Friday, October 20, 2006

Celebrity Baby Names

Why do celebrities name their kids more unusual names than the general population? This may not seem like an economics question, but it involves a decision, which can always be examined from an economic perspective.

This article talks about some of the examples. There are the ones we have all heard of lately like Suri, Apple, and Shiloh. My favorites from the article are Penn Jillette's daughter named Moxie CrimeFighter and Jason Lee's son named Pilot Inspektor.

Why are celebrities choosing these names? I am not sure if the whole answer is publicity because I don't think that Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie need more publicity than they have now.


Anonymous said...

Other than publicity, it is hard to come up with an example that credidates their reasoning. One possibilty could be the culture exposure that these actresses and actors experience every day. As films are being shot, many celebrities are able to obtain a first hand view on the differences of cultures. Celebrities see the odd names for everday things in different cultures and believe that this is what it means to truly be cultured, to step out of the box. They see the interesting names of foreign children and relate it to their own. By choosing an odd name, they feel that they are going out of our deprived norm and entering a culture rich world.

-Nick Wellmon

Anonymous said...

I agree with publisher of popular Danielle Friedland’s statement that the unusual celebrity names are a result of the celeb’s drive for creativity. However, I think there is more to it than just a desire to be creative. These people are artists, whether actors, musicians, or even professional athletes, they have made their living on being different and standing out. It makes sense for celebrities who live in the artsy and controversial world that is Hollywood to begin their children’s lives in just that way, with a very unique and unusual name. I also think that they want to give their children their own identity. Baby Apple has earned her own place in the world because of her very unusual name, instead of only being known as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s daughter. Although most stars don’t want their children involved in show business, many have changed their names to something flashier and more Hollywood and may just be giving their children the same types of names. Then there’s the celebrities who seek to make a statement with their child’s name. For example, Demi Moore’s first daughter Rumor. There were so many rumors about Demi’s pregnancy that she gave her baby girl a title that represented the general feelings regarding her. Courtney Cox named her little girl Coco after the first two letters of her first and last name. In addition, sometimes celebrities name their kids outrageously awful things for the same reason non-celebrities do: family ties. Julia Roberts’ twins Phinneaus and Hazel were named after family members. As for the more bizarre names, as I mentioned before, celebrities have made their mark on the world by being different. Why make their child’s name any different from how they live the rest of their lives? An extremely unique name is just the beginning of the far from average lives that these celebrity kids will have.

--Sarah O'Donohue

Anonymous said...

I think that there are probably many varying reasons for celebs to name their babies such freakishly weird names. For some, publicity is probably on their minds. For others, they probably see the strange names as a way to express themselves as artists. Maybe it is an expression of how celebrities stand out in our society. They stand out, as will their children, so instead of fighting it, they go ahead and name their children weird names so that they will surely stand out in the crowd. They decide that since their children will be distinguished as the child of a celebrity for his or her entire life, they might as well further distinguish their child by naming them a weird name. I think another possibility would be that the celebs are trying to reveal their own uniqueness through the naming of their child. They are leaving their mark on the future. These are all possible reasons and there is many more possible reasons, such as Gwyneth Paltrow might have been craving apples all throughout her pregnancy, so she named her baby girl Apple. We will never know for sure.


Anonymous said...

I think Sarah made an interesting point in saying that some celebrities are just trying to give their children an identity that is different from just being a celebrity child. I believe this is partially true. I also believe that the very reason celebrities may name their children such outrageous names is simply the same reason they became famous in the first place. Celebrities are celebrities because they have something special, something extra in their personality that entertains an audience of some kind. So, maybe their minds have a little extra creativity to just add to the baby naming process, or maybe they just do it because they can. Because they are celebrities, and even though their child may have an outrageous name they can still say, "Hey, I'm Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' kid" and everyone will just shut their mouths. I don't think that celebrities are merely trying to "one up" eachother with naming their children, and I do not believe they are doing it to gain more publicity.

-Sara Diehl

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sarah's point about celebrities and their creativity. Since most of the ones with original baby names have been actors/actresses for years, they've been in many different movies and situations. Some of them might have found that they like the characters with the more original names and decided to pass on this originality to their children. I know that it gets annoying having mutiple people with the same name, and I'm sure that celebrities have the same problem with this along with people naming their baby after them. They most likely want to find something completley original to well just be different and get people to come up with something else. I really don't even know if it's for publicity or just their own sanity.

-Danielle Lunetta

Anonymous said...

I do not believe the top celebrities name their kids weird names for publicity. I agree with Sarah that they are already going to be far from average, so why not let the name express that? They do not want to be the only celeb in Hollywood who does not follow the trend and has a boring baby name. It seems to have become tradition, and the names often have meaning. Suri means 'princess' in Hebrew. Shiloh means 'messiah' or 'the peaceful one'. Celebs can usually just do what they want and get away with it, because at the end of the day Brad Pitt will still be Brad Pitt. As for apple and Pilot Inspektor I do not have an explanation.
Kate C