Behind every name there is a meaning. It might be a family tradition, an ode to generations past or maybe a totally original pick that was deliberately chosen to set the newborn apart. And when it comes to getting creative with baby names, celebrities are kind of professionals. From Gwyneth’s Apple to Blake’s James to Beyoncé’s Blue Ivy, tradition doesn’t seem to be a priority for most Hollywood moms. So you can bet that when Sports Illustrated model and Victoria’s Secret angel Anne Vyalitsyna (more commonly known as Anne V) welcomed her first daughter last year, she did it with a spark of originality.
We caught up with Anne at the Social Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley a few weeks back. She was there on behalf of the International Medical Corps (a global aid organization dedicated to helping people involved in disasters within 12 hours). After she finished participating in a very topical panel about how the organization helps refugees and her #bumpday campaign that was shared on social media 40 million times, Anne chatted with us about the trials and tribulations of motherhood as well as the meaning behind her daughter Alaska’s unique name.
Anne tells us, “Alaska is where Russia and the US meet. I’m originally from Russia [her boyfriend is from NY] and I wanted a name that meant something in Russian – Alaska used to be part of Russia. I was also looking for an “A” name. Pretty much the minute I heard the name I was like, ‘that’s very cool.’ I hope she’s not going to regret it when she’s 25.”
When asked about the most surprising thing she’s come to realize as a new mom, her response was immediate. “Motherhood is so hard and people don’t talk about how hard it is. It’s the most amazing thing in the world, but I feel like more women should talk about how hard it is so you can feel like you’re supported.” Anne goes on to explain, “Right now I think everyone talks about how easy and wonderful it is and that’s not the case for most people. There are so many challenging things about motherhood. They’re the most wonderful things, but it’s a struggle to try to remember who you are and that you matter as well. I just feel like women try to be really strong and I’m all for that but I think we also need to talk more about the challenges and where you can find support.”
Does your baby have a creative name? If so, share your story with us in the comments below.
(Photos via Mark Sagliocco/Paul Morigi/Getty and @annevofficial)