If you have girl children you are probably aware of the World of Barbie Movies.
Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper
Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia
Barbie as the Island Princess
Barbie in ‘A Christmas Carol’
The list goes on and on. The premise is the same, Barbie, an actress, is playing these various rolls and therefore she is not known as “Barbie” but by some other name in the movie.
In 2006 a movie, “Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses” arrived in India as a Christmas gift from my mother to my two (at that time) daughters. Barbie is playing the third oldest of the twelve sisters who falls in love with her cobbler (the guy who makes her shoes). Spoiler: They get married. It could totally happen.
For two months Barbie and her eleven sisters danced across our TV screen until February when we packed up the little girls and traveled to the US to give birth to Baby #3.
Indian culture demands a boy child and, after two female children, hopes were high that Baby #3 would be a BOY. It is illegal in India for an ultrasound technician or Doctor to reveal the sex of a baby to the parents (- too many female children aborted. Sad, true story.) Later, by the time I had an ultrasound in the US I was past 36 weeks and it was difficult for the American technician to determine the sex of Baby #3.
Up until this point, my husband had forbidden me to discuss or even think of girl names for Baby #3, I suppose he thought we would jinx it. Therefore, as my due date loomed near, we had not a single name for a girl child.
Although the technician could not definitively determine baby #3’s sex, she did say that she was 75% sure the baby was a girl. This was enough for me to push for a girl name discussion on the drive home. The husband was amiable and never really minded having girls and he immediately suggested “Jennifer.”
Ack! I am a child of the 80s! Jennifer is a great name but sadly OVER used in the era of my youth and I could not help but recoil from the name (my sincerest apologies to any Jennifers or Jennifer mothers reading this – I’m just keeping it real.) However, being the compromising sort I immediately offered the name, “Genevieve” for consideration.
Genevieve had never been on my Baby Name List before that moment but it just popped out and it was still “Jen” and I liked it. A lot.
So did he. A few weeks later we held a precious 8lb Genevieve in our arms.
Three months later we packed up our growing family and returned to our Indian home. It wasn’t long until Barbie was once again dancing across our TV screen.
I distinctly remember standing in the kitchen of our little house one evening and overhearing the sounds of the TV in the other room.
“Genevieve…” one of the movie characters said. Huh? What? I rushed into the living room.
It was true.
I had named my child after Barbie’s character in Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses. And I didn’t even know it. Subliminally the name must have been circulating in my head for months, waiting to for its chance. Sigh. As humiliating as this confession is, I do LOVE the name Genevieve and I wouldn’t change it if I could. I suppose I should thank Barbie, not just for delivering such a great name, but also for saving me from a Jennifer.
Thank you Barbie.
In a side note of more weirdness, my oldest daughter’s name is “Eve.” It took me a whole year before I realized the connection. Genevieve and Eve. Sigh. Duh. Sigh again. Yes, it’s weird. Yes, it gets confusing around the house – which one am I calling… I have no excuse.
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(I apologize for the horrid formatting and lack of paragraph spacing – WordPress is freaking out on me. 😦 )