Why I love Harper Seven Beckham's name
by Heidi Scrimgeour
So Posh and Becks have called their baby daughter Harper Seven Beckham, sparking yet another media furore over why celebs opt to give their offspring weird and wacky names.
'Can a number be a name?' screams one indignant headline, while the press go to extraordinary lengths to work out the inspiration for baby Beckham's name.
David and Victoria are staying tight-lipped about their new arrival's moniker, but speculation and name-related jokes abound on the internet. Several newspapers say Harper's middle name, Seven, must stem from David's days of wearing the 'lucky' number 7 shirt when he played football for Manchester United and England.
A family friend is quoted as saying that Harper's arrival weighing 7lbs 10oz at 7.55am during the seventh month of the year is the reason for her unusual second name. Still other reports claim that an episode of Seinfeld from 1996, in which George Costanza suggests Seven as the perfect baby name, is the real inspiration for Harper's middle name.
Whatever the story behind Harper Seven's name, I think it's lovely. Not that my opinion or yours really matters, of course. Naming a baby is an intensely personal process and I applaud the Beckhams for having the gumption to settle on names that are evidently deeply meaningful to them. I'm so tired of the righteous indignation that Joe Public seems to vent every time a celebrity veers from the well-trodden path of boring baby names.
I was born in the late 1970s and my parents called me Heidi, after Shirley Temple's performance in the 1937 film of the same name.
Thanks to the 1970's Swiss / German TV adaptation of Heidi which was dubbed into English, and the British TV sitcom Hi-De-Hi, Heidi was a talking-point when it came to telling anyone my name. But having my name constantly met with an oh-so-hilarious 'Heidi, Hi' still makes my blood run cold, and as a chat-up line, 'Hi Heidi, I'm Peter' gets old pretty much the first time you hear it.
But all that said, I love my distinctive name - so much so that I chose similarly unconventional names for my sons, Edan and Zack. And I just don't care what anyone else thinks about their names. They are deeply personal and meaningful to my husband and I, and embody much of my son's colourful personalities.
And to those who say we ought to have considered all the permutations that they might suffer at the hands of bullies at school in later life, I only think how sad to chose a child's name on the basis of such pragmatic negativity.
If my sons don't like their names that's a different matter - but they each have two conservative middle names to use if they choose to do so in later life.
I think an unusual name engenders confidence in a child - you never suffer the indignity of being identified by the first letter of your surname at school among a sea of other Sarahs or Janes, and understanding that your name conveys special characteristics that your parents chose to associate with you can be a very special thing.
My friend Hazel agrees, and recently gave birth to her first baby; a daughter named Clementine. "We spent a lot of time thinking about the baby's name but settled on Clementine soon after I got pregnant. She got off lightly as Clementine was probably the most 'normal' name on that list. We just both love the name and her father is very green-fingered so it's nice to have a nature-related name," Hazel explains.
Hazel would have liked Steinbeck for a boy's first name or as a middle name for a girl, but her partner objected. "Had she been a boy we would have called her Clem Wolfstan - after my partner's favourite writer. We dithered for ages on a middle name and were going to go with Hera or Athene or Viola. But I really love Joni Mitchell and thought it would be nice to have something meaningful. We haven't had any silly comments really but when we told my Mum the baby's name she did ask, somewhat huffily, 'Where did THAT come from?'"
Above all I hope my sons, along with little Clementine Joni and Harper Seven, will have the strength of character to feel very proud and worthy of their distinctive names as they grow up - no matter what anyone else thinks of their names.
Why do celebs call their children such stupid names?
By Ursula Hirschkorn
Why is it that celebrities feel the need to saddle their poor offspring with such stupid names? And yes I do mean you Mrs Beckham. If it wasn't bad enough that you called your poor boys Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz, the latest addition to your brood will forever know that her name was inspired by a Disney series. Oh the glamour.
Of course Victoria Beckham is in no way original or inspired to give her children such utterly daft names. She joins a coterie of celebrities who think nothing of naming their beloved child after fruit (Gwyneth's Paltrow's daughter Apple), their favourite super hero (Kal-El, Nicholas Cage's son named after Superman) or an obscure Hebrew prophet (Brangelina's Shiloh).
In fact it would be a trendsetting celebrity parent who was unique enough to call their son or daughter John or Jill. These traditional names would be the ones that would stand out amongst the crowd of Suris and Bluebell Madonnas in the A list playground.
Calling your child a daft name is not a new practice amongst the famous. In fact it is as old as the hills, or at least the Rolling Stones, whose front man Mick boasts a daughter called Jade Sheena Jezebel.
But that is nothing on fellow veteran rocker Frank Zappa whose four unfortunate children were christened Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Doing the register at their school must have been a laugh.
Perhaps it is only to be expected that celebs who made their fame and fortune in the drug addled 60s and 70s should pick equally psychedelic names for their progeny. In fact it might have been a little disappointing if the man who brought us Ziggy Stardust hadn't named his baby boy Zowie Bowie, though he has since chosen to go by the much more sensible name of Duncan.
The problem is that famous parents like nothing more than showing off shamelessly and what could hog headlines more than calling your child the most outrageously bizarre thing you can come up with. You're sure to snaffle up those precious column inches by calling your baby Harper Seven, while plain old Sarah might have gone without notice.
The problem is that while famous parents thrive in the limelight, their poor children might grow up to be altogether more shy and retiring and who would like to make their way as an accountant or a bank manager under the moniker Sage Moonblood (Sly Stallone's son) or Pilot Inspektor (actor Jason Lee's boy)?
Perhaps I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about parents giving poncey names to their poor innocent children: I was the only Ursula in a 1970s Essex village peopled exclusively by girls called Sharon and Tracey. Oh how I longed to have a normal name. But I guess I should be grateful I wasn't a boy, as I can't imagine the ribbing I would have got going through school called Olaf.
Having a weird name is no fun. You always have to spell it out for people and give a detailed explanation of just how your parents dreamt up such a strange title for you.
Just to get it out of the way my mum was nuts about DH Lawrence and named me after the heroine of Women in Love, Ursula Brangwen. Thank goodness she wasn't more taken with her fictional sister, Gudrun!
I imagine having rich and famous parents cushions the blow of living life with a ludicrous name, but even so I don't think it is fair on your baby to unleash quite such unbridled creativity when filling in their birth certificate.
I look forward to the day when a pair of A list parents take pity on their child and give him or her a proper, sensible name like George or Laura.
What do you think? Attention-seeking or up to them what names they choose?
Have you given your child an unusual name?