Beyonce Is Now “Mrs. Carter”; Does Changing Your Name Mean Giving Up Your Identity?

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Beyonce-Mrs-Carter-TourBy Staff Blogger

Getting married is a big deal. There are so many different things that you have to deal with such as changing your name. Some women elect to keep their names, others will take their husband’s names, and some will hyphenate both last names. Many years ago taking your husband’s last name was a social custom that not many people deviated from, but these days it is more and more common for the women to keep their last names.

A poll done by HuffPost revealed that 60% of people said that women should change their names after they get married. Facebook and The Daily Beast’s polls showed that 65% of women who were in their twenties and thirties did change their name. The Guardian reported that 10% of people in America thought that not changing your name meant you weren’t as committed to the marriage as you should be.

The debate over the name change could be due to conflicting ideas between becoming one with your partner and Sheryl Sandberg’s “leaning in” theory. Women who are for the name changes feel that it is part of the transition from becoming “me” to “we” when they join their partner in marriage. Others feel that their identity is lost if their last name changes.

Some of the editors of Redbook chimed in on the issue and they all had different things to say:

Tiffany Blackstone said that changing her last name isn’t something that is right for her and her someday husband accepts that.

Sarah Smith says that it is her name and part of her identity so she does not want to change it.

Lori Berger said that she did not want to change her name for personal and professional reasons.

Cris Desposito says that her fiancé wants her to change her name and she has no real attachment to it so she is going to do it.

Singer and actress, Beyonce, kept her name but did a whole tour as “Mrs. Carter”.

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12 Comments

  1. this is an interesting topic…when I was planning my wedding I didn’t think much of the name change it just seemed kinda automatic, however once it was all said and done, I found that I didn’t want to change my name, I felt like I was losing my identity and my children would not have true identity as well, this is because my husband did not have the last name of his father, his mother had given him her last name and because she was married to someone prior to having him it wasn’t even her maiden name…and her only answer for this is “it was my name at the time”…I guess I shouldn’t have been too bothered as most all people of color due to slavery do not have “true” last names but I just couldn’t wrap my head around that one

  2. Ann Garrett on

    Changed my name, and it did not change my identity. I am still the same person I always was, this was a White thing and as usual, we have jumped on the bandwagon, that is when you lose your identity!

    • Well, what I meant when I “lose my identity”, I was not speaking of the person that I am, I was speaking in the sense of bloodline…the name change wouldn’t not have bothered me so much had the name itself actually had relevance to people related to my husband by blood…suppose one day my children or grandchildren decide to trace their roots, the likelihood of someone being related to them based upon the sir name of their father would be slim to none

  3. AZIZ MUHAMMAD on

    For the most part black people identity has been change for the last 400 plus years , so implying name change due marriage , who are we married to as a blackpeople that we dont have our own Identity , and names ? Has our identity been lost , under assumed names ?

  4. I hope I’m not the only one here, but for the record, who cares what name Mrs. Carter uses? Are we so entertainment-oriented that we see this as a news issue for conversation? What about the Zimmerman murder trial? This isn’t about guns, it’s about old-fashioned murder and how to get away with it. In 2013, is that jury reflective of our community? Does it meet Constitutional and Supreme Court ruling requirements? Are we satisfied with the jury’s racial and gender composition? Where’s the anger? While he was beginning to “smell himself” in some of his actions, I really miss the Michael Baisden show. He would have certainly brought some light to this issue.

  5. Beyoncé is both Beyoncé and Mrs. Carter. She can perform using Beyoncé as her professional or stage name. Many women performers who became famous with a certain name have kept it, but for all business and legal situations they use their marriage names. I trust that everyone is aware that there is no law that says a woman must take her husband’s name; it is merely custom. The custom started in Medieval England in order to provide protection for a woman and her children.

  6. B has been Mrs. Carter since the day she married Jay. Her stage persona is her career and public personalty. Who cares what she calls herself, she's bad to the bone. Love you B!

  7. THE WHOLE QUESTION IS MOOT. THEY ARE BOTH SLAVE NAMES, . THE NAME OF THE WHITES WHO ONCE OWNED THEM. ARE THEY BOTOO IGNORANT, AND SHALLOW TO COMPREHENT THAT? OK, SHE HAS A BIG BUTT, AND CAN SING,OK/ ENOUGH BRAINS TO FILL UP A THIMBLE. BLONDE HAIR AND ALL/ ***

  8. If your identity is tied to your name then you have bigger issues to deal with. Unless your name is your “brand” what’s the big deal?

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