In InStyle's July issue, cover star Zoë Saldana not only opens up about being a wife, mother, and actress, but gets candid about her husband Marco Perego's progressive decision to take her last name. After nearly two years of marriage to the professional soccer player-turned-artist (and since welcoming an adorable set of twin boys into the world), Saldana has finally revealed that Perego made the non-traditional choice following their nuptials in 2013 despite his wife's doubts.
"I tried to talk him out of it," she tells InStyle. "I told him, 'If you use my last name, you're going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.' But Marco looks up at me and says [she puts on a cute Italian accent], 'Ah, Zoë, I don't give a sheet.'"
The 36-year-old star subsequently stirred up a debate over the issue, and took to her Facebook page to give a joint statement with her husband:
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.
Zoe and Marco
In our interview with Saldana, she also talks about how motherhood has changed her marriage, the way that she views her body post-pregnancy, and the importance of being a "real" person.
To see the full feature on Zoë Saldana, pick up the July issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download June 12.
Related Video: Zoë Saldana Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Her InStyle Cover Shoot