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Zoe Saldana Responds to the Buzz of Her Husband Taking Her Last Name – ‘Why is it so surprising…Let’s redefine masculinity’



464210506Hollywood actress Zoe Saldana has taken to her Facebook account to address her husband Marco taking her last name, a story which broke a few days ago when she covered InStyle magazine’s July 2015 issue.

She wrote:

Fathers, sons, brothers, men everywhere: Your legacy will not perish if you take your partner’s surname, or she keeps hers. I’ve been made aware that a comment I made regarding my marriage has garnered some attention. I felt proud that my husband decided to take my last name as his own… and I his. I shared my hesitation with him when he told me about his decision, not only did he say, “I don’t give a shhheeeetttt!!” (with a very strong Italian accent!!) he also asked me, “Why not? What are you so afraid of?” And it made me wonder… What am I so afraid of?

Why is it so surprising, shocking- eventful that a man would take his wife’s surname? Women have never been asked if its ok for them to give up their names — why doesn’t that make the news?

Men, you will not cease to exist by taking your partner’s surname. On the contrary — you’ll be remembered as a man who stood by change. I know our sons will respect and admire their father more because their father lead by example.

Gentlemen, I implore you to think outside the box- remove the box altogether. Let’s redefine masculinity. A real “man” leads along side his partner. A real man accepts his mortality. A real man acknowledges that nothing can be done alone.

I hope that the “buzz” behind this topic isn’t just for gossip — but an inspiration for us all to look within and see what is truly important.

Let’s start by letting go of some of the limitations we have inherited from the past, and forge a new path moving forward.

With Love,

Zoe and Marco

Sorry for any mistypes LOL

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jeff Vespa/VF15/WireImage

Adesola is the BellaNaija Head of Content and Digital Ventures. She is a BN stan.. Yes, things are that serious for her when it comes to She's a lover of gist, novels, music, and food. She's constantly trying not to take life for granted. She spends most of her time either keeping up with the world on the Internet or sharing some acquired knowledge about digital media. She is passionate about using her voice to speak against injustice, especially towards women. To communicate with her directly, you can hit her up on: Instagram - Twitter - @Adesola_AU


  1. me

    June 10, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Name taking or changing doesn’t change a person, it doesn’t remove or add. He might like her surname. The Chinese maintain there own names… changing your name doesn’t change the fact that some will get divorced…..

    • goodiebagman

      June 10, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      Taking a woman’s surname is too far sef. If I even hear suggestion of compound name? If I been propose before, I go collect my ring back

    • TakeAseat

      June 11, 2015 at 3:05 am

      And so what? your “ring” will be gladly returned by said woman. As if marriage to you is the master key…

  2. cookie

    June 10, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    To my Nigerian Men, “you will not cease to exist by taking your partner’s surname” Roger that and take a clue. *Big Grin*

  3. Seriousky

    June 10, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Everyone is trying to come up with their own rules. And want everyone to be accepting of it. I see this becoming a trend again. People making announcement. . I will stick to taking my husband’s last name, if anything I will just add it to mine.

    • C'est moi

      June 10, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      erm, that’s what she did ‘ Zoe Saldana-Perego’ & likewise him

    • TakeAseat

      June 11, 2015 at 3:08 am

      Please where is it wriiten as the “ultimate” rule that women must take their husband’s last name?

  4. Anita

    June 10, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Well spoken and Noted, after all as she said nobody asks us women if is ok to give up our names. My dear naija men, make una chill there is nothing there is just a NAME! Let the comments roll becos am 100% sure our naija men will start ranting that any man that does is not born of a woman, maybe na Catalyn Jenner born am. Cross leg with my Aki na Ukwa oya let the i ko onu begin!

  5. natu

    June 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Zoe darling, a lot of women suffer from internalized misogyny. Don’t stress yourself over something that people have been conditioned to believe is normal. As I said in the previous post, the idea of a woman taking man’s name never made any sense to me.

  6. Anita

    June 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    does it

  7. @edDREAMZ

    June 10, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said..
    Wetin dey pain me nw b say this fool of a couple go start dey put ideas into this gals head nw…. Is better i die both in body and spirit than to take my wifes name…. I never craze reach that level…..

  8. Ms.b

    June 10, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Northern Muslim women don’t change their names.

    • Iris

      June 10, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Really! Do the rest of you hear? The world will not end. A name does not an emotionally secure and responsible epitome of masculinity make.

  9. jane

    June 10, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Hahaha. 9ja ain’t ready 4 dt yet. Women r jux begining 2 Hv cmpd names talk less of husband answering ur name. 4gt all ds ones d ladies r sayn foward 20yrs mk ur son tell u say he wna drop his name nd strt answering his gfs name if u wee nt take him to pastor for prayers. Let’s stop copyn errytn we C joor.

    • MC

      June 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      But she’s is not saying that people should copy. She is saying that you should do your own thing.

