SF adult film star can change name to Candi Bimbo Doll, court rules

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Friday March 15, 2024
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Trans adult film star Candi Bimbo Doll can use that name after a state appellate court overturned a trial court decision. Photo: Courtesy Law Office of Jim Reilly<br>
Trans adult film star Candi Bimbo Doll can use that name after a state appellate court overturned a trial court decision. Photo: Courtesy Law Office of Jim Reilly

A transgender adult film star's quest to change her name to Candi Bimbo Doll was granted after an appellate court overturned a San Francisco judge's decision to deny the request.

"My bimbofication has been a yearslong journey and I still have many more years to go — it is an iterative process that will likely never be complete, because that's the nature of artificial perfection: there is always a higher peak to ascend to," Candi Bimbo Doll stated in a release issued through her attorney Jim Reilly. "This name change, however, is a step made with such rich and irrevocable clarity of purpose that for the first time in my life I can't imagine one that would go beyond it."

She added, "It is the first part of me that is really and fully done."

"I am beyond overjoyed that the Court of Appeal has seen fit to rectify the miscarriage of justice that would have consigned me to eternal nominative mediocrity," she concluded. "Bimbofication should be all-encompassing; every part of a bimbo needs to be exceptional. And now one part of me will forever be cemented as exactly that."

In July, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Gail Dekreon denied Samantha Wood's request to change her name to Candi Bimbo Doll. Dekreon retired in January 2023 as a fulltime judge but continues to hear cases on a part time basis for the court.

"Petitioner requests to change her name to 'Candi Bimbo Doll,'" Dekreon stated in her ruling. "Petitioner here asserts that she has pursued the identity for well over a decade, has 'already embraced it, and taken numerous steps to secure it. The name is the last thing left.' ... no person has a statutory right to officially change their name to a name universally recognized as being offensive."

Dekreon continued, "The derogatory meaning of bimbo, universally, is an attractive but stupid young woman; a foolish, stupid, or inept person." She did note a movement to reclaim the term.

"The court is aware of a TikTok trend of the 2020s, post-COVID shutdown, called 'Bimbofication,' which encourages embracing self-love and claiming the word 'bimbo' as their own," Dekreon stated. "While the perception of 'bimbo' may be changing in the TikTok world, the word itself is perceived as offensive and seen as a step backward for women empowerment in our culture."

Candi Bimbo Doll appealed, and the 1st District Court of Appeal, second division, unanimously disagreed in a 3-0 decision issued March 14. Writing for the panel, Justice James Richman referenced the blockbuster film "Barbie," quoting approvingly from a column in the United Kingdom stating that the film, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, was "recent feminist reclamation of the 'bimbo' figure."

He also noted state agencies have not denied use of the term for business names or on license plates.

"The Secretary of State has no issue with Bimbo," Richman continued. "Nor does the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV instructions state that it will not issue a personalized license plate that has 'sexual connotation' or a 'vulgar term or a term of prejudice or hostility.' We understand the DMV has issued so many personalized license plates in the name of 'Bimbo,' 'Bimbo 1,' 'Bimbo 25' etc., that new requests are met with the statement that 'the license plate you selected is no longer available.'"

Richman also stated that a 1992 decision in Lee v. Superior Court — in which the California Supreme Court decided someone couldn't change their name to a name including the N-word — was not applicable to this situation. Russell Lawrence Lee had wanted to change his name as a way of reclaiming that word — to "steal the stinging degradation — the thunder, the wrath, shame and racial slur," as he put it.

The court stated at that time, "[T]he judiciary should not lend the Great Seal of the State of California to aid appellant in his social experiment. The proposed surname is commonly considered to be a racial epithet and has the potential to be a 'fighting word.' Appellant has the common law right to use whatever name he chooses. He may conduct whatever social experiment he chooses. However, he has no statutory right to require the State of California to participate therein."

Wrote Richman: "The word causing the rejection in Lee is perhaps the most inflammatory word in the English language, a word one author described as one that 'wreaked symbolic violence, often accompanied by physical violence.' ... It is hard to come up with an adjective adequate to describe a discussion of that word in the same breath as Bimbo."

Richman concluded that "There is no confusion here," and cited Dekreon's initial action as an "abuse of discretion."

Richman was joined in the decision by Presiding Justice Therese Stewart and Justice Marla Miller.

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