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A change of image might be right to order - Jeff Whitfield

Nothing could be worse than waking to find egg – grits, bacon or any other food – brandishing your face or your image.

So here's a thought: Want to get out of a pickle? Consider changing your name, especially if you are a large multinational corporation or a politician.

Just think about it. When ValuJet became AirTran after a horrific plane crash years ago, did that change of name work? Sure! Look at how this company's profitability and popularity has soared since that time. Not that having lower airfares over lumbering competitors such as Delta hasn't helped.

But a name change can be marvelous. It soothes the rabid ego, the timid voice or the frayed temper.

Here's consider another idea to contemplate. If George W. Bush changed his name ... what might that have done? Would it have made things appear better for the hemorrhaging violence that's infecting Iraq?

Probably not. An image change would hardly seem to be the answer for a nation struggling to build a government in the wake of a coup.

But certainly (and on a more humorous level) what could an image change accomplish if done right? Or why do it at all?

There are probably dozens of answers, and for what it's worth, here is a list of my mindless recollections of popular image changes.

Situation No. 1: If you change your name you also need to change your look otherwise ... why?

Think about a certain musical megastar who sings about what it sounds like “when the doves cry?” Was he called Prince or the artist formerly known as Prince? I can never remember. Maybe if he carved out a new name and look and wore taller heels that might have worked.

Situation No. 2: Want to change your name and your look? Well, you can't – unless you're careful. You might cut off your nose – or head – despite your efforts if you lack diplomacy. Remember Marie Antoinette? She apparently told the French people to eat cake. That probably helped usher her up to the guillotine.

Situation No. 3: Change an image! “Fahget” about it! Who cares! Nobody remembers, so why should we!

This list is almost too long to name. Any number of “environmentally responsible” companies fit the bill here. How about Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown? There's a pair that's like revolving door. They are in one drug rehab clinic and out the other. And, oh my goodness, what about Terrell Owens? Here is a football player who enjoys squawking opinions to media outlets about his teammates. Now he might not have a team to play for at all. If there is someone more in need of a change of name, image or perception it's got to be him.

(Jeff Whitfield covers schools for the News Daily. He can be reached at jwhitfield@news-daily.com or by phone at (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247)