Riverhead tot picked as the new face of Huggies diapers

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Twenty-two month old Isabella Blassingame with her mother Orleatra Banks at their home in Riverhead.

The new face of Huggies diapers will be Riverhead’s own Isabella Blassingame.

The 22-month old daughter of Orleatra Banks and John Blassingame got the notice — well, actually her parents did — that she would be posing for the Huggies package this week.

“I was just overjoyed when my mom texted me to tell me that Bella was chosen,” Orleatra said. “I kind of dropped a tear because it’s so surreal.”

Isabella’s picture will be featured on the package of one size of the Huggies diapers — the company uses different babies for different types of diapers — and she was heading into the city for a photo shoot Wednesday.

Isabella had already done some test shoots in the city, her mother said, and been fitted for the diapers.

Huggies is Isabella’s biggest gig so far, but she’s done others. She’s done photo shoots for companies like Merck, Simplicity and Amscan. She gets paid for the shoots and even has an agent.

She started off in pageants when she was 11 months and has had her photo has been submitted to various websites for child models, where she was discovered the agent who later landed her jobs, Ms. Banks said.

“We wanted her to do pageants to teach her how to stay on stage and how to interact with other children,” Ms. Banks said.

Isabella has been in four pageants so far, and last year won the title of Grand Overall Baby Supreme at the All American Boys and Girls Pageant in Brooklyn.

Ms. Banks, who is now 22, said she entered some pageants herself as a child, the earliest at age 4, and enjoyed the experience. She also won some pageants, but wasn’t as successful as her daughter.

“I was never Grand Overall Baby Supreme,” she said.

Like her daughter, Ms. Banks also had some modeling gigs and even a few television appearances as a child, including on “Nickelodeon” and “Reading Rainbow.” And, like Isabella, she made some money from it.

“Bella is going to have a bank account to pay for her college,” Ms. Banks said. “That’s what my mom did for me. She put away my money for college and I was able to go to college.”

She said her daughter enjoys the attention, too.

“If I put Isabella into something and she’s frustrated by it, I wouldn’t do it, but it’s fun for her,” she said. “The people shooting her are very kid-friendly and, if she’s liking it, why not do it?”

“Bella’s just really a friendly person. It’s not just her beauty. She has a big personality. I am very proud of her,” Ms. Banks said.

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