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Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
Hello, and welcome to my blog! I like to write about children's literature, fandom studies, video games, feminism, and pop culture in general. I've recently earned my Ph.D. in children's literature ( Fall 2012) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I also teach English (composition, British literature, and women's literature) at Sowela Technical Community College. Oh, and I like cats! [Banner image artwork by Yuki Midorikawa]

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Parents Naming Kids After Twilight

So according to an article in The Guardian, more and more parents are naming their children after characters from Stephanie Meyers' Twilight series. I'm not sure how easy it is to prove that a child named Edward or Jacob is necessarily being named after an anorexic sparkling vampire or an embarrassingly attractive teen werewolf, but consider this: the article points out that the name "Cullen" has jumped up almost 300 spots on the most popular boy's names list. Yikes.

Well, except for the fact that Cullen is actually rather a cute name. But I see the writer's point.

I love the new mother who likes "old names," and so she names her baby after a vampire in a fiction book. That was published in 2005. Oh yes.

But this is not the first time a beloved book has inspired parents to name their children after its characters. Take Wendy from Peter Pan, for instance. Unless I'm mistaken, Barrie completely made up the name. I wouldn't say it's a very popular name, but most of us know at least one Wendy in our lives.

I wonder at the differences between Wendy and Bella. Both are charged with the task of "taming" a wild boy. But Wendy got smart and gave up after awhile. Bella ... well, she got pregnant.

And made sure to take her husband's ancient last name, too, if the fan-shopped photo above is anything to go by. From Swan to Cullen. I'm sure there's no implicit symbolism there.

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