What It’s Like Having “the World’s Most Famous Rear End”

She’s been called “the world’s most famous rear-end.” Cheri Irwin is the Coppertone girl. If you can’t immediately visualize it, you’ve surely seen the ad with the little girl in pigtails having her swimsuit bottoms yanked off by a Cocker Spaniel.

Cheri, in this Oprah: Where Are They Now? interview, says that her mother, Joyce Ballantyne, designed the ad. Joyce is known as one of the most talented advertising painters of her time.

Cheri still remembers the day she was photographed for her mother’s illustration. “What I remember about that day was that I was outside standing on a table. It was a hot, sunny summer afternoon, and they were taking pictures of me, and it was just me posing, trying to get that look of the baby being startled by the dog,” she says.

Cheri goes on to say she’s most often asked whether her mother was paid a lot of money for her work. “The answer to that is that my mother got paid one time in 1959 to do the ad, and once she sells all rights to the artwork, then it belongs to them, and we’re done. So that’s all the money that transacted for that particular job.”

Cheri’s mother passed away May 2006. “I think the way that mom and I are going to continue to create the legacy of the Coppertone story and of her artwork is through a print that we created together,” she says. Cheri’s mother had signed 1,000 frame copies of the exclusive print.

“I think the future is great,” Cheri says. “I love life every day. I’m thankful for what I have now, and I stay ready for the next opportunity that may come its way, but right now I’m very happy right where I am.”

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