Why TLC's Shauna Rae Changed Her Name

Shauna Rae is the star of a reality show "I Am Shauna Rae," which follows the day-to-day life of an adult woman — she was born in 1999 — as she navigates the world in the body of a child. The first season of the show premiered on TLC in January 2022 and has proved to be quite popular, as evidenced by the network's decision to pick it up for a second season, which premiered in late 2022. According to TLC, Rae's "growth was stunted after a battle with brain cancer," which ultimately caused her to be diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism, leaving her standing at 3-feet, 11-inches tall , and unable to grow taller. The show follows Rae on her journey, which looks very different from what other women her age experience. In addition, Rae is active on social media and often shares various updates about her life, what she's been up to, and, of course, plenty of selfies.

In August 2022, Rae took to Instagram to share an important update with fans. She decided to head to the county clerk's office to legally change her name. According to People magazine, the reality television star filed to change her name from Shauna Rae Lesick to Shauna Rae, effectively dropping her surname. In an interview on the "Tamron Hall Show," Rae shared the reason for the switch. "Changing my name was a big moment for me because I never connected with it," Rae explained. She explained that she also considered changing her name to something different. 

Shauna Rae considered taking her stepfather's last name

Shauna Rae lives with her mother, Patty Schrankel, and her stepfather, Mark Schrankel, with whom she's really close. During her interview with Tamron Hall, Rae said that she considered taking the last name "Schrankel," but "it didn't sound right." Fortunately, Mark's feelings weren't hurt in the slightest. Not only did he chuckle when Rae said this on the talk show, but he fully supported Rae's decision, and he even accompanied her to the country clerk's office to fill out the paperwork, which she thanked him for in an Instagram shoutout. "Thank you @onthisdaycartoons for going with me today to change my name! One small change that means a lot to me! My legal full name is now Shauna Rae bye bye old last name," Rae captioned an Instagram post after making the change.

Mark has been a father figure in Rae's life since she was young and has been a part of "I Am Shauna Rae" since the beginning. To show her love and appreciation for Mark, she penned a tribute to him on Instagram in honor of Father's Day. Rae shared a picture taken during a family trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and penned a sweet caption. "Happy Fathers [sic] Day to the guy that's been around most of my life, the one who makes stupid jokes, the one who makes me role [sic] my eyes but also smile...I just role [sic] my eyes more," she wrote, tagging Mark. 

Who is Shauna Rae's biological father?

Shauna Rae doesn't talk much about her biological father, Scott Lesick, and he is not part of her reality show. According to Lesick's Facebook, he is married and works at a Ford dealership in Pennsylvania. Although there are a handful of photos of Rae on his page, the two don't appear to have a close relationship, which seems to be why Rae wanted to change her last name. Rae admits that she didn't know just how big of a deal the change was at the time, but she is so happy that she decided to do it. "It really put my past in the past and my future more of a reality for me," she told Tamron Hall.

Also during the interview, Rae opened up about her decision to do reality TV. She explained that she wanted to show people like her that they aren't alone. Moreover, Rae says that she's really learned a lot about herself in the process. "Filming a TV show I think has not just taught me but also helped me learn that I really, really got some confidence issues. But at the same time, I can persevere and push through them, and I think that's really beneficial to me," she told Entertainment Tonight back in October 2022.