“Actually, my grandma’s brother’s name was Blake, and my sister wrote it down when she was reading a family tree,” Lively shared in a 2006 interview with Radio Free Entertainment. “And they said, ‘If it’s a boy, we’ll name him Blake, and if it’s a girl, we’ll name her Blakely.’ And everybody thought I was going to be a boy, and then I came out and I was a girl. And they had already been calling me Blake for months because they were positive I was going to be a boy. And they had been calling me Blake for so long, they just [kept it].”
Lively isn’t the only member of her family with what some consider a boy’s name: Her oldest daughter is named James. As Lively’s husband Ryan Reynolds explained, their firstborn was named after his father, who died of Parkinson’s in 2015.
“It felt right,” Reynolds told Mr Porter. “All family relationships come with some complications. For better or worse, all roads lead to here. At the end of the day, it’s easier to focus on the good stuff than the bad. My father died soon after my daughter was born, but he got to see her, which makes me happy.”
Both Lively and Reynolds are also hoping the gender-neutral names help their daughters grow up understanding they can do anything men can do, just like their mom did.
“Right now, my daughter thinks there’s no difference between her and a boy. She can do anything he can do,” Lively told People. “She has every opportunity that he has. She doesn’t learn anything different. So I hope that she never learns anything different. I’m afraid she will, because that’s society, and while it’s changing, we still have a long way to go.”