Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Wack-est Name Ever

Read this story. It will make you feel good:


Poor woman. This Beloit, Wisc. native (of course) was born with the legal name Marijuana Pepsi. It's like the fates played a cruel, cruel joke on her.

In an earlier posting, Cris posted about how ridiculous some adjective Malu names can come off sounding to those who aren't Malu. And maybe to those who are too. But honestly, in comparison to the name Marijuana, nobody should feel ashamed to wear a name tag that reads Shiny, Pinky, or Gifty.

Now, Marijuana has some balls. I love that she didn't try to make her name appear more proper by changing her name to Mary Jane. I mean, this woman refused to compromise. Because the principle of the matter is, no one should be judged by their name. People with non-typical names are always going to be judged by society but, that doesn't mean it's right.

Now even though this article is all about exploiting her name, there's redemption in the fact that this woman didn't allow her name to hold her back. I can't count the number of times I've had to get into conversations over ethnic names. Or how many times I've been told that ethnic (usually "black") names can hold a person back in life. Keep them from getting jobs, promotions, etc. Because I read this article on the Chicago Tribune site, I was saddened to see that she was black when I got to the original article. I'm not saying that there's a correlation between her name and her race. That's just a coincidence that has resulted in a dual-burden for her advancement.

I know a lot of Indian people in my parents' generation who've taken on Caucasian-sounding names because they don't believe they can succeed in the business world with an unpronounceable name. One couple I know now goes by Ken and Barbie. And also, look about Bobby Jindal. I know he converted but did he really need to get rid of his Indian name?

This woman rose above arguably the worst name ever. She attended institutes of higher learning. She has a respectable job. Tyra Banks had a show a while back on which she asserted that people with over-the-top non-white-sounding names would be unlikely candidates for a job. Way to be stereotypical. All I can say is, in your face Tyra!

No comments: