Name tag

when we are born, sometimes even earlier, we are given our first adornment. it is immediately applied and helps define us when there are few other ways. sometimes it is meaningful, sometimes generic, but it's our first extra, our first add-on, our name.

i don't know if it's true for everyone, but i certainly questioned my name at different points in my childhood. there were various types of names that appealed at different times, to reflect different tastes, but always the same reason to contemplate different names, i think. trying to define myself, myself.

i gave up eventually, realizing that i had redefined my name. my name meant me, represented me (to friends, loved ones, enemies) precisely because i had defined who ___ was. so i no longer needed to seek a name that could capture who i was or wanted to be. i had that name already, simply by being.

but names are still fun because they are words, and words are fun.

and so much of commercial fashion is about names. you are who you wear, so many fear/believe/buy. of course in reality, no matter what, you will always be you.

if you went through a renaming phase when you were younger, what name did you desire to have?

if you had to pick a name for yourself now, to reflect your style, what name would you pick? your own or something else?


i will probably leave this post up for 2 days (with the next new post on tuesday), because i'm still mulling my answer over.
for what it's worth, mr. mcqueen was born terrence steven mcqueen.

12 comments:

landis smithers said...

i WAS gregory at one point, until i interned with three other "greg"'s, and they ... wait for it ... numbered us.

then i had it, and started going by my middle name, landis.

my mother told me at the time that she had always wanted to just call me landis, but my father had worried that it would be too hard for me at school, blah blah blah.

so they named me for gregory peck, one of their favorite actors, blah blah blah.

i actually believe that changing my name back then changed my life, better fitting my personality and opening more doors. it set me apart, and that was a good thing. to this day, people say they can't imagine me as any other name.

-h of candid cool said...

when i was a kid i wanted to change my name to Yasmine.
Now I would never want to change my name. I've never met anybody with my name. Not that my name is unique its just not an "american" name.
The only time I ever wanted my name to be yasmine was when i discovered yasmine sewel via the satorialist.

K.Line said...

When I was a teenager, I changed my name to Phoebe for 2 years. (This was eons before Friends, fyi.) It worked, btw. But now, when I think about it, it seems so fraudulent... What would I change it to now? Hmmm

Alexandreena said...

I would not want to change it. I really like my name, sounds "right" to me, plus it's a derivation of that of my great-grandmother who was a fantastic woman!

As a child, I may have wanted to change it a few times, but I don't remember having a good reason for any of my options.

Iheartfashion said...

I went by the name Autumn Fairchild for a few years in my early teens. I'm not crazy about my name-Janet-because it sounds very 1950's (although I was born in the 70's). I tried to give my own kids very distinct names: Maxamilian and Coco. They'll probably hate them someday...

Sara said...

I was known by my first and middle name until the fifth grade, when I insisted that people just call me Sara. I often wish that people still called me by my first and middle name for the same reasons as Landis mentioned - it was unique and different and individual.

indigo16 said...

I have not stopped berating my mother for my plain unimaginative name. I would as a child ache to be called Rebecca or Louise. Now these mames seem equally trite. So I have learnt to, if not love my name to not hate it. Interesting like iheartfashion I too made amends with my daughters Daisy, Kitty and Leyla. Names that 'sing'

Sal said...

As a 6th grader, I wanted to be the name I used in Spanish class: Veronica. My legal maiden name is Sarah Weinbach, but my parents have always called me Sally. So I already had some built-in name weirdness.

I adore my married name of Sally McGraw, and think it suits me perfectly. Because I am a crotchety old Irish woman at heart, even if I'm a 31-year-old half-Jew in reality.

laia. said...

i love my name. i think for a couple of months in first grade i wanted to change it to "rosita" because i had a teacher with that name that i loved.

i think my name suits me perfectly, i would never ever change it for anything else.

Duchesse said...

Most people I know who change their names either go for more exotic (Susan became Jasmine) or are attempting to shed an ethnicity. (Bahshir became Benny). I worked with a young Chinese woman who had a difficult name for us North Americans to pronounce. She changed it to Online. She worked for an internet company, and liked to say "I'm always Online."

Duchesse said...

I was hoping to hear why you picked the name Editor.

a. said...

oh my these fascinating. phoebe... autumn fairchild!... max and lola... online... man. the last one reminds me of these two filipino twin girls who attended my jr high... blue and green. ok i was about to put their last names until i realized they're probably out there on the internet, and their names are so unique. oops. anyyway, their last name just happened to be the name of a major street in LA, too, so it was esp. confusing. (and kinda cool at the same time.)

i never liked my name. it's very short, un-nicknameable, and it just feels too short to really be describing, oh i don't know, the depth of me. ;-) it's especially vexing because i don't have a useable middle name - rather, my middle name is, following indian convention, my father's name.

so, i always wanted a different name. it started with the names of best friends: lisa, then stacey. then stacie OR tracie (can you tell i grew up in the 80s? how boring) then really long names - stephanie, alexandra - largely so that i could have a nickname. and feel like a romance novel heroine at the same time, i think. ;-)

anyway, i've made peace with my name mostly, but not fully.... hmm, now you've got me thinking again!