For most of my life, my name has been uncommon. “Jillian with a J”, I say. “Long for Jill.” My mother named me after my Aunt Jill, but gave me the long form name to be more British. And in Commonwealth countries, most other women with my name spell it the British way, with a G.
But here in the States, I had a relatively uncommon name. The closest I ever got in the children’s license plate display rack was “JILL”. Suddenly, there are not one but two annoying C+-list celebrities out there with the exact spelling of my name. And it kind of creeps me out.
First of all, there’s Jillian Michaels, who seems to have jumped to fame through the Biggest Loser. And the women is everywhere. She has a Wii game that was obviously rushed to market, without any QC, for the 2008 holiday season. She has books and DVD’s and a workout in SELF last month. She’s getting her ten minutes of fitness empire fame.
The second, and FAR more annoying, is Jillian Barberi, or Reynolds, or whatever her current name actually is. I have no idea why this woman is so famous – I think she married a football player and was on local level TV for a while. Actually, I think she’s still on KTLA during daytime hours. But now she’s shilling Nutrisystem, and keeps turning up on MSNBC during commercials, looking for all the world like a cross between a morning show hostess and an Oompa Loopa. Seriously, she is ORANGE. It’s CREEPY. I don’t want my name associated with anyone who thinks that Crayola shade is an appropriate skin tone. And I can’t see how it’s good for Nutrisystem, either – I’d be afraid of the product giving me jaundice.
(BTW, from what I gather, those meals may be cheap – but I imagine, by the time the customer adds the fresh food ingredients, they’re more expensive than just cooking your own damn food. And cooking the same thing at home would help your body focus on losing weight because it wouldn’t distract your liver & digestive system with all the preservatives and chemicals those meals look stuffed with. They look more like M.E.A.L.S. from Good Omens than actual food)
On the plus side, I could probably pirate both paid & organic Google traffic from both of them towards a diet website, if I took the time to create & write such a thing. Which I likely won’t. In the meantime, could they both get off my TV? It’s disconcerting for me to hear my name coming out of it so often.