  10. Concerned_Boyfriend

    June 10, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Althought it’s not a new practice as it’s more prevalent in Latin culture, I’m not in favor of it. One of the deal breaker with my ex (She’s from Panama) was for the groom to take last name of the bride because the bride’s father did not have a male child. I resented that idea and her father told me to either comply or forget getting married to her daughter. I was torn, my royal lineage forbids me losing my cultural identity for any reason. It was an attack on my identity and I had to walk away from a 7 years relationship. So an African, your name is more than just a name, it’s a story, an history of who you are.

    • Tayo

      June 10, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      So now you know how women feel when they have to drop their last names for another.

    • C'est moi

      June 10, 2015 at 11:54 pm

      What a pathetic excuse for a man you are. She’s well rid.

    • Gerrarahear Mehn shit!

      June 11, 2015 at 1:13 am

      How is he pathetic? Absolute rubbish! Why should he drop his name and take another man’s name? Is his duty to be a male child to the male childless? Disgusting! Don’t worry you can start changing the pathetic state of things by training and raising your son to drop his name to bear the name of his father-in-law. Did you read that he’s a royal? From a certain blood line? First of all she is a foreigner, that name, HIS NAME would be the only identity that would tell his history, his linage, his story! If the father-in-law wanted a male child why didn’t he adopt? Her suggesting he takes her father’s name is ridiculous but the reason behind ( because there is no male child) is absurd! What of if he was the only male child in his family? Please explain to me how it is pathetic? I’m sure he won’t have minded her keeping her name but that’s not the case. It’s like he’s being coerced to drop his name. She didn’t love him as far as I’m concerned, she’s just looking for who to fulfill her father’s dream of a male child. Please gerrarahear Mehn shit!

    • oj

      June 11, 2015 at 8:44 am

      I don’t think it’s fair for u to call him a pathetic excuse of a man for sticking to what he believes, No one has any right to force the guy to take up the girl’s name. Like it or not, it’s not his culture to do that.

  11. julie O.

    June 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Maybe I’m old fashioned, but took my husband’s name and would never do any differently. If he asked to take my name I would ask him what someone put in his stew.

  12. Danyel

    June 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    …..Men taking women’s name what won’t i see and hear this days…i won’t call any one names sha….its the idiots decision….afterall he is not a real man……
    This so called female Americans really wanna change the world….and the American men are really turning into p***ies in trousers….and the nigerians will keep on following like sheep’s the won’t even care to ask questions….now most of this females will start thinking….”oh it is right for men to take female names for their own”…but its bullshit…

    • Tayo

      June 10, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      taking a man’s last name in the first place is foreign and not African it was imbibed by Africans following European culture

    • TakeAseat

      June 11, 2015 at 3:21 am

      So because he has taken a NAME he is not a real man? He is suddenly less capable of fulfilling his role as a man – he no longer has a penis, has testosterone in his body nor can be a father to his children and a husband to his wife?
      WOW! The ego of Nigerian men!
      So all those men who have abandoned their wives (who fully took their last names) and children and reduced themselves to dogs chasing women up and down are more of a ‘man’ than Marco? I see….

  13. C'est moi

    June 10, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    His name is now Marco Saldana-Perego and her name Zoe Saldana-Perego. What is the big deal? Peope have been doing this for a while now.

    It is just a double-barrel of both names, he didn’t drop Parego & become Marco Saldana! I read that some couples toss a coin in the name of equality, heads wife’s name, tail’s husband’s name.

    The taking of the husband’s name dates back to the times when women were seen as the property of their husband and had no individual identity or status. everything she owned became his. Same with slaves, they took the name of their master & their name changed if they were sold to a new master.

    Wives, children & slaves were all property of the man & took his name as a sign of ownership, Now it’s all romanticised, each to their own.

  14. piece of my mind

    June 11, 2015 at 7:55 am

    It is NO big deal to me oh…Moreover it’s a compound name, the man did not lose his identity. By the way, the name of a person is not as important as the character of the person sef. Whether wife take husband name, husband take wife name….if they are horrible, the marriage will not last.
    After all, it is not by force. Nothing is by force. She did not say it is by force. LOL…I hope they don’t get divorced sha ooo.
    I’m old fashioned and I took my husband’s name and it does not stop me from being my father’s daughter and it does not stop me from being all that God has made me to be and it’s not going to change anytime (I mean my last name)

  15. Nigerian woman who prays not to marry a Nigerian man

    June 11, 2015 at 9:38 am

    looool. @ the few men who commented. The chauvinism in Nigerian men I refuse to deal with in 2015 and beyond….

  16. Magz

    June 11, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Someone should please correct me if i am wrong but i believe Ghanaian kids take their mothers’ last name rather than their fathers’???

    If it is true, then what makes it different from what Zoe’s husband did. In fact, this is even better as both of them have compound names (of their last names), the guy didn’t drop his last name completely nah

  17. Swizzey

    June 11, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    When i saw this i was disturbed. A man’s pride and ego are part of his being,and when its will surely be open to all sorts of ideas and concepts. Zoe’s husband may not care, but real men will never even bring up the idea.It means he himself is not proud of his own family name.Peace

    • natu

      June 11, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Real men according to who? Have several seats. If that is the case then African men do not even fit the brief of a “real man”. Where were the “real men” when the British colonised Nigeria and enslaved our brothers and sisters? GTFOH

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