Valley girl

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(Redirected from Valley Girl)

Valley girl is a term coined in the 1970s. Originally identifying some women who lived in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California, it morphed into a much more involved stereotype in the 1980s. During that time, the Valley girl look - a combination of pastel and neon colours, ruffles and lace, tutus and leggings and bodysuits - was very popular. A valley girl is typically thought to be ditzy, or totally airheaded. She is characterised as blonde-haired, probably dyed, and is sometimes portrayed as hyper-sexual.

A certain dialect of speech became associated with Valley girls; it was known as Valspeak. During the 1980s it was very common to hear everyday teenagers using Valspeak. Words like "like," "way," "totally" and "duh" were interjected in the middle of phrases and sentences as emphasizers. Narrative sentences were often spoken as if they were questions (high rising terminal). Some of the slang included:

  • "Barf me out!" ("That's disgusting.")
  • "Fer sure." ("Definitely.")
  • "Totally." ("Yes." or "Definitely." or "Very much.")
  • "Gag me with a spoon"

A book was written called How to De-Program Your Valley Girl (ISBN 0894802399) in an attempt by parents to try to cull what they thought was a damaging trend. There is some similarity with the somewhat derogatory term used for single women living in spacious expensive apartments in localised parts of west London. "Sloane Rangers" are also associated with a haughty style of speech punctuated with terms considered chic or refined. That term is a wordplay on the fictional Lone Ranger cowboy, derived from the nearby Underground Station called Sloane Square.

In 1982 a Frank Zappa single entitled "Valley Girl," featuring his 15 year old daughter Moon Unit speaking typical Valley Girl phrases, became Zappa's only US Top 40 single.

In 1983 the film Valley Girl was released starring actor Nicolas Cage and actress Deborah Foreman. This movie became a hit of its time for both up-and-coming actor Cage, and its soundtrack of New Wave music, whose popularity peaked at that time.

Some performers from the era who personified and popularized the Valley Girl image include:

Fictional Valley Girls

See also

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