What do names like Hayden, Tatum and Rowan have in common? They all have unisex leanings—and they're all trending.
It's 2016, which means we're finally coming around to the idea that boys can wear nail polish and girls can run the world. Retailers are hip to this: Banana Republic recently stopped making pink clothes for girls and blue clothes for boys; Target just did away with their “boy and girl” toy aisles. And now baby names are following suit, moving in a "post-gender" direction.
Need proof? For starters, look to the stars. Celebs like Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green (who just named their third son Journey—no "masculine" or "feminine" connotation there), Jessica Simpson (who famously named her daughter Maxwell), and Blake Lively (who went with the name James for her little girl) are just a few of the influential personalities who have choosen less traditional baby names over the classics that are very much tied to one gender. But celebrities aren't the only ones fueling this trend.
Nameberry founder Pamela Redmond Satran weighed in on the trend, and offered definitive proof that it's officially a "thing." “The old ‘Boy Named Sue’ idea of a boy being shamed by having a girl’s name is passing away,” she told the New York Times. “Today, boys named Tatum feel as cool as girls named Rory, and vice versa.”
The research team at Nameberry analyzed the Social Security Administration's baby name registry, and their findings indicate a spike a names like Harper, Tatum and Quinn. These sorts of names have reportedly risen in popularity by 60 percent in the last decade, with 67,831 babies given unisex names in 2015.
According to Nameberry, a name can be considered unisex if both genders represent at least 35 percent of babies given the name.
But it's not just the numbers of babies who are given unisex names that's changing—it's the gender implications of the names themselves. Satran pointed out that while names like Addison, Bailey and Harper are all considered female names at this point, they could easily become common among baby boys—and vice versa. If you're looking to give your child a name that feels "post-gender," you can always take a cue from celebrities, who routinely select names that are generally used to identify places or things. Or, if you'd prefer, you can always poach one from the list of the top 20 trending unisex names: