As far back as I can remember I have taken great joy in naming things. As a child I loved naming all of my stuffed animals and toys. Naming became an even more exciting activity when my parents purchased my first pet: Rosie the male guinea pig. Even as recent as this past year I could not wait to help my roommate come up with a list of names for her new kittens.
As much as I have enjoyed this in the past, coming up with a name for this blog has been excruciating. Anything I thought of that seemed to have some relevance, not only to the content I wanted to discuss but to my voice, seemed too lengthy or awkward. I wanted to find a name that intrigued people, that was memorable, that was me. For weeks I have been throwing around ideas, asking the opinions of my closest friend. Just as I had predicted they were unimpressed. It wasn’t until I began to focus less on what I thought I might want to write about and more on what has shaped my beliefs and interests that I finally made a breakthrough in finding words that resonated with myself.
Recently, I began to think more seriously about what has shaped my personality and self-image. I am very fortunate that over the course of my life I have been consistently confident in myself. Though there were trying times and events, for the most part I have remained solid in the positive light in which I view myself. Generally speaking, I have found this to be a rare ability among young women. In large part, I owe this trait to three women. In the formative years of my youth, these three young women and myself formed a special friendship that resulted in an outstandingly confident attitude in dealing with our surrounding. We spent years actively ignoring what others thought. We practiced standing up for our beliefs, our friends, and ourselves. We took this to a rather extreme level, which most certainly was on par with what most teenagers do by wearing name brand clothing in an attempt to try to fit in – it was just that we were doing quite the opposite.
We were in fact so confident in ourselves that we named our little group The Beautiful Blonde Sexy Maidens (BBSM). We spent a great deal of time inventing elaborate stories in which the BBSM conquered evil caricatures of those we disliked in real life. Looking back on it now, it’s rather fascinating that we spent our early teen years focused on establishing our sense of self worth through stories and scenarios we consciously created, as opposed to outside media sources whose content was dictated by market research and businessmen.
With age we began to grow in separate directions and our adamant in-your-face attitude became toned down, though not diluted. All four of us continue to stay in touch to varying degrees. Though we no longer write fictional stories of the battles of the Blonde Beautiful Maidens, from time to time we make references to “maidenly” activities or events. That time in my life became defining of who I am today and I can say with some certainty that without the friendships of those three women, I would not be where I am today.
It is for these very personal reasons that I have selected the name Blonde Maiden for this blog. While on an entirely different level these two words carry a bit of irony as they are often associated with stupidity and helplessness, I hope that through expressing my thoughts and beliefs in this format, I can bring new meaning to these words. With that in mind, I present my first entry on Blonde Maiden.
*Other interesting thoughts on this theme: Please read Michael Bierut’s “Call me Shithead, or, What’s in a Name?” from 79 Short Essays on Design and Steven Heller’s “What’s in a Name” on Design Observer.