Celebrity Names Blog

Mila Kunis' Baby Name Choice Is Causing All Kinds of Problems for Parents

Celebrity baby names always cause a huge kerfuffle, but Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis caused a bigger brouhaha than usual when they named their girl Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher. Sure, we knew this Punk'd mastermind would go for unusual. But that's really out there. And naming experts predict the name will stir up a ton of trouble.

"I don't expect a bunch of girl Wyatts as a result of this," predicts Laura Wattenberg, naming expert founder of Baby Name Wizard and Name Candy. "But I do expect a bunch of panic from parents who've named their son Wyatt. It may also scare off parents who are thinking of naming their son Wyatt from choosing this name."

Why? Because with Wyatt Isabelle in the picture, the name Wyatt -- renowned for its masculinity -- starts to seem girlish. "And that may lead some people to believe it's been 'ruined' as a name for boys," says Wattenberg. "People get angry when great boys' names like Riley and Micah get 'ruined' being used for girls. It's a real emotional issue. It also shows a widespread perception that there's a big disadvantage for a boy that has a feminine name, and research supports that's true."

More from The Stir: Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis Name Their Daughter & Pull the Perfect Photo Tease

In other words, if Ashton and Mila had had a boy instead, Wattenberg doubts that even these edgy parents would have named their son Savannah or Sarah. No way. So while names are crossing the gender divide more and more, that doesn't necessarily mean men and women are becoming more equal. It just means that women, at least in the name department, are trying to be more like men.

"A lot of parents who choose a masculine name for their daughter say it's because it sounds 'strong,'" Wattenberg points out. "But what message does that send to our daughters? If you really think choosing a masculine name for your daughter is a sign we're breaking down barriers and moving toward gender equality, then go ahead and name your son Amelia and we'll believe it." 

Written by Judy Dutton on CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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Comments

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October 7, 2014 4:29 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

What are we teaching boys if we tell them their names are "ruined" by girls having it? How about simply choosing a name you like and teaching your kids to be proud of it?

October 8, 2014 9:18 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Leslie, Kelly, Shannon, Kerry, Courtney, Meredith
Alex, Sam, Frankie, Bobbie

This is nothing new.

October 8, 2014 9:30 AM
By emma (not verified)

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read!

October 8, 2014 9:56 AM
By Tiana (not verified)

This was a waste of a post... the name is cute and if parents are "panicked" by it choose another freakin name. Carson, Dylan, Casey, and Ryan are cuter girl names anyway.

October 8, 2014 11:45 AM
By Michaela (not verified)

I completely agree with this! I've felt that way since people started using Charlie as a girl's name. It just narrows down the already limited selection of boys names that I'd like to stay boy's names for my hypothetical future son's sake. No need for people to get their panties in a wad, it's a valid worry and consideration of future parents when naming their child.

October 8, 2014 12:03 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I disagree that this was a "waste of a post" or "ridiculous." Neither the author nor Wattenburg were saying that they agreed with the panic that parents might feel over a girl being named Wyatt. They are just stating facts, and those facts are correct.

October 8, 2014 12:19 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Those "facts" point out nothing! It's their baby and they should be able to name her whatever they feel like! Who cares what we say about it! At least she's named better than North West-Kardashian... so people shut your mouth and leave them alone.

October 9, 2014 7:00 AM
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October 9, 2014 8:26 AM
By JAMAL HOSEN (not verified)

I completely agree with this! I've felt that way since people started using Charlie as a girl's name. It just narrows down the already limited selection of boys names that I'd like to stay boy's names for my hypothetical future son's sake.

October 9, 2014 9:44 AM
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October 9, 2014 1:50 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Add Evelyn to that list. My uber-traditional mom nixed Evelyn from a short list for our daughter because "educated people know it's a boy name". My eyes are still rolling.

October 9, 2014 6:46 PM
By Justine (not verified)

This is beyond ridiculous and way overthinking a non-issue. Who decided what constitutes as a "boy name" anyways and decided that pink is a "girl color". Saying that a name will be ruined because a girl has it sounds super sexist to me. What year is this again?

October 14, 2014 2:52 AM
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October 14, 2014 12:17 PM
By Sandra (not verified)

Wow. Really? WHO CARES? This name is 'ruining' other names... for boys who will grow up to be men? Wow. Yeah we have world health crisis', war torn famine and family displacement and poverty stealing away the promise of tomorrow from much of America's youth... these are REAL problems that do mean RUIN for a lot of people. Not stupid celebrities and their baby's names. SMH... first world problems.

October 14, 2014 1:10 PM
By Agnetha (not verified)

'Wyatt' is a strange name for a girl. But it is their decision.

October 14, 2014 1:41 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Parents that panic because someone somewhere used the same name - regardless of gender - clearly have bigger issues they should be worried about. Agree with Sandra - first world problems.
On the other hand, now I have Johnny Cash's excellent song "a boy named sue" stuck in my head.

