I was watching "The View" today (I know) and there was a entire hot topic dedicated to Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, the most famous "tomboy" on planet Who Effin' Cares. Apparently homegirl wants to be called "Shax" according to a story published by In Touch Weekly practically a month ago.
Why Shax? She wants to be just like her brothers, Maddox, Pax and Knox, whose names all end in the letter “X.” A childhood friend of Shiloh’s mom isn’t one bit surprised.
'Angelina was also a tomboy,” the friend tells In Touch. “She changed her name to Vince when she was the same age.'
Of course the discussion that followed was all about whether or not this 5-year-old was gay or whatever and whether or not parents should let their kids express themselves. Surprisingly, Elisabeth Hasselbeck fell on the side of just leave the poor kid alone. I get that they have to make up "news" on shows like this, but does anyone really think a kindergartener's whimsy is somehow indicative of their adult life choices?
When I was 5, I HATED my middle name, Darren, with a passion. For one, it's a boy's name. Do you know any girls named Darren? And for two my mother insisted on calling me "Helena Darren" like they do down south despite the fact that we lived in Los Angeles. To this day, Frances'll call out "Helena Darren" if she's trying to find me in the grocery store.
Anyway, 5-year-old me also hated the name Helena because those badass name barrettes everybody was wearing back in the day never came in "Helena," only "Helen." So my mom used to either DIY them, which we all know is soooo lame, or paint an "a" at the end, which again was super janky looking.
To rectify my life, one day on the way to school I told my mom I wanted to change my name is "Chalena No Middle Name" and she was just like, "Do whatever you want, kid." I got bored of it in like a day and then continued on with paste and recess like nothing happened. Because that's what kids do.
Also, can I just say that I think Shiloh is rad and I haven't used that word in over two decades. Still, I assume Shiloh or Shax or whomever she wants to be on Saturday is just a regular ass kid trying to get in where she fits in. Whether it's gender normative or not is not really my (or anyone who's not her parents) concern. By the same token, for tabloids to continually paint her as this tomboy anti-pink hero is just a bit skeevy to me. She's a child. Labels are for cereal boxes, not babies.
When did trying on different identities become a no-no? Isn't that what Mr. Rogers was all about? Pulling off you outside cardigan and then putting on another one. I know I'm not the only one around these parts who tried out a new name. Where are all my Chalenas and Shaxs at? And did any of those new IDs stick?