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. Hugh Hefner required Playboy centerfolds to be portrayed in this specific manner, telling photographers in a 1956 memo that 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.'"[1]

The male equivalent is the "boy next door". During World War II, American propaganda often invoked her as the symbol of all things American.[2] Songs on the armed forces request radio programs were not of Rosie the Riveter but of the girls who were waiting for soldiers.[3] Many such songs were also popular at the home front.[4] Themes of love, loneliness, and separation were given more poignancy by the war.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story". n+1. January 13, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ Meghan K. Winchell, Good Girls, Good Food, Good Fun. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-8078-3237-0.
  3. ^ John Costello. Virtue Under Fire. p. 125 ISBN 0-316-73968-5.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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", The 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

External links[edit]