Full Disclosure: Genna is not my real name. Shocking, right?
It’s actually not that unusual in our community. Think of it kind of like a stage name for an actor, or a pen name for an author. There a lot of different reasons that people might chose to use a pseudonym. It could be to differentiate themselves from other people. It could be that the name doesn’t ring true to the persona that they are trying to create. It could be that they want something unusual that will stick in someones head, or they want to have some privacy for their “normal” life.
Choosing a name can seem super daunting. I know that I worked and mulled over names for a LONG time before finally settling on one. Having trouble knowing where to start? Well I got some places for you to try and help the inspiration strike.
- Your Family Tree – Got a great Aunt you really identify with? Looking for a name that sounds period? Your own family is a great place to start. For me, I made a two column chart on a piece of paper and wrote down any names that I liked in either the first name or last name category.
- Most Popular Name Websites – Are you working out of a certain period? Because most of my vintage style fits into the 1950s, I ran a few different searches on the most popular of the 1950s to get a feel for what was common at the time.
- Your “Tick”- Got a favorite movie? A favorite book? Are you a political science major? Are you a chef? Chances are you have something in your life that you love. Research within your loves and I am positive that certain names will stick out to you. Take me as an example. I am a hardcore geek, so when I was looking for a name I searched for names in my favorite fandoms to give me a lengthy list of names or surnames that I felt spoke to my nerdy nature.
- A thesaurus – No… I am not trying to invoke that PTSD from your English classes. However, you will see that a lot of women use describing words in their pinup names, and variety is the spice of life. Would you describe yourself as full figured? What’s a synonym for that? Maybe Voluptuous is a word that speaks to you. You don’t have to be totally tied down to totally traditional names!!
Now that you have a list of names that speak to you, I used trial and error to find something that fit together. Just like naming a baby, not all names sound good together. I encourage you to try and enjoy the process. Narrow down what works and what doesn’t. Chances are a smaller handful will stick out to you. At this point, I think I had about 5-10 names that I thought sounded good together, and felt like they could represent who I wanted to be as a pinup.
Then it’s Google time! Seriously. Put your list of names into your search engine and see what comes up. You don’t want to find out later that someone else is already using it, or using something that sounds similar. I know that this eliminated some for me, and left me with only a few to really mull over.
At the risk of sounding overly corny, this is Listen-To-Your-Heart time. Sleep on it. Say the names out loud. Write them down and look at them in your handwriting. Really let yourself think about it.
For me, my decision was changed right at the last minute. I was about 97% sure on my name when rather suddenly I lost my grandmother.
I knew immediately in my heart that I wanted to honor this woman, who was so badass and so supportive to me whenever I started chasing some wild dream even as a kid. Her name was Geneva, which I shortened to Genna. I chose Pond as a surname as a throwback to my geeky roots, (Bonus points if you know what inspired it!) but I also liked it because it appealed to the nature and water parts of me that I also loved. I felt it as soon as I wrote it out the first time that this name was exactly what I wanted.
All of this being said, I would love to hear from you guys! Other Pinups… how did you decide on your name? Tell me your story in the comments! Likewise, if this helps you on your pinup journey, tell me what named you picked!
Love and Cheers!