Ainsley Turner, the “Hot Dog Princess,” reigned supreme on the internet last week, and other members of the royal hot dog court took notice.
Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile made a pilgrimage Sunday to the Holly Springs School of Dance, where a photo of Ainsley dressed as a hot dog in a line of girls in princess dresses was taken and subsequently went viral.
The frank-shaped vehicle first picked up 6-year-old Ainsley, her two siblings and their parents, Brandon and Tirzah Turner, at their home in Apex.
“The sad thing is there are only six seats in the Wienermobile, and they’re bringing two drivers,” said Brandon Turner. “So Dad will be following along behind them in the minivan.”
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Meat advocates with slightly less popular caché also have sought out the hot dog princess. Eric Mittenthal, vice president of public affairs at the North American Meat Institute and president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, reached out to Ainsley’s father on Twitter to offer free hot dogs to Ainsley and her friends.
The frank frenzy started May 9, when the dance studio held a princess-themed dress-up day. Ainsley decided to wear a hot dog outfit instead.
Grayson LaMontagne, her dance teacher, posted a picture that day on Twitter of Ainsley surrounded by other girls in pouffy princess dresses. After a small burst of attention, LaMontagne made the photo private.
Weeks later, she made it public again, and Ainsley immediately caught the attention of “Today,” NPR, Cosmopolitan and BuzzFeed, to name just a few of the outlets that took notice. A #hotdogprincess hashtag was born, and people celebrated Ainsley as a symbol of girlhood independence and creativity.