If you’re going to use your newborn child as a canvas for your creativity, don’t treat it as a half-assed craft project: Make your baby into actual art.
Although people have lived full, happy lives with names like David and Amy, there’s an ongoing trend that finds young, cosmopolitan parents placing an incredible emphasis on the originality of their children’s names.
There are several schools of unusual baby-naming: the faux-fancy (Madison, Brielle), the self-consciously old-timey (Declan, Abigail), the ultramodern (Chayse, Ryder) and the “we’re famous” (Apple, Moon Unit, Blue Ivy—the latter of whom, to be fair, has a dad named Jay-Z).
Whatever the angle, all of these out-there handles seem motivated by the desire to imbue the child with some kind of baked-in individuality.
The problem with the oh-so-unusual baby name isn’t that it’s a vain or pretentious parental overstep—it’s actually more of a half step. If you’re going to use your newborn child as a canvas for your creativity, don’t treat it as a half-assed craft project: Make your baby into actual art.
Jay-Z didn’t stop with the name Blue Ivy—he also got her on the Billboard charts. Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth had their daughter Coco performing on a Mike Watt record before she was a year old; today, she fronts her own band.
Even better: Use your baby’s biorhythms to program electronic music with Pete Townshend’s Lifehouse Method website; use your child as a kind of living paintbrush in the style of Gary Larson’s wiener dog art; dress up as Napoleon and stream a live video of yourself during childbirth.
Of course, if it’s really important to you that your kid stands out among all the other kids in the Moon Base Secondary School class of 2030, all of whom have their own coffee-table book of Hipstamatic self-portraits, name her Sarah, and she’ll be one of the few kids who doesn’t have a “totally unique” name.