MESA, AZ - He doesn't exactly have a face worthy of launching a thousand ships, but infant Liam Keilbart's emotive expressions did earn him the title of America's Best Stinky Face in a recent competition.
The now almost 5-month-old Mesa resident faced stiff competition for his honor, with parents from all parts of the country submitting photos of their children — 400 in all — making silly faces to contest organizer Munchkin, Inc. Munchkin, Inc. ran the contest back in May to promote the company's Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail, and the competition featured a panel of judges composed of body language expert Janine Driver, blogger Adam Cohen, AllParenting.com Editor Laura Willard and "Diaper Dude" Chris Pegula.
It was the nature of the contest that intrigued Liam's mom Leila, who was looking through Facebook for contests to enter and figured her son had the requisite facial expressions required to succeed.
"I just thought it would be fun; he just makes the funniest faces ever," she said.
So she set up a little photo shoot with Liam, taking five or six shots in a 90-second window to catch her son at just the right moment.
"They're all pretty hysterical," she said, "he's pretty animated."
Leila ended up whittle her selections down to one, and waited to hear back from Munchkin, Inc. to see how her son placed. The first-place call came a few weeks later, which brought the mom to tears as the son continued to make silly faces.
In a press release, Driver said Liam's face and gesture "can be interpreted as a curious grin or an overly-exaggerated ‘stinky face,'" which she said fit the use of the company's diaper pail.
For taking first, the Keilbart family received a $1,000 cash prize and one of the company's new diaper pails that eliminates odor; the latter, she said, has already proven quiet useful in the house.
This isn't the first time a member of Liam's family has won a contest based on an infant's aesthetics — Leila said her father won a "most beautiful baby" contest in his town in Italy.
"My dad said it runs in the family," she said.