One day in class we had a substitute teacher. As she read through the class roster to take attendance, she came across my name and read it twice in disbelief. After I answered letting her know I was in class, she came up to my desk and asked if Beyoncé was my real. I responded yes, and she asked if it was the name my mother gave me. Again, I replied yes, and she shook her head sadly, “Why would your mom name you that?” she said. I sat in amazement for a few moments then I just laughed.
I’m used to people making comments about my name. When I introduce myself, the most common question I get is “That’s not your real name.” This doesn’t surprise me because I know my name isn’t common. While it doesn’t bother me when people question my name, it irritates me when people say, “You don’t look like Beyoncé” as if I must look like her to have the same name as her. And while I don’t look like Beyoncé, one thing we have in common is our ability to sing.
One day out of curiosity, I asked my mother why she named me Beyoncé. I expected a very detailed and creative reason as to why she chose my name, but when I asked her she said it was because in 2000 (the year I was born) Beyoncé did well in Destiny’s Child and because she likes her.
Even though I like my name now, I haven’t always liked it. I used to go by BB, Yonce, Yoncii, and B. As I’ve gotten older I have “grown” into my name and have shut out the comments people make about it. Beyoncé is a role model because of her success and how hard she works for herself and her family. Now, I don’t think my name holds me back, and if anything, I think my name may give me more opportunities. Many people talk about how “ghetto” black names are, but I believe they aren’t ghetto, they’re unique.