Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 4.50.50 PM“Is that your real name?”

“Who names their kid Princess?”

“Were your parents drunk or high when they had you?”

These are actually some of the reactions I’ve received from people when I introduce myself. I’ve gotten used to it over the years. What else do you expect when your name is Princess?

At 22, I can honestly say I love my name, but that wasn’t always the case. As a child, I desperately wanted to change my name to Kaitlyn. I thought Kaitlyn would make me normal and stop the harassment — today they call it bullying — that I experienced on an-almost-daily basis.

Like any other kid, I had my share of nicknames, including Tootie, Toot (short for Tootie), Princey, Pumpkin and Peaches. As cute as those nicknames were, I wouldn’t want anyone else to call me Tootie, Pumpkin or Peaches because well, it’s a family thing. And it would’ve been strange to start demanding my classmates to call me Kaitlyn all of a sudden, so I asked one of the teachers at my elementary school to call me by my middle name Lauren. His response was, “I’m going to call you Princess because that’s your name.”

I didn’t get it.

I wasn’t angry — just a bit confused since I thought it was a simple request. Looking back, I’m glad he said no because it made me realize that I can’t hide from my name forever, so I might as well embrace it along with everything else that’s unique about me.

Now don’t get me wrong; no one ever said being a Princess was easy. And while I’ve never been one to carry myself in a way that’s arrogant or conceited, it doesn’t seem to stop those who know absolutely nothing about me from giving me the side eye, or making preconceived notions about me based on my name.

Too often, people assume I’m a spoiled little bitch who feels entitled to everything, which is false. Having said that, I do try to carry myself in a way that lives up to my name, whether it’s being extra nice to the people I encounter on a daily basis, or looking my best whenever I leave the house because if I don’t, the first thing folks will say is, “Her name is Princess, but she doesn’t look like one.”

Here’s a little more food for thought: When you do your best, people tend to remember you, right? Well, when you have an unusual name like I do and you make one little mistake, people really remember you. I mean, there are thousands of Lindsays and Ashleys out there, but how many Princesses do you know?

Actually, now that I think about it, I recently came into contact with another Princess while calling to schedule an appointment. It was the receptionist, but she went by her middle name instead, which I don’t recall. When I asked why, she responded, “I was teased so badly growing up.” She then asked me, “Do you still go by Princess?” I answered yes. She seemed a little taken aback, because she paused and said, “Really? Good for you.”

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  • paintgurl40

    I don’t see a problem with the name Princess. No matter what your name is someone is going to find fault. My name is Stephanie and people (other women) even say stupid shit about that.

    • noirluv45

      paintgurl, SMH. What could anyone possibly think of to say bad about your name. Some people are a trip!

    • paintgurl40

      I usually get it from other women. They say most girls named Stephanie are stuck up. Overall I love my name. It’s not a common name like Ebony or Jasmine, but it’s not so unusual that it’s an albatross like Chrysanthemum.

    • Brownieluv

      Isn’t it funny how people form opinions about you based on your name? That is really immature and it stops people from getting to know others. I’ve had other women say they didn’t like me at first because they knew someone with my name and she was a b****. Similarly, I hate when people dislike others based on birthdays/zodiac signs, or because they look similar to someone they don’t like. Basically, they’ve made it up in their minds that you will have a bad relationship/will be enemies from the get go, without actually knowing you. So childish. Of course I’m not going to be cool with you after you flat out tell me you think I’m probably a b**** because of my name.

      Also, I know a lady named Chrysantha. I’ve always thought it was a nice name.

    • paintgurl40

      Chrysantha is pretty. You’re right. Why even say stuff like that to people out loud. Get to know someone first then decide. But then again, let people continue to have no chill. It weeds out the a-holes right at the beginning.

  • De_Ann

    I have a cousin named Precious which is cute. People have all kinds of names and Princess is certainly not the worst or most random.

  • Princess seems common to me, especially in the south – and for several generations, now. It’s no more unusual that a guy named ‘Jesus’ ( that’s ‘Heh-zeus’ in Spanish).

    Now, if your name was Princequiesha, or Qua’Princess, or Princesshauntra, then I’d say your name is unusual.

  • when I was younger, I wanted to change my name from Kirby to Kelly ~ a name I thought was “normal.” Being a kid is tough. You just want to fit in and be seen as accepted, in whatever way that means. and names are such a significant part of our identities ~ yet we don’t have a choice in that matter (generally speaking). As I grew older, I grew into myself, and into my name. I discovered that it suited me more than I realized when I was younger. Now, I LOVE my name, and wouldn’t change it for anything.
    To be fair, I fully support a person’s desire to be called by a name they choose for themselves. There are some kids out there that are given really difficult names (like Chlamydia ~ true story, not a misspell), and should have the agency to choose how they prefer people to identify them.

    Fun fact: I used to be a teacher, and had a student whose sister’s name is Princess :)

    • paintgurl40

      Kirby…it’s cute.

    • Thank you!

  • AfroStyling

    Princess is nothing. Igbo people name their children paulinus, leviticus, sunshine, rainbow, arrow of god, god’s blessing, holy mary…igbo ppl please dont shoot me lol.