Valley girl is a stereotype depicting a socio-economic class of women characterized by the colloquial California English dialect Valleyspeak and vapid materialism. The term originally referred to an ever increasing swell of semi-affluent and affluent middle-class and upper-middle class girls living in the early 1980s Los Angeles commuter towns of the San Fernando Valley.
In time the traits and behaviors spread across the United States and Canada, metamorphosing into a caricature of unapologetically spoiled "ditzes" and "airheads" more interested in shopping, personal appearance and social status than intellectual development or personal accomplishment.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
A sociolect associated with valley girls termed "Valleyspeak" spoke in the San Fernando valley in the 1980s. Qualifiers such as "like", "whatever", "way", "as if!", "totally" and "tubular" (a surfing term) interjected in the middle of phrases and sentences as emphasizers. Narrative sentences were often spoken as if questions using a high rising terminal. Heavily accented words were spoken with high variation in pitch combined with very open or nasal vowel sounds.
In popular culture
In 1982, composer Frank Zappa released the single "Valley Girl", with his 14-year old daughter Moon Unit speaking typical "Valley Girl" phrases. Zappa intended to lampoon the image, but after the song's release there was a significant increase in the "Valspeak" slang usage, whether ironically spoken or not.
The 1983 film Valley Girl starring Nicolas Cage centered on a group of "Valley Girl" characters and featured several characterizations associated with their lifestyle (such as going shopping at the mall or "Galleria," suntanning at the beach, and going to parties).
- Bobby soxer
- California English
- Dumb blonde
- Essex girl
- Fjortis, used to describe similar behavior in Scandinavian youth
- Fresa, the Mexican equivalent, literally translated into English as "strawberry"
- Jewish princess
- Julie Brown, among the performers from the era who personified and popularized the valley girl image
- Kogal and Ganguro, Japanese equivalents
- Pissis, a Finnish expression for female youth behaving in a similar manner
- Queen bee
- San Fernando Valley
- Sloane Ranger
- Valley Girl, song by Frank Zappa
- Michael Demarest, Michael;Stanley, Alessandra (September 27, 1982(. "Living: How Toe-dully Max Is Their Valley:. Time magazine.
- Watson, Ben (1994). Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play. Quartet Books. p. 396. ISBN 978-0-7033-7066-2.
- "Amy Irving". The Index-Journal. April 22, 1998. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Alan Schwartz, Richard (2006). The 1990s. Infobase Publishing. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Rothman, Lily. "No Rebuttals: The Top 10 Movie Debate Scenes". Time.com. Time. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Hoffman, Jan. "Overturning the Myth of Valley Girl Speak". NYTimes.com. New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Janelle Tassone. "Buffy: The Evolution of a Valley Girl" Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media 2 (2003):
- Valley Girl - Television Tropes & Idioms