Girl next door

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This article is about the cultural stereotype. For other uses, see Girl Next Door (disambiguation).
"All-American girl" redirects here. For other uses, see All American Girl (disambiguation).

The girl next door or the All-American girl is an archetype of a cute, kind, unassuming, and honest girl or woman who lives next door, often in a romantic story.

The girl next door represents a distinct stereotype, along with other female stereotypes such as the tomboy, the valley girl, the femme fatale, or the girly girl. The male equivalent is the "boy next door". Both gender examples of the "Next Door" archetype are quintessentially addressed with Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the characters of Emily Webb and George Gibbs or in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer series within the characters of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. During World War II, American propaganda often invoked her as the symbol of all things American.[1] Songs on the armed forces request radio programs were not of Rosie the Riveter but of the girls who were waiting for soldiers.[2] Many such songs were also popular at the home front.[3] Themes of love, loneliness and separation were given more poignancy by the war.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Meghan K. Winchell, Good Girls, Good Food, Good Fun p 73 ISBN 978-0-8078-3237-0
  2. ^ John Costello, Virtue Under Fire p 125 ISBN 0-316-73968-5
  3. ^ William L. O'Neill, A Democracy At War: America's Fight At Home and Abroad in World War II, p 262 ISBN 0-02-923678-9
  4. ^ Robert Heide and John Gilman, Home Front America: Popular Culture of the World War II Era p 116 ISBN 0-8118-0927-7, OCLC 31207708

Further reading[edit]

  • Deborah Jermyn, "Death of the Girl Next Door": Celebrity, Femininity, and Tragedy in the Murder of Jill Dando, Feminist Media Studies, Vol. 1 No. 3 (Nov. 2001)
  • Michael Levine, Feeling For Buffy — The Girl Next Door in Michael Levine and Steven Schneider, Buffy and Philosophy, Open Court Press 2003
  • Frank Rich, Journal: The Girl Next Door, New York Times, Feb. 20, 1994
  • Michael Walker, SHE SPITS ON THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 6, 1994
  • Elizabeth Wurtzel, Women: Read my lips: Are you a girl next door or a second wife?, The Guardian, Dec. 22, 1998