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Vogue Defends North West's Name!

| Filed under: Baby BlabberKanye WestKim KardashianAnna WintourVogue

dalton conley nyu sociologist professor defends north west name vogue oped

This is possibly the most unusual defense we’ve heard yet.

Everyone and their mother was surprised when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their baby girl North West, but not Vogue!

This week the fashion bible posted an inneresting op-ed on their website written by NYU professor Dalton Conley, who stated a unique name was almost expected, especially since her parents are celebrities.

After rattling off a list of peculiar celebrity baby names, not to mention his own kids who are named E and Yo Xing Heyno Augustus Eisner Alexander Weiser Knuckles, Conley gets to the meat and potatoes of his argument: that North West "embodies (as the daughter of a black man) is the rise of unique black names."

Let him explain! Conley writes:

"Around the same time celebrities started thinking up names that otherwise served as nouns, verbs or adjectives, African Americans began to abandoned longstanding naming patterns. Until the civil rights movement, a typical black name might have been Franklin or Florence. But then black power happened. Blacks wanted to assert their individuality and break ties from the dominant society, so the proportion of unique names—i.e. that appear in birth records for that year only once—shot up.

Until about 1960, the proportion of unique names for white Americans hovered around 20 percent for girls. For blacks it had always been higher—around 30 percent. But then during the sixties, the number for white girls with unique names started to inch up to about 25 percent. But for blacks, it literally skyrocketed, peaking around 1979 at more than 60 percent for girls and reaching almost 40 percent for boys in 1975 (based on Illinois data). Harvard sociologists Stanley Lieberson and Kelly S. Mikelson, who examined this trend in a 1995 paper, followed it only through the 1980s. But I’d be willing to guess that the practice has continued at a similar rate."

Conley closes his defense by posing a zinger of a question:

"If North is a girl, does that mean South is a male name? I just want to get it right so that my next kid doesn’t get into fistfights if I chose a direction instead of a letter."

The op-ed (which you can read in its entirety HERE) is inneresting, but we're more baffled by the fact that Vogue actually posted it in the first place. Keep in mind this is the same website that cropped Kim out of their best dressed slideshow from the Met Gala!

Then again Anna Wintour gave the couple her blessing on the name over dinner, so maybe it's not so strange.


[Image via WENN.]

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5 comments to “Vogue Defends North West's Name!”

  1. teeter totter says – reply to this


    It would not be a bad name for a boy, but not for a girl.

  2. 2

    I like the name, I think it's sexy.

  3. 3

    The name North is nice, but not with the last name West, in my opinion. It's silly.

  4. 4

    They should have three more kids and name them, south, east, and west, of course… it'd be cool.

  5. xoCherney says – reply to this


    I like the name North West. It's unique, artsy and you'd never mistake the child for someone else. Most of all, the names KANYE and BEYONCE are not all that normal to begin with… so whats with all the anger? She's not your daughter after all.

    a girl with a unique name,

    Chernéy Amhara