Once upon a time, when naming conventions were, well, more conventional, it probably was pretty common for friends to discover that they’d both decided to name their children Jennifer and Mary and John and Matthew. But now, when original baby names are a source of pride — and nearly a necessity among celebrities — it’s basically a crime to choose the same moniker as your BFF. That was reportedly how one influencer, Sasha Benz, saw things when her friend, model Jessica Hart, named her baby girl Baby, the name Benz’s 3-year-old already had.
“I first heard it in the movie Dirty Dancing and always thought I’d love to name my daughter Baby,” Hart told People last month of her and fiancé James Kirkman’s daughter, who was born in November. “I was hesitant to ask James about it at first, but we just weren’t landing on a name. Finally, probably a month before she was born, I said what about Baby, and he said, ‘Oh my gosh, I love it.’ It’s felt right ever since.”
Is that really where she got the idea? Just in case you need the reminder, Jennifer Grey’s character is really named Frances, and Baby is just the infantilizing nickname given to her by her family who doesn’t want to believe that their little girl can or should ever grow up. One has to wonder what this young lady will feel like about her unusual name when she grows up too. At least her real given name is Baby-Rae, so she can change it.
“In general, our philosophy is that you have to see the name from the perspective of how your child will live with it, and if it puts a burden upon them, then you are doing your child a disservice,” Jennifer Moss, founder of BabyNames.com and host of the Baby Names Podcast, told SheKnows last year.
Meanwhile, according to the gossip column of the Sydney Morning-Herald, Benz has been fuming about her friend’s name choice, which is basically the same as her daughter Baybi.
“Sasha was devastated that her close friend would copy her daughter’s ‘unique’ name, especially after she’d gone to her for name ideas,” a source told the paper. Benz, the owner of two Montauk boutiques and creative director of Surf Lodge, was reportedly “blindsided” when Hart announced the name.
We have a happy ending to this saga, at least until the girls are teenagers who decide to rebel against their parents by hooking up with the hot dance instructor at a resort while also helping another dance instructor pay for an abortion.
“Of course, Jess and I are still friends,” Benz told the Daily Mail, all the while neither confirming nor denying that the initial name fight occurred. “We chatted it out a few weeks back, and I am happy she has a name she loves for her beautiful girl. … This is her moment and I want her to enjoy this beautiful part of becoming a mother.”
These other celebrities would probably not be pleased to find a friend had copied their unique baby names either.