Gerber, the widely known purveyor of baby food and products, has announced their first ever Hmong Gerber Baby.
Fifteen-month-old Kairi Yang beat out a record-breaking pool of 544,000 entries to take the win of their annual contest.
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Hello to Kairi, our brand new 2019 Gerber Spokesbaby! 😍 Kairi is LIVE on @todayshow with @klgandhoda right now to celebrate the big announcement! Congratulations Kairi, we’re so excited you’re joining our Gerber family ♥️ please help us send her lots of love! #AnythingforBaby
Kairi, who is from from Hickory, North Carolina, won over the hearts of the judges with her expressive eyes and beautiful face, according to Gerber’s press release.
“Kairi was chosen because of the wide-eyed curiosity and the look of wonder we saw in her eyes,” Bill Partyka, President and CEO of Gerber, told Today. “Her expressiveness in the winning photo reminds us of looking to the future through a child’s eyes and being excited for all that it holds.”
“We believe that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, are thrilled to recognize Kairi as the new face of Gerber. It’s been an incredible year celebrating our 2018 Spokesbaby Lucas Warren and his family, and we are excited to see the world fall in love all over again with our newest Spokesbaby,” Partyka said in the press release.
As the Gerber face of the year, Kairi will appear in the company’s social media channels and her family will receive $50,000.
“When we first found out Kairi won, we were speechless and couldn’t believe it. We are beyond thrilled that our sweet Kairi is Gerber’s 2019 Spokesbaby,” Kairi’s mom, Ying Vue, said in the press release. “Kairi’s personality is larger than life, and she always maintains a spunky attitude. We hope Kairi’s one-of-a-kind, entertaining personality and vibrant facial expressions radiate positivity around the world, just like she does in our home every single day!”
Vue and her husband, Peter Yang, told Today that they are raising Kairi around Hmong customs. They want to teach her how to read and write in Hmong so that she can speak to her grandparents, who live with them in their house along with her aunts and uncles, in the future.
“Being surrounded by all her family has been a very positive influence on Kairi’s life, especially when it comes to preserving our culture and tradition,” Vue said. “Kairi will grow up knowing how to read and write in Hmong, so that she can speak with her grandparents.”
Those who have played the “Kingdom Hearts” video games might find her name to be familiar. Vue said that she named her daughter after the nickname she used in high school, which is based off of a character from the popular Square Enix game.
“Kairi’s positive energy and smile lights up our life,” she said. “She has a one-of-a-kind personality.”
Images screenshot via NBC News