Friday, November 20, 2009

M is for Misnomer

So, someone was kind enough to bring the following link to my attention (thanks, Ms Judice), and I am kind of offended upon reading it:

I have always been fond of my name, always thought of it as appropriate for the clumsy, genuine me. But according to Jezebel, I am as follows: "...Michelle is stylish and classy — she's tall and cool and well-dressed and she wears really nice earrings. Her hair's usually in some kind of updo, and she knows how to pull off nude lipstick."

Now, those of you who know me recognize that I am none of those things, unless a ponytail can be considered a "kind of updo." That description seems positive, seems like a description of which I would be proud. But the article goes on to call us Michelles unapproachable, void of personality, and unknowable--all things that I fervently hope I am not. Elegant? I'd rather be everyday. Admired from afar? I'd rather be abused to my face.

The article insinuates that Michelles are neither warm nor homey, and, at least in my opinion of myself, I am both. Being unapproachable and unknownable is not something that I think I convey, and in that regard I am glad that I usually don't buy into these types of assessments. Nevertheless, I remain slightly offended by this.

Maybe I am colder than I think.


  1. When they did their post on Emily they said that I might poison someones drink. I was offended too. And I blogged about it also. I think it's a weird feature they have and they are obviously basing it on Michelle's they have known or who are in the forefront of their minds.

  2. I seem to remember that you have an awesome earring collection.

    I would never call you unapproachable, even given your penchant for hating random strangers you never interact with. You're rather huggable, sweet, genuine, and always ready with a cup o' tea. And, aside from the Brits, I think it's hard to be unapproachable whilst offering a warm cuppa.

    Also, I'm pretty happy I can be almost assured my name will never be parsed on these sorts of lists. They're kind of like really bad horoscopes, not only off-base but insulting.

  3. They only use this description because there's a Michelle in the White House. No, it doesn't describe you at all--and I remember well the Emily post, and how off-base it is. I'm very curious to see if they'll use my name; while it was very popular in the 1980s, as was your name, there really isn't anyone famous or well-known with my name, so I can't imagine how they would characterize it, except by the one TV character that everyone knows. There was also a character in a Judy Blume book with my name, but I rarely saw my name anywhere else other than school, where it was everywhere.

  4. I don't know if it's really meant to be offensive. It's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and it is most definitely based on the author's impressions of people she knows (or celebrities) with that name. For example, the one for N, Natasha, spent some time dealing with the fact she was the femme fatale on Rocky and Bullwinkle.