Wife of HGTV Star Changes Her Name, Confusing Fans

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Getty HGTV logo at the HGTV Lodge at CMA Music Fest in 2019

One year in and it’s finally Instagram-official: Tarek El Moussa’s wife Heather Rae changed her name on social media several days before the couple, who will soon star together in an HGTV show, celebrate their first anniversary. But many fans were confused by her announcement.


Heather Rae El Moussa Calls Attention to Her Name Change

On October 19, the star of Netflix’s “Selling Sunset” posted an Instagram photo of her and her husband of nearly a year, “Flipping 101” host Tarek El Moussa, sharing an update on her pregnancy. She is expecting the couple’s first child, a baby boy, in early 2023. At the end of the post, she wrote, “Also peep the name change … just in time for our 1 year anniversary this week.”

Heather also drew attention to the news via her Instagram Story, telling her followers to “read until the end of the caption” of her newest post, saying “it’s something I’m extra excited about that happened today.”

Eagle-eyed fans noticed that her previous Instagram handle, @heatherraeyoung, which had reflected her maiden name, has now been changed to @theheatherraeelmoussa to reflect her married name. Dozens of them wrote, “love the name change!”

But others hadn’t paid that close attention to Heather’s social media handle and, without further explanation, her notes caused confusion among her followers.

One fan wrote, “Am I missing something?? What name Change???”

A doctor responded, saying, “Nice to change your name before you show up in labor!”

Another thought she was talking about the name of the baby, writing, “Name change? Didn’t know you had a name in mind. Plus we don’t even know what month you’re due.”

Heather replied, “name change as in Heather El Moussa … I’m not announcing my due date”

In a surprise twist, one woman even wrote that her family named their chicken after the mom-to-be, writing, “Thanks for keeping it real and sharing your journey… we named our favorite chicken after you because you are the sweetest and most fun of all!!”

Before the couple got married on October 23, 2021, near Santa Barbara, California, Heather posted an Instagram video from the courthouse where they got their marriage license and implied she was about to change her name, writing, “One step closer to becoming Mrs. El Moussa !!!”

Though she may have changed her last name legally, it can actually be difficult to change the name of a verified Instagram user like Heather, who has a blue check next to her name to show that the platform has verified her identity. The process is designed to make it harder for imposters to create fake accounts, but it can take a while for a celebrity to change their handle after already being verified under a different name.

And though the name change occurred on Instagram, the real estate broker is still listed as Heather Rae Young on Facebook, where she posted the exact same announcement about her name change, which confused fans even further, with one writing, “Saw your ‘new’ name on IG but here on Facebook it is still Young!!”


The El Moussas Celebrate Their First Anniversary With Weekend Getaway

El Moussa wedding

HGTV/YouTubeTarek and Heather Rae El Moussa’s wedding in October 2021

In early 2023, they’re scheduled to debut their new HGTV show, “The Flipping El Moussas,” and have been filming house flips in recent weeks for the series, and around the same time, their baby boy is due to arrive.

On October 20, Heather posted a video from the car on her Instagram Stories, as Tarek drove, on their way to a weekend “babymoon” at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, California.

“Okay we are both done with work for the day, yay!” she said from the passenger seat. “And we are heading to our one-year anniversary weekend and…slash babymoon. We’re combining them both since we don’t have a lot of time!”

On October 22, Tarek posted another Instagram Story, showing Heather sitting out on their seaside balcony in a white robe as she looked at her phone. But it was not as perfectly blissful as it looked.

Tarek said, “We wanted a romantic vacation away from construction noise and guess what’s been going on all day?”

He peered over the balcony to show a huge building under construction next door and said, “Just construction all day. All day since 7am” as Heather laughed in the background.

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