When you give a baby a name, you’re charting the life course for that person. Names are for life, and they will affect how your child acts (if you put stock in Freakonomics). It’s a tough choice for any parent, as you try to balance giving your child a unique name, but not so unique that they’re forced to become a reality television star or something. The top baby names of 2011 have been released, and there’s a new top gal on the block. Sophia and Jacob were the most popular names in the United States for 2011, with Mason (as in Mason Kardashian) knocking Michael out of the top five boy names for the first time in 63 years.
“It shows what we’re paying attention to, what we’re thinking about. Today, you can’t walk through a supermarket without learning more than you hoped to know about the Kardashian family. That’s just reality,” said Laura Wattenberg of the website babynamewizard.com. However, don’t blame the popularity of Mason on reality television. ”Celebrity naming is just about the exposure, and about everybody hearing that name at the same time. It’s not about the fame, it’s about the name.”
However, besides Mason, other names became popular due to reality TV. Briella shot up 394 spots thanks to Briella Calafiore, star of TV’s Jerseylicious and Glam Fairy. Elvis, which dropped off the list last year after being on the baby list since 1955, has returned to the list at 904.