Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Vanessa Williams Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Box


When Vanessa Williams snagged the Miss America crown in 1984 one of her first honors was to grace this box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. But the box was banished as quickly as her title when sexy photos emerged. Ironic when the text includes lines like “It is with this intent that Kellogg Company provides this limited edition Commemorative Package as a lasting reminder that…we must continue to promote the American dream and encourage all Americans to freely pursue life, liberty, and happiness.”.vaness-a-williams-cornflakes-box_2353

Very few of the boxes survived as the inventory that was left in Battle Creek, Michigan where the flakes were made was destroyed in the midst of the scandal.  I was friendly with Vanessa at the time and so felt she didn’t deserve to lose the title let alone the cereal box. But she certainly pursued life, liberty and happiness and lost no time crying over spilt cornflakes.



Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Afro, Celebrity, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People

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  • Denise says:

    Yeah, talk about having the last laugh! She has done far more interesting things than she could have if she kept the title.

    • Allee says:

      Yeah, we should all lose titles and awards more often. If I hadn’t given back my AFI Women’s Directing Award in 1991 because I didn’t want to make a linear, old media short film on video I never would’ve met you!

  • Jenny Lens says:

    LOVED her in Ugly Betty! Will miss Wilomenia more than anyone on that show (and her assistant Marc).

    I want to know more about your giving back an award from the AFI??? What??

  • Allee says:

    I won the AFI award in 1991 along with 11 other women and as part of the prize you were given $5000 to make a half hour film. The men who won (in the men’s equivalent program) were given twice as much money and were allowed to shoot on film whereas the women had to shoot on video. I was already into interactive multimedia and was far more interested in working on something in that field than on something shot on video that no one would ever see outside of people invited to the screening as there was no real chance of anything shot on video getting placed anywhere significant. As $5000 was nowhere near an adequate budget for 1/2 hour (in those days) this was the last thing that I wanted to call in every favor owed to me on. So I protested and gave the award back.

  • Andy Chukerman says:

    Screw Kellogg’s and their processed garbage they call “cereal”. These are the same conservative prudes who also swiftly banished Michael Phelps because of a picture that leaked on the internet of him taking a bong hit. Ridiculous….

  • EG says:

    What a remarkable artifact. It couldn’t have been on the shelves for more than a few weeks. And wise, Allee, for witnessing the inequivalency of the AFI award project and refusing to be distracted by it. BTW, I like the song sample from THE COLOR PURPLE here on your site and, as ridiculous as this sounds, am not sure which iTunes track it is. The track on iTunes that says THE COLOR PURPLE isn’t the same clip, probably another part of the song. If you’d point out the right track I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

  • joana says:

    I have one of the boxes. It’s new and unfolded. My hubby’s first wife was in the marketing department there. we have it framed in our kitchen.

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