In the never-ending saga of excellent Chrissy Teigen tweets, Chrissy Teigen recently chimed in to a Twitter conversation that started when one user asked why some women choose against taking their husbands' last names. I used to think I was part of a small group of people who don't want to take their partner's last name, but guys, this Twitter thread is making me feel so seen! The user tweeted, "I'd really like to hear the reasoning behind women who won't take their husband's last name." Oh, my darling, allow me to count the ways! Chrissy Teigen's joke about John Legend's last name was a nearly perfect response to this user's tweet.
While some of the responses to the tweet included (extremely valid) points such as, "My name is my name, his name is his name," "It would feel like losing a part of myself," "You marry a person, not a name," and "Some women have built professional careers on their names," Teigen piped in with some comedic relief. She quoted the tweet and said, "My husband didn't even take his last name?"
In case y'all didn't know, John Legend's last name isn't really Legend. It's Stephens. Teigen's joke is on point, and I'm assuming this also means her name is still Chrissy Teigen and not Chrissy Stephens.
People on Twitter loved Teigen's response. They also took the opportunity to respond to the original tweet Teigen had quoted.
But some were just shocked to learn that John Legend is a stage name. (How did y'all not know this by now...?)
For those of you who think their daughter's name is Luna Legend... I have some bad news for you: Her name is Luna Simone Stephens!
The original tweet and Teigen's tweet both resulted in some surprisingly positive discussion about the topic of taking a man's name. The Twitter user who first tweeted the question didn't ask in a judgmental way — she genuinely wanted to know people's reasoning and was receptive when her questions were answered.
Look at these positive exchanges resulting in an expanded world view! What a time!
One user replied, "It would feel like losing a part of myself. Also why should I take his and he not take mine. Who created this tradition? Men did." For me, taking a man's last name would mean I'm playing into internalized misogyny that has been present for literal hundreds of years.
When I think about the history of marriage and the societal expectation that women change their names only because they're women, I get all Frances McDormand at the 2018 Oscars. Strap yourselves in, people, because...
Women can take their husband's name if they feel that's the best choice for them. I would never say otherwise.
When I talk to friends, family, strangers on the internet, the works, about this decision of mine, lots of them ask, "Well, what name are you going to go with then?" Uh, my own? I will literally change nothing? But I'd also be down to change my name if my husband also changes his! I'm all about hyphenating the two names or simply adding a second last name to both of our names. There are literally so many possibilities other than a woman just erasing her family's name and taking on her husband's. Chrissy Teigen kept her own name and her marriage is doing just fine!
People also ask me, "So are you saying your kids are going to have two last names?" as if that's a bad thing... Look, if I'm going to take on the pain of childbirth, you can bet your sweet ass those little nuggets are going to have my name.
TL;DR: the decision for a woman to take her husband's name or keep her own is completely up to her and her partner. But she shouldn't be expected to just because she's a woman. Bye!