Man, things have changed.
It’s not just because of the pandemic, but how much more chill is this kind of birth announcement, via Colin Jost’s Instagram, than the publicist-released announcements we used to get hours after birth? (For added hilarity, if you still f-ck with Michael Che – and I know and understand why a lot of people don’t – you can see in his stories how he totally didn’t get at first that Jost directed all questions about the baby to him…)
I think celebrities are still influencers where baby names are concerned, but not the *only* trendsetters, especially since having an unusual name has become a mark of honour instead of a cautionary tale, the way it was when many of today’s parents were young. What’s always been most interesting to me about the often-unusual names celebrities choose is that it’s coming from a place of no fear (which in turn comes from a place of privilege, of course). When you’re judged and analyzed for everything down to the kinds of socks you wear, why would you care about people’s opinions of your baby’s name?
Maybe that’s why this announcement is such a non-event. Scarlett is the bigger star, obviously, but Jost works in live TV, where you fly or fail right out in public, so I appreciate that a two-slide Instagram is as in-depth as it’s going to get.
And the baby’s name is Cosmo.
I love it. I really do.
You know, my nerd of a husband bought the Seinfeld LEGO set recently, and so had to explain to our kid, his partner in LEGO adventures, what the deal was with this show, and why it was a big deal… and how we didn’t know Kramer’s first name for so long, and that when it was revealed to be Cosmo, it was somehow kind of a punchline?
I can see Jost being cut from the same nerd cloth, wouldn’t doubt that he and Scarlett, who are both native New Yorkers, would be Seinfeld fans – but also see the name Cosmo as being completely separate from that show: modern, able to travel, and frankly, fun to say. I like it. It’s a good choice.
Cosmo’s older sister, almost exactly seven years older, has a very different style name – Scarlett’s daughter with Romain Dauriac is Rose. She’s very much not in the spotlight, and I believe spends substantial time in France, where her father’s from, so I can’t presume to know how her name plays in her life. When she was born, I thought it might give her some well-needed anonymity.
But Cosmo, the kid uniting two wildly popular, but wildly different, entertainment fandoms (item: Lainey asked me to write about ‘ScarJo’s baby name’ while I think of this squarely as a Jost Post) will probably get a little more attention, and so it’s nice that it has no huge previous associations.
My opinion? Good choice. Someday when Jost is on Seth Meyers or Scarlett on Kimmel, maybe we’ll get some explanation about where the inspiration came from – or maybe not.
Meanwhile, this name does exactly what I always hope a name does for every kid, famous or not: it will let this baby put their own stamp on it, and become… even under the relative pressure of (two?) famous last names… their own person. Cosmo.