A friend posted on FB about an actress of Asian descent with an Asian surname who is a series regular on a major network show. The article explained that the actress changed her surname to sound Anglo and immediately changed her luck for the better.
It reminded me of the recent stories about the Asian American news personality who underwent eyelid surgery which, let's face it, is only there to make a face look more European. But is it really fooling anyone? If a person changes their name and undergoes surgery to try to look and sound like another race, that just suggests to me that they're feeling-consciously and/or subconsciously-a lot of self hatred and alienation which I am going to guess is a result of consistent treatment as the "other" based on a lot of ingrained racism in our society. I feel bad for them.
I think the "changing the luck" for the better by re-naming yourself or getting plastic surgery may just be because you've changed your attitude. YOU think it matters and so you exude more confidence afterwards and perhaps the world is responding to that confidence, not the fact your surname is suddenly "Smith" or your eyes suddenly have a big fold over the top. People have often suggested to me I change my name and I haven't because it's my name. That being said, I understand the feelings of alienation and insecurity that would make you want to do anything from changing your name to your face to "belong" and that's a bigger problem that we all have to work to fix as a society.
My name is my name. I'm proud of who I am and what I have made of my name. That's my choice. Make your own.
For this one I actually have recommended reading from one of my favorite authors: The House on Mango Street By Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street is a collection of vignettes , one of which is entitled MY NAME. I highly recommend. Check it out here: http://esl-bits.net/ESL.English.Learning.Audiobooks/Mango_Street/