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The label originally referred to a swell of upper-middle class girls living in the early 1980s Los Angeles commuter towns of the San Fernando Valley, but in time the term became more broadly applied to any woman or girl—primarily in the United States and Canada—who engendered the associated affects of ditziness, airheadedness, and/or greater interest in conspicuous consumption than intellectual or personal accomplishment.
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).
Comedian Liam Kyle Sullivan's character Kelly, a blonde teenage girl obsessed with fashion and self-image, speaks with an over-the-top Valley Girl inflection.
- Dumb blonde
- Essex girl
- Julie Brown, among the performers from the era who personified and popularized the valley girl image
- Queen bee
- 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 (22 October 2012). "No Rebuttals: The Top 10 Movie Debate Scenes". Time.com. Time. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Hoffman, Jan (23 December 2013). "Overturning the Myth of Valley Girl Speak". NYTimes.com. New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Barrymore, Drew (2015). Wildflower. New York: Dutton. pp. 2; 7. ISBN 9781101983799. OCLC 904421431.
As if I had been lobotomized, we packed our things and moved into our new home, indeed in Sherman Oaks, in 1983. It's why I still talk like a valley girl. That cadence snuck into my life at that spongelike age of eight and never left.