An Essex girl is a pejorative stereotype in the United Kingdom of a female who is said to be overly promiscuous and unintelligent, characteristics jocularly attributed to women from Essex. It is applied widely throughout the country and has gained popularity over time, dating from the 1980s and 1990s.
The stereotypical image was formed as a variation of the dumb blonde/bimbo persona, with references to the Estuary English accent, white stiletto heels, silicone augmented breasts, peroxide blonde hair, over-indulgent use of fake tan (lending an orange appearance), promiscuity, loud verbal vulgarity and to socialising at downmarket nightclubs.
Time magazine has written:
In the typology of the British, there is a special place reserved for Essex Girl, a lady from London's eastern suburbs who dresses in white strappy sandals and suntan oil, streaks her hair blond, has a command of Spanish that runs only to the word Ibiza, and perfects an air of tarty prettiness. Victoria Beckham – Posh Spice, as she was – is the acknowledged queen of that realm ...
Essex girl jokes
Essex girl jokes are primarily variations of dumb blonde jokes, and often sexually explicit. ("How does an Essex girl turn the light on after sex? — She opens the car door.") In 2004, Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester in Essex, appealed for debate in the House of Commons on the issue, encouraging a boycott of The People tabloid, which has printed several derogatory references to girls from Essex.
- Biressi, Anita; Heather Nunn (2013). Class and Contemporary British Culture. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 23–43. ISBN 9780230240568.; Part 2: "Essex: class, aspiration and social mobility", Section 4: "Class, Taste and the Essex Girl"
- Elliott, Michael (19 July 2007), "Smitten with Britain", Time
- Rose, David, MP urges boycott of The People over Essex Girl jokes, retrieved 2007-09-12
- Christie Davies (1998), Jokes and Their Relation to Society, Walter de Gruyter, pp. 186–189, ISBN 3-11-016104-4
- Germaine Greer, Long Live the Essex Girl, 4 March 2001, The Guardian