Miley Cyrus Ruined My Daughter's Name

Filed under: Baby Names

In 1994, my husband and I had a daughter and named her Miley Elizabeth. Even though she was named way before people even heard of Miley Cyrus, people keep insisting that she was named after her and call her mean names because they do not like the Cyrus kid. My daughter hates her name now and wants to change it. I suggested we call her by her middle name but in our area there are a lot of girls named Elizabeth and pretty much any nickname for Elizabeth has been taken. She wants to change her name to Zarya because no one has that name and it means princess. Should we let her? I personally do not like the name Zarya and the name Miley Elizabeth means so much to my husband and me.

- Miley's Mom


Ah, your poor daughter! There she was, all set with a creative, unusual name that put a smile on people's faces, when a celebrity came along and stole it right out from under her.Whether you love Miley Cyrus or loathe her, you have to admit that she has taken control of the name Miley. For a baby born today, that shouldn't be a big problem. The girl will grow up in a world full of Mileys, Kileys and Brileys. But for a young lady the same age as Ms. Cyrus, it's a blow to her personal identity at an age when forging your own identity is job number one.

I appreciate that you're taking your daughter's name trouble seriously. This isn't one to laugh off. But I don't recommend legal name changes for minors on grounds of style. Just as you'd hold off on purchasing high-end shoes or sporting equipment for kids whose bodies are still growing, you should hold off on choosing new names for kids whose selves are still growing.

For the time being, let your daughter choose any nickname or alter ego she likes. The legal change, though, can wait until she's a legal adult. By that time she'll have had the chance to try on more identities, and will have a better sense of whether Zarya, or princess, really fits -- or whether Miley might become "hers" again after all.

Did you ever regret your name? Share your experiences here. And if you have your own question to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line!

Related: Can I Honor a Male Relative With a Female Namesake?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.