What It’s Like to Be Named Beyoncé (& Not Be That Beyoncé)

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Photo: @humansofnewyork

What’s it like to be named Beyoncé and not actually be Beyoncé? One high school girl who was photographed by Brandon Stanton for his Humans of New York project knows the good, bad, and the ugly (or “Pretty Hurts” in Queen Bey terms). 

“Sometimes I hate my name because it always draws attention to me, and I’m not a very social person. My family moved this year from Pennsylvania. I was so scared the first day of school that someone would notice me. I wouldn’t even adjust my seat because I thought it would make a noise. One time I really had to cough, but I held it in. When the teacher started calling attendance, I got really nervous, because every time people learn my name is Beyoncé, somebody starts singing ‘Single Ladies.’ And some did, of course. But the second day of school wasn’t too bad. Because everyone knew my name.”

But teenage Beyoncé isn’t the only one out there with a name similar to a celebrity’s. The other Mary Kate Olsen, Katy (spelled Kaity) Perry, Katie (goes by Katherine) Holmes, Kelly Rowland, Will Smith, Julia Roberts, Tina Turner, and other name twins sounded off in the comments section about what it’s like living with an epithet doppelgänger. Even fictional characters like Rachel Green from Friends, Meghan Griffin of Family Guy, and an Elsa weighed in. She wrote that she’s waited 60 years for her name to be cool!

Shakira Lamb said whenever she introduces herself she’s asked if her hips don’t lie; people wonder if Jane Bond’s father’s name is James (it is); Victoria Beckham gets called Posh; many want to know if Serena Williams also plays tennis; Macarena Diab inspires dancing upon saying her name; and so many more. Osama Siddiqui and Isis d’Ascoli have it pretty bad considering the current political climate. 

But just as teenager Beyoncé saw the silver lining to sharing a name with the singer, there must be perks in addition to annoyances. Like restaurant reservations. 

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