Jessicas Are All Pretty Bitches

"It wasn't like I was Jessica or something. All the pretty girls were named Jessica." So says Liv Tyler in the new issue of Allure magazine, where the Lord of The Rings elf-lady laments her given name (bestowed upon her by her rock-band groupie mother Bebe Buell after Bebe spotted Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann on the cover of, uh, TV Guide). And although Liv Tyler is now older, probably prettier and definitely richer than all the Jessicas who made her life such a living hell, the actress brought up an important point: What is it with Jessicas? An informal, 3-person poll around the Jezebel office concluded thus: Jessicas are not only pretty, they're also often kind of evil!

Anna, for one, has had uniformly bad experiences with most of the Jessicas she's come across (back-stabbing, unnecessarily competitive, conniving, and don't get her started on Seinfeld's wife) as has Moe ("They're mean, popular, showered with attention. I mean, my best friend is named Jessica but it's not like I"m going to go out looking for 'Jessicas' to befriend.") And don't get Jenny started either: ("I do not like Jessicas. They are the blonde mean girls, the ones who talk to you with an expression on their faces like they think you're a big fat loser. Jessicas are just not nice girls. Jessica at camp was a bitch. And I went to college with Jessica Biel. And I do have a beef with her!") Okay, then! Jessicas — even (or especially!) the famous ones! — suck! But when it comes to names that inspire hatred or admiration — logical or otherwise — can we blame nature or nurture? Do Jessicas suck because they were simply born that way or because they became that way through the normal parry and thrust that is childhood socialization? And is the same true for women with "nice" names like, say, Emily or Julie or Stephanie or Elizabeth or Sarah? We're gonna investigate this further — in the midst of dodging the verbal bullets sure to come our way from those who know and love a Jessica! — in later posts, but let us know in the comments. And don't be shy — give it up for the boys too. (Never trust a Chris, we like to say!).

Allure

Related: Jessica [BabyNamer]

The Baby Name Business [WSJ]