From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The term Valley Girl originally referred to rich teen-aged girls and young women living in the neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California. Val is the short-hand form of the term.
During the 1980s and the 1990s, the term metamorphosed into a caricature and stereotype of such women: a "ditzy" or "airhead" personality, and unapologetically "spoiled" behaviour that showed more interest in shopping, personal appearance, and social status, rather than in intellectual development or personal accomplishment.
The prototypical Valley Girl is a white blonde (not necessarily natural), but the "Val" has evolved along with demographic changes, with the term applying to all such girls and women, regardless of their race. The typical Valley Girl is considered very pretty, personally attractive, and sexually promiscuous.
- Main article: Valspeak
Qualifiers such as “like”, “whatever”, “way”, "as if!", “totally” and “duh” were interjected in the middle of phrases and sentences as emphasizers. Narrative sentences were often spoken as though they were questions using a high rising terminal.
Valspeak is often spoken with a heavy accent sometimes associated with Californians. Words are spoken with high variation in pitch combined with very open or nasal vowel sounds.
- Like - Used as an interjection. "Like that was so, like, oh my God."
- As if – lit. "yeah, right" or "as if" except it does not use a subject; expresses disbelief.
- Bitchin' - adj. slang for excellent; first-rate. Though a derivative of "bitch", bitchin' is not considered profane.
- Whatever! - short for "whatever you say"; sarcastic interjection often emphasizing the "r".
- Barf me out! - "So disgusting it makes me want to vomit."
- Fer shur – lit. "For sure"
- Betch – lit. "Bitch"
- Totally – "I agree" or "completely."
- Grody to the max! – "As gross as he/she/it can be"
- Like, oh my God – can be used many ways; expresses shock.
- I’m suuure! or I'm so sure – "I'm absolutely positive," but usually used sarcastically.
- Tre - A synonym for "very" (derived from French "très")
- Trippendicular! - It can mean either "awesome" or a drug high.
- Betty - An attractive woman
- So - Very; used frequently and said with strong emphasis.
- Baldwin - An attractive man.
- Seriously - Frequent interjection of approval.
- Gag me with a spoon! - expression of disgust.
- Gnarly - Good.
- Joanie - An unhip girl
- I'm outtie - "I'm out of here".
- Tubular - Very cool.
- UV's - Sunshine (e.g. "I'm heading down to the beach to catch some UV's")
- Are you serious?- expression of surprise. Commonly phrased with both hands on the hips, eyebrows raised and a shocked facial expression.
Similar phenomena were registered around the globe in books, movies and on television. In diverse places such as Russia, Japan, Ethiopia, and Pakistan, parent movements and religious organizations were formed against this culture.Template:Citation needed Specifically, the upward inflection sentence was the most marked symptom of the global Valley Girl, marking these girls as part of the new global culture, saved mostly for the privileged.Template:Citation needed
There is some similarity between the phenomenon of a Valley Girl in the United States and the concept of an Essex girl, although the stereotype emphasis is more on promiscuity and below-average intelligence. A perhaps closer equivalent would be the wealthier and generally upper-middle or upper class Sloane Ranger; a widely lampooned stereotype associated with Sloane Square in the Chelsea area of central London
In Wales, the term Valley girl is used to refer to a girl from the valleys (an area in South Wales running north from the coast between Newport and Llanelli). These do not stereotypically share characteristics with the US Valley Girl.
