Would you #NameChange like the stars?

  • Sumit Malik, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2014 14:45 IST

First Kim Kardashian, and now Jada Pinkett Smith have set social media abuzz with the debate on post-marriage surname change.When the mother-of-one and wife of rapper Kanye West recently posted a photo of hers on Twitter, what got talked about was the caption accompanying it — “New passport pic #Mrs. West #NameChange (sic)”.

A week later, Jada, wife of actor Will Smith, posted an elaborate statement about the dilemma of changing to your husband’s last name. Even R&B singer Beyoncé has been touring with her husband Jay Z’s (or Shawn Corey Carter’s) last name — calling it the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

These announcements by Hollywood celebs legally changing their last names have received mixed remarks and reignited the surname change debate. We asked Delhi’s ladies what they thought of it, and this is what they said:

Aisa hi hota aa raha hai!
ENT surgeon Nidhi Dhawan says, “If everyone’s doing it, it’s not necessary that you do it too. The practice of Sati, too, was once a tradition!”
But surname retain karna kyun hai?
“Reasons are aplenty,” says Ashmita, a DU student, “You may not like his surname; or your name+his surname might just churn out an embarrassing combination (haven’t we all heard of the Brian Lara weds Lara Dutta PJ). But most importantly, this name has been a part of my identity for years. Would he change his for mine?”
Best of both worlds
“Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan) has done it. And so have Malaika (Arora Khan) and Kareena (Kapoor Khan),” says Richa Malik, 24, a marketing executive. Also called double-barrelling, this combination of using his surname as your last name and your birth name as the middle name is getting popular by the day and has already found takers in the generation’s brides - “especially because most women succeed in establishing a name for themselves prior to tying the knot,” she adds.
Retain or Join? Nay, #Blend it!
Consider this — If Rick Smith marries Jessica Fordham they decide to have a fused surname called Smithford! A word of caution though — this recipe does not always work well with Indian names! “Because while a Sehwan (Sehgal+Dhawan) might sound like sawan — hindi for spring, a Sharma+ Khanna gives you a something of a bank’s shakha; and a Malik+Sethi results in a tea time favourite — mathi,” Richa laughs off.
“Par bachchon ka kya hoga?”
The ‘tradition’ is that the child usually inherits daddy’s surname, but newer practices take the ‘Daddy’s girl’ and ‘Mumma’s boy’ tags a notch higher — and literally lend the daughter her dad’s and the son his mom’s surname! Not many know that the ‘D’ in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s name was his mom — Sara Ann Delano’s.
The way out
“The best way out,” says Neeru Singh, a mother of two, “is to leave it to the individual’s discretion. Because neither the society nor your better half can decide what you should, could and would be called.” The choice is yours.

Celebs who’ve changed name

The Retainers
Vidya Balan
Rani Mukerji
Shabana Azmi
Twinkle Khanna
Sonali Bendre
Kiran Rao
Meryl Streep
Angelina Jolie

The Joiners
Madhuri Dixit Nene
Malaika Arora Khan
Kareena Kapoor Khan
Shilpa Shetty Kundra
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

The Changers
Suzzane Roshan (née Khan)
Gauri Khan (née Chhibber)
Jaya Bachchan (née Bhaduri)
Kajol Devgn (née Mukherjee)
Adhuna Akthar (née Bhabani)
Victoria Beckham (née Adams)
Jennifer Affleck (née Garner)
Portia Lee DeGeneres (née de Rossi)

The Blenders
Former Mayor of LA- Antonio Villaraigosa (born Antonio Villar; married Corina Raigosa)
NY Times correspondent Jodi Rudoren (born Jodi Wilgoren; married Gary Ruderman)

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