Tuesday, April 28, 2009

7 more Jennifers...

Holy crap!  There are Jennifers everywhere!  

In the past 24 hours, I've been contacted by 7 different Jennifers, all living in / around Seattle.  I'm so surprised (but am I, really?) to hear from so many people so soon after starting the blog and posting a "Call for Jennifers" on Craig's List. 

There are a lot of us prowling around the planet.  Official proof (link provided by my pal, Anna) of the number of people named Jennifer in the 1970s from the Social Security Administration:  

Amazing.  And my parents thought they were unique...

I've been really intrigued to hear about the lives of some of the Jennifers who have contacted me.  I'm looking forward to setting up appointments to meet them and take their photographs for the exhibit.  I'm still looking for more!  If you are a Jennifer or know a Jennifer, please contact me:  coolchickphoto@me.com.  You need not live in the Seattle area to participate.

Here are a few excerpts from some of the Jennifer emails I've received recently:

Jen P, 35:
Always had at least three Jennifers in my classes. I tell everyone that all MY daughters will be cursed with interesting, beautiful names. But the chain isn't completely broken. My first husband insisted that our daughter have Jennifer as a middle name. I often wonder if she is the only one with Jennifer as amiddle name. :)  My kids names are: Alia Jennifer, Violet Ember, Aria Rose

Jenn I, 30-something:
I'm a 30-something yo Licensed Midwife.  My best friend from high school is also Jennifer.  She was Jen with one N and I was Jenn with 2 Ns.  When I lived in the Philippines and worked at a charity birth center there, I took on the nickname JennJo (my middle name is Jo) because of the other Jennifers coming through.  I have never liked being called Jenny because my mom's name is Genevieve and everyone has always called her Genny.  

Jen, 37:
Hi!  I'm another Jennifer, although I'm a Jenifer...one "n".  My mom was being original...HA!  So, it wasn't bad enough to be one of several Jennifers in every single class I was ever in, but I was the one who couldn't find my name spelled correctly on all the cool pencils, letterheads, keychains...you name it.  When I was in beauty school (a small, privately owned school), there were four of us on the floor at one time so we all had to have "nicknames". 

Jen R:
I'm intelligent, sexy, sensual and full of life. I'm an open minded person, adventure and creativity are my best friends. I've learned that life isn't about the destination, but the journey along the way. Life is about how we live each day and living each day as though it was our last and without regret. I enjoy being around intelligent, fun, and positive thinking people. I am a genuine, sincere, and trustworthy person.  Always up for an adventure at the drop of a hat, love to travel. I have a great sense of humor and love to have a good time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


You have to visit the MySpace Page for the Society for Preventing Parents from Naming Their Children Jennifer:

3 Jennifers...

I heard from 3 Jennifers today, all interested in possibly participating in the project.  They are:

1.  A dental hygenist triathlete who has 3 nearly-grown children
2.  A 20 something woman who has a sense of adventure and a strong love for life
3.  A singer / songwriter recently relocated to Seattle from the east coast.

I also received an email today from a gallery in Seattle interested in the project asking me to post updates on the project on their blog.  

We're off to a good start!

If you or anyone you know is a Jennifer and might be interested in participating in the project, please email me:  coolchickphoto@me.com or post on the blog.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Jennifer K

Cities Named Jennifer...

In my pursuit of finding Jennifers to participate in this project, I put a posting on Craig's List in my hometown yesterday.  I've had a few people respond, including a woman in Michigan who has a truck named Jennifer.  Awesome.

I also thought it might be interesting to find Jennifers in cities / towns in the U.S. named "Jennifer."  According to one site, there are none with the full two "n" spelling, but there are:

1.  Jenifer, Alabama 
2.  Jennie, Minnesota
3.  Jennie, Georgia
4.  Jennie, Arkansas 
5.  Jennie Run Estates, Maryland
6.  Jenny Gap Historical, West Virginia
7.  Jenny Lind, California
8.  Jenny Lind, Arkansas
9.  Jenny Lind, North Carolina
10.  Jennys, South Carolina

Interesting many of these towns are in the southern part of the U.S.  I wonder why...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Identity Crisis

A few years ago I asked my parents what they were thinking when they named me "Jennifer" in 1972, at the height of the "Jennifer" name craze.

We thought it was unique, they said.  We thought the name was beautiful, they said.  

And, apparently, so did everyone else.  

Growing up in Iowa, I was among 5 Jennifers in my elementary school class.  There were 8 of us in the grade.  Most of us were called "Jennifer," only one was a "Jenny." To distinguish us from each other, the teachers used our last initial when we were addressed.  For most of my K - 12 experience, I was "Jennifer K."

When I reached 11th grade, I had enough.  I wanted something different, something more.  I rebelled against my name, not changing it, mind you, but I started telling people it was spelled with one "n," -- "Jenifer."  Unique, right?

Everyone screwed it up.  It didn't really catch on.  It was a written change, but nothing else.  I was still Jennifer, regardless of the ditching of a consonant.   

When I graduated from high school, I spent many weeks thinking about how I could be something different in college.  A different name.  A different person.  Escaping from the millions of other people that shared my name.  I considered going by my middle name.  I considered going by a shortened version of my middle name.  I considered going by a single letter.  

I hadn't really made up my mind about my new name identity when a new college friend introduced me to someone else as "Jen."  And, my new life was born.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Calling All Jennifers...

Hello and welcome to the flashy (well, not really) new blog about The Jennifer Project!

This blog will chronicle the development of a new oral history / photography exhibit called The Jennifer Project.  The Project will explore the label / name "Jennifer" and how people / places / things have reflected the name. 

Over the next few months, I plan to interview and photograph Jennifers throughout the United States.  All of the Jennifers will be photographed with same "name tag" which the Jennifer can modify, destroy, embellish and / or react to in whichever way they would like.  

When completed, the photos will be framed, and exhibited with a short biography of the Jennifer in the image.  

If you are interested in participating in the exhibit, please email me:  coolchickphoto@me.com, or post your story / photograph online.  If I cannot meet you in person, I'll send you a nametag for you to take a photograph of yourself.

You are also welcome (and encouraged) to post stories here about your experience with the name -- rants, praises, joys and frustrations -- or people / places / things that have the name.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Come back again!  I look forward to hearing from you!