stereotypes that predominantly plagued media of the time. At a time when women were relegated to the shadows of men – in media and in society – Betty Boop emerged as a fierce, independent and unabashedly sensual feminine icon.
A globally cherished character for nearly a century, Betty Boop has amassed a fervent fan base and has maintained her popularity generation after generation. For Betty’s milestone 90th anniversary, King Features Syndicate (working on behalf of IP owner Fleischer Studios), has developed a knockout licensing program and anniversary celebrations fit for a superstar of this level.
“For almost 90 years, Betty Boop, the glamorous international icon, has sung and sashayed past rules and conventions, unafraid to take risks or set trends... an influencer from the start,” says Carla Silva, vice president and general manager, global head of licensing, King Features. “As the first feminine cartoon star, the forever-fabulous Betty Boop was aptly named the Queen of Cartoons and ruled the animated world with her wit and charm.
“Her independence and drive set her apart, and unlike other female characters, Betty has never been defined by her association or relationship with a male counterpart,” adds Silva. “Long before the #MeToo movement began, Betty Boop was a female figure who stood up for herself, determined not to let anyone take her ‘boop-oop-a-doop’ away.”