Deciding what to name your child is one of the most fun and daunting first tasks of parenthood. And according to authors of Freakonomics, which is now portrayed in a documentary, it can be one that significantly affects your child for the rest of his life.
In an interview with CNN, Morgan Spurlock, co-director of the film, explained how people make quick, snap judgments of people based on their names.
Which isn't any surprise, right?
You find out your brother's new girlfriend is "Bambi" or that your newly divorced mother is dating "Billy Bob," and certain images come to mind, right?
What is surprising is how those snap judgements can significantly impact lives, even prevent your child from getting a job one day.
Spurlock talked about a study in which thousands of identical resumes were sent out for two candidates -- DeShawn and Jake Williams. DeShawn got 35 percent fewer callbacks. Even when they bumped up DeShawn's qualifications and bumped down those of Jake, Jake still got more callbacks.
Startling, really, and a sad testament about racism in our country.
He also talked about how wealthy people don't want the masses using "their" names, so as names start becoming more common, they stop using them. As they said in the film, "... just like that, today's high-end Ashley becomes tomorrow's low-end Trashley."
My husband and I had difficulty reaching an agreement on a baby girl's name -- primarily because he had negative associations with SO many of them. From Eleanor (who he claimed is an ugly girl's name) to Beatrice (who would probably be fat), he had a whole host of notions he wasn't afraid to shoot out to shoot down my choices.
So beyond annoying me (and perhaps offending anyone out there with those names), he may have had a point in there somewhere with all his judgement.
In the end we went with Lila -- though I don't know if it necessarily brings to mind any stereotypes for most people, its rapidly unforeseen growing popularity is giving me nightmares of her in a kindergarten class filled only with Lilas, Lolas, and Lilys.
So while it's great to put time and consideration into what your child's name will be and may mean for her future, it's also hard to know what the future may hold.
Just think, a Lindsay a few years ago may have conjured up sweet, wholesome images, while many who hear the name today may be imagining that same little girl in rehab down the line.
Have you ruled out certain baby names based on the images you felt were associated with them?
Image via gabi_menashe/Flickr