On this Thanksgiving Eve, when I am busy preparing myself for the process of tackling a 21-pound turkey (for five carnivores and one vegan, but that’s a story for post-Thanksgiving) and taking stock in the things in my life for which I am grateful, I’ve realized something.

I, Victoria, am thankful for my name.

I love the name my parents selected for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better one. People know of the name, but don’t tend to know too many people who have it (somehow, it’s avoided the huge name popularity spikes over the years). It is contemporary, yet classic. It exudes a sense of sophistication. And it’s incredibly difficult to mishear when you are introducing yourself in a setting with background noise.

I never had to worry about coming up with crazy nicknames or odd spellings or establishing a sense of individuality through the use of my last initial.* I have met maybe ten other Victorias in my lifetime; I’ve never had a close friend who shares my name. When two Victorias meet, there’s a sense of sisterhood. We know that being a Victoria (or the derivatives: Vickie, Vix, V, Tori) is special; we have to do our name proud.

So imagine my surprise to see that Hollywood is getting a little Vickie/Victoria crazy. Within the span of four days, I found a Vickie and a Victoria in front of me on television and film screens, respectively. And when I stopped to think about it, I was hit with a dismaying realization:

Hollywood is trying to do its damndest to defame my name.

If you’ve missed this little blip on the pop culture radar, it’s to be expected. Most of us have had the experience of seeing some Hollywood fabrication walk around answering to our name. But Victoria/Vickie/Tori really doesn’t crop up often. At all. Don’t believe me? IMDB would never lie.

Yes, there’ve been little spikes in the past – the 1950s were actually quite kind of Vickies – but my name is, by and large, reserved for secondary characters who pop up for an episode or two of a crime drama and then either die or go to jail. And I’ve always been OK with that.

But this new generation of Hollywood VickieVictorias has me a little concerned that my name is going to develop a bad reputation. Why? Well, they’re all bitches.

Let’s take a look:

Summit Entertainment)

Victoria, Twilight (Source: Summit Entertainment)

First, there’s the most obvious current example: the female member of the vampire trio setting up against the Cullens in the Twilight book-based movie. Victoria, one could argue, is a badass. This is true, but she’s also a homicidal immortal character totally down with killing people and stealing their clothes. She’s also partnered with James, which goes to show that she doesn’t have very good taste in guys (which, admittedly, is a characteristic she shares with at least this Victoria). While I must thank Stephenie Meyer and Catherine Hardwicke for giving us a Victoria with some of the best hair I’ve seen on screen in a really long time, I’m still not crazy about accidentally discovering what could happen if I introduce myself to someone in a social setting and discover the rabid, angry eyes of Twi-hards turning to size me up, tear my body apart and set the remains on fire.

IMDB)

Vicky, How I Met Your Mother (source: IMDB)

On Monday, How I Met Your Mother featured one of my TV husbands-to-be, Ted Mosby, meeting cute with a Vicky in an elevator. Vicky was incredibly cute, seemed sweet and made Ted’s heart sing when she happily agreed to a dinner date. Seems good, right? I was certainly feeling it…until we learned that Vicky was a despicable excuse for a human being who liked watching old people fall down stairs (“Seriously, he was in the air for what felt like two minutes. Cane waving…Oh, I love old people.”) and was otherwise callous and, well, more than a little stupid. What makes this example so fascinating, however, is that it reflects the rare double-atypical-namedrop by HIMYM writers. Because it was just a couple of seasons ago that Ted met VICTORIA and dated her for six episodes. It should be noted, for the sake of being fair, that the HIMYM Victoria was adorable and a baker and played by Ashley Williams. But again, she wasn’t the kind of character who could stick around, which returns me to my previous “secondary only” argument. This could serve as a sign that the writers of the show want a VickieVictoria to appear on it. Let it be known: I COMPLETELY SUPPORT THIS IDEA AND SHOULD BE CONTACTED IMMEDIATELY. Ahem.

IMDB)

Victoria, Stardust (source: IMDB)

Then there is the Victoria presented to us in Stardust. Keeping with the pattern of all recent Hollywood Victorias, she is gorgeous (I do appreciate that, studio heads), but again? Total bitch. Seen to the left making poor Tristan carry all of her things, Victoria strings Tristan along and is only willing to marry the guy if he brings her home a newfallen star by the time her birthday arrives. Seriously? I know it drives the plot along and all, but a Victoria would never make a guy fetch a star. If he chose to do it on his own, unprovoked? Well, that’s a different story. But again, it’s the Victoria driving a sweet guy away that lets some other star/alien/mystical being get the guy.

So Hollywood, here’s my challenge. When you next begin bring a Victoria to life, stop and think for a moment. Can she be kind? Funny? Wise? Self-reliant? Victorias are capable of all this and more. So let’s see what you can do. Give us a Victoria or a Vickie (ideally with the proper spelling) we can be proud of, one for the 21st century.

So we don’t have to rely on one forever frozen folding sweaters (and being amazing) at the Gap:

reality-bites1
Cordially,
VickieVictoria

*According to Social Security Online, I was one of only 2,924 Victorias born in the United States in 1980. Had my parents gone with Jennifer, as they’d considered, I would have been one of 58,362.

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