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Names that flout convention: Advice for Jessica Simpson's daughter
Jessica Simpson recently named her daughter Maxwell Drew -- names traditionally given to boys.
May 8th, 2012
04:43 PM ET

Names that flout convention: Advice for Jessica Simpson's daughter

Read here for an earlier story that asks what your name says about you 

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - Raphael Larrinaga was tired of sending out job applications and not getting a response, so he decided to try a different approach.

No, he didn't embellish a job title or fabricate a master's degree on his résumé. Instead, he swapped out his Spanish first name for something with more "Americanized," something that people would expect from a guy with blond hair and blue eyes job-hunting in Utah in the 1980s.

Almost instantly, Ray Larrinaga began getting calls back, he said. Within two weeks, he accepted a job with a bank and went back to the name his Spanish-born parents had given him.

"People said I was paranoid, but I'm not exaggerating a bit," said Larrinaga, now a self-employed graphic designer. "I went from almost a zero response to my applications to over 50 percent response."

In hindsight, the resident of Bountiful, Utah, said he's a little ashamed of his ploy. Sure, he could be a chameleon and scuttle his Spanish roots if he wanted to, but visible minorities can't get rid of their accent or change the color of their skin, he said.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Gender • Who we are
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