October 14, 2014 2:27 PM
By Amayama (not verified)

You think girls named "Charlie" ruined the name for your hypothetical future son -- but the name Charlie Manson didn't already do that for you, seeing how you are so protective of that name you've squatted on?

October 14, 2014 2:56 PM
By Ron (not verified)

Paris was a masculine name for 4,000 years, until the Hiltons and Jacksons ruined it for boys.

Luckily for the male Parises of the future, the Hiltons and Jacksons ruined it for girls, as well.

October 14, 2014 4:15 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Frankie, Bobbie and Sam are a different ballgame from Wyatt though, since they're all short forms of girls' names.
Frankie from Frances, Bobbie from Roberta and Sam from Samantha are all one generation away.
Francis/Frances are the m/f versions of that name and each can take the short form Frankie (though boys are more likely to be Frank while girls are Fran),
Robert/Roberta or Robina are the m/f versions, and can tale Bobbie/Bobby or Bob/Bobs as short forms.
Samuel/Samantha are m/f and both/either can take Sam/Sammy/Sammie.
Wyatt though, has no female from (unless you choose a slightly similar name such as Wybelina, Wynona or) Wyoming) and so, in my opinion, Wyatt is squarely in the "poached" camp.

Mind you, Florence, Shirley, Meredith and Beverl(e)y have long been poached and are almost never used for boys now.

OTOH, Robin/Robyn, Kerry/Kerry/Kerrie, and Heath/Heath have managed to stay comfortably unisex. They may be out of fashion now, but that's (again) another matter.

October 14, 2014 5:41 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

As someone with a UNISEX name who gets letters addressed to the wrong gender on a regular basis, I predict they're going to have to listen to their daughter cry about having a "boy's name" at least once in her life if not more than that. Just because it is easier for girls to adopt boy's names doesn't mean it is completely culturally acceptable. The logic that they should be able to name her "whatever they want" is completely unsound in my opinion. They aren't the ones who have to wear the name.

My personal opinion on Wyatt is that it's the epitome of masculine names and I can barely picture it on a girl. The sad thing is people want to give kudos to parents for giving their daughter a "strong" name. So feminine does not equal strong? Now that's sexist.

October 14, 2014 6:43 PM
By Kira (not verified)

I am highly annoyed by the "edgy" trend of giving girls traditionally male names, because of the complete double standard that exists. The pool of unambiguously male names is steadily being reduced because "it's cute!"

I'm all for people doing whatever their hearts desire as long as no one else is harmed ... but if you want to stand out, pick something exotic (to you), or a word that hasn't been used as a name, or resurrect an ancient jewel. Bestowing traditionally masculine names on girls seems pointless and, well, dumb.

October 14, 2014 7:47 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Well Alex can be short for Alexander or Alexandra. Bobbie short for Robert or Roberta. Personally I know of no men or boys named Leslie, Shannon, Kerry, Courtney, or Meredith. A male actor was named Marion even he changed it to John Wayne to sound more masculine. I doubt those names you've mentioned above are going to be used for boys this day and age.

October 15, 2014 8:29 AM
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October 15, 2014 10:25 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think it's hilarious that a woman named Michaela is mad that they used Wyatt for a girl. Whatever you say, Mike.

October 17, 2014 2:33 AM
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October 28, 2014 10:07 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Whoa whoa whoa. Hold up. Women trying to be like men? Are you kidding me? These babies aren't choosing their own names. It is the choice of BOTH parents. Not to mention it was already stated that ASHTON was figured to name this child an off the wall name. I'm pretty sure that your name doesn't make you who you are. Yes it can cause problems growing up like bullying, but it has also gone the other way many times. For example the names Shannon or Leslie. Throwing out discriminatory and sexist accusations about women trying to "be like men" is absolutely ridiculous.

October 30, 2014 10:05 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

This panic is silly, in my opinion. This has gone on for a long time, and it doesn't matter at all. I am 33 with a name that is largely associated with males, and I love it. I usually only hear it while my husband is watching football as a number of current players also have this name after a hall-of-famer from the 70s. One guy I met with my name wasn't offended or felt like my parents ruined his name; he thought it was cool. I guess because he wasn't a self-centered jerk. My sister, also in her 30s, is named Tristan, and I've known several people who have named their boys that despite knowing of a girl with that name. Most people are reasonable and generally good-natured, and if they are honest with themselves, are bigger than that.

October 30, 2014 10:06 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

This panic is silly, in my opinion. This has gone on for a long time, and it doesn't matter at all. I am 33 with a name that is largely associated with males, and I love it. I usually only hear it while my husband is watching football as a number of current players also have this name after a hall-of-famer from the 70s. One guy I met with my name wasn't offended or felt like my parents ruined his name; he thought it was cool. I guess because he wasn't a self-centered jerk. My sister, also in her 30s, is named Tristan, and I've known several people who have named their boys that despite knowing of a girl with that name. Most people are reasonable and generally good-natured, and if they are honest with themselves, are bigger than that.

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