Keisha Austin finally got something that she has wanted for a long time — a new name.
The 19-year-old felt burdened by racial stereotypes associated with her birth name.
Her mother, Cristy Austin, said she loved the name and always knew she wanted to name her daughter Keisha.
“I saw it as a source of pride,” Cristy told The Kansas City Star. “I wanted her to have that.”
Growing up, Keisha realized that her name was typecast by influences from pop culture.
Keisha’s father is black, but was raised by her mother who is white in a mostly white community, and started to resent her name when other kids would poke fun at her name.
“It’s like they assumed that I must be a certain kind of girl,” she said to The Kansas City Star. “Like, my name is Keisha so they think they know something about me, and it always felt negative.”
After Keisha requested to change her name multiple times, Cristy looked into the process of changing a name.
Keisha officially changed her name to Kylie this month.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.