The girl next door or the All-American girl is an archetype of a kind, unassuming, and honest girl or woman who lives near by, often in a romantic story. The male equivalent is the boy next door.
During World War II, American propaganda often invoked her as the symbol of all things American. Songs on the armed forces request radio programs were not of Rosie the Riveter but of women waiting for soldiers. Many such songs were also popular at the home front. Themes of love, loneliness, and separation were given more poignancy by the war.Hugh Hefner required Playboy centerfolds to be portrayed in this specific manner, telling photographers in a 1956 memo that reads, "[the] model must be in a natural setting engaged in some activity 'like reading, writing, mixing a drink... [and] should have a healthy, intelligent, American look—a young lady that looks like she might be a very efficient secretary or an undergrad at Vassar.'"