My name is Jennifer. So now you know how old I am. Yep, my age is right in there between Jennifer Garner’s, Jennifer Aniston’s and Jennifer Lopez’s.
We Jennifers — millions of us — burst onto the scene all at the same time, on the coattails of a movie called “Love Story.” (Apparently, our mothers all saw the film, in which Ali MacGraw played a doomed beauty named Jennifer.)
Within our first years of elementary school, we Jennifers learned this lesson: If you want to be original, you’ll have to find another way. Your name’s basic, standard, common.
On the bright side, Jennifer happens to be a great-sounding name, energetic and confident. And no one ever pre-judges you based on a previous association. How could they, when everyone knows 20 different Jennifers? You could be anything: wacky like Coolidge, cutesy like Love Hewitt, wild like Jason Leigh. If your name is “Gwyneth,” people might associate you with a certain other person with that name. But Jennifer? Not so much.
But I do understand the current crop of new moms who don’t want to make the “Jennifer” mistake. No one wants to name their baby the name of the moment, the one that forever ties their kid to a fleeting trend that was cool for a few years until it died out.
That’s why a crop of “baby name consultants” have arrived on TikTok, warning soon-to-be parents about the names to avoid because they’re too trendy. Some give away their advice for free; many others hire themselves out for a fee to choose the perfect name for clients’ babies.
One of the most popular is Colleen Slagen of Naming Baby, who has over nine million views on TikTok. In this video, she’s warning new parents about boy names that might seem unique but are actually “on fire.”
And in this video, she offers some cold, hard numbers to reassure new parents about names they think might be too trendy but actually aren’t:
Do these names feel trendy? Does the data change your mind? babynames babynameconsultant nametok girlnames popularnames babynameideas
Are you considering Theodore? Too trendy right now! But Jessie Paquette of @dreambabynames understands why you like it: You want an old-fashioned name you can shorten.
No worries, she has other ideas to replace Theodore. How about Frederick? Watch her video here:
@dreambabynames #answer to @user5719305927951 Alternatives to Theodore and Leonardo out of the top 50! #babynames #babynameconsultant #boynames â¬ original sound – Jessie @dreambabynames
You may be looking for a girl’s name and worried that your unique pick won’t be quite so special by the time your daughter is born.
Four to be careful of? Freya, Olive, Eliza and Ada. Watch the video below to find out why:
@hellomorgantimm this video was brought to you by copius amounts of caffeine and data compiled from my name consultations. I have a separate list I’m tracking based outside of my consultations, too #babynameideas #babynameconsultant #nameconsultant #babynameslist â¬ original sound – Morgan | Name Consultant
There’s clearly a lot of anxiety around finding the perfect name for one’s baby, which isn’t surprising in this age of social media. People are always working on their personal brand, strategically posting filtered photos and witty captions. Of course, there’s pressure to “brand” the baby correctly.
But as a Jennifer, I must weigh in here to give people some relief. I survived my common name. And if you accidentally saddle your future child with a name like mine, the world will not end.