When Lainey pointed out that Gisele’s daughter had been born and named and we should probably address it in an article, I thought I’d be well-served to do some research. I swear I wasn’t looking for this particular information, but Wikipedia tells me Gisele has five sisters: Raquel, Graziela, Gabriela, Rafaela, and Patricia.
I mean, those are some names. Repeated syllables, similar sounding phrasing – that is a real tour de force by the Bündchen parents. I tip my hat.
So forgive me if I find the baby’s name excruciatingly boring by comparison: Vivian Lake Brady.
It is absolutely fine. There is nothing offensive about it whatever. Vivian Brady is pretty, it goes well with brother Benjamin Brady, and it’s not a name that’s made for a little girl and not for a 25-year-old, like say, “Poppy”.
But it does feel kind of generic to me. It seems to kind of deny the heritage that is Rafaela and Graziela and Gabriela et al. I know that when two people of differing backgrounds have a baby it is really difficult to find a balance of the two of them. But why is it always the slightly difficult, slightly unwieldly name that gets dropped? I know that’s why people want names that work in both cultures all the time, but Vivian Lake just seems so…pointedly non-ethnic. It’s almost as though I can see them all at the neighbourhood barbecue, if such a thing ever existed and would be attended by said Bradys: Dad Tom, Son Ben, Daughter Viv – oh, and mother Gisele, who is in the corner chain-smoking and glaring. “Well, but what can you say, really? She’s Brazilian. She’s not from here.”
I know. There’s no way to make it right. If the kids get a more Brazilian influenced first name it sounds silly with “Brady”. And if you go the other way, where kids with French last names are named Etienne and Veronique, the non-French (or insert your ethnicity here) parent is left out.
But I mean, seriously, would Viviana really have been such a hard sell? Why do we genericize at all costs?
Attached - Tom Brady with his sons Jack and Benjamin yesterday.