In Dublin, the term D4 is used to refer to a similar stereotype applied to young girls and guys from South Dublin. Dublin 4 or "D4" includes affluent upper-class areas such as Donnybrook, Blackrock, Ballsbridge and Belfield. Many are associated with hanging in groups in Dundrum Town Centre which is an up-market shopping centre on the Southside. Many wear American "preppy" clothing brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, American Eagle and Aeropostale even though such stores don't exist currently in the Republic of Ireland. Girls are portrayed by having peroxide blonde hair, wearing Ugg boots and wearing excessive fake tan which makes their skin look orange. The guys are often seen with bleached "surfer" style hair, wearing Abercrombie hoodies and Canterbury bottoms. The growing Irish rugby obsession can often be attributed to the long time South Dublin promotion of the sport. Generally female D4 heads as they are locally known attend such private schools as Mount Anville, Alexandra College and any of the Loreto schools with their male counterparts receiving their second level education at institutions including Blackrock College, Leeson Street grind school (co-ed) and Clongowes Wood College located in Co. Kildare. Many go on to study at University College Dublin located in Dublin 4 itself and Trinity College Dublin. Famous 'D4's' include fictional character Ross O'Carroll Kelly, presenter Ryan Tubridy and international rugby player Brian O'Driscoll.
In Texas, the term "Valley Girl" is often colloquially used to refer to a woman from the Rio Grande Valley, from the far southern areas around McAllen and Brownsville.Template:Citation needed The term, of course, became more popular when the California term gained nationwide attention (i.e. because of the contrast with this term).Template:Citation needed
In the Greater Los Angeles area, the term "Valley Girl" originated and still refers to girls from the San Fernando Valley. In context it is associated with a spoiled girl from an upper-middle class background who socializes with other "valley girls" in cliques. In regions neighboring the San Fernando Valley, people will often call a girl a "valley girl" or tell her to "go back to the valley" if she is showing signs of materialism and/or idiotic behavior.
Two exclusive neighborhoods in Budapest, Rózsadomb and Pasarét are traditionally regarded as breeding grounds for upper (middle) class spoiled brats, including arrogant Valley girl types. Their affluence and lifestyle are comparable to those of Californian Valley girls. There is a huge income disparity between the parents of these teens/twixters and those of the majority in Budapest, especially in Pest. Template:Facts
In pop culture
- In 1982, composer Frank Zappa released the album Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch. The album featured the single "Valley Girl", with his 14 year old daughter Moon Unit (who supplied Frank with much of the content) speaking typical "Valley Girl" phrases. Zappa intended to lampoon the image, but the single also popularized the valley girl stereotype nationwide, and, to a lesser extent, throughout the English-speaking world. There was a significant increase in the "Valspeak" slang usage, whether ironically spoken or notTemplate:Citation needed.
- 1992 hip hop song "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot famously starts with a discussion between two valley girls.
- Pop singer Tiffany uses the Valspeak as part of her song Mr Mambo.
- In 1983, the feature film Valley Girl was released starring actor Nicolas Cage and actress Deborah Foreman. Besides featuring the up-and-coming actor Cage, the movie contains a soundtrack of New Wave music, which was at the peak of its popularity at that time. The film's producers had initially approached Frank Zappa to ask him if they could make a film based on his song. Zappa refused, and the filmmakers wound up making the film anyway. Zappa attempted to sue over the obvious capitalization on his song, but the lawsuit was thrown out.Template:Citation neededAnother movie was Clueless, using many of the terms above.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer parodied the valley girl, with the main character, Buffy Summers, often saving the males of the program. Buffy's contemporaries Cordelia and Harmony more closely fit to the conventions of the valley girl.
- Several alternate takes of scenes from the series House M.D. exist in which actors Lisa Edelstein and Jennifer Morrison, as a joke, act out serious sequences as Valley Girls. These "gag takes" are included on DVDs of the show.
- Sweet Valley High can also be considered an example, although while the main characters exhibit the physical characteristics of a Valley Girl, academic pursuits are considered of merit.
- Clover from the animated series Totally Spies portrays traits and uses terms associated with the stereotypical Valley Girl.
- Main character, Cher Horowitz (Clueless) perpetuates Valspeak by using the words "like," "as if," "whatever" and "duh" an exorbitant amount throughout the film. When referring to attractive men and women, Cher uses the terms "Betty" and "Baldwin." Considering the film's release in 1995 and the resurgence of such terms in southern California youth in the years following, it could be credited with bridging the gap between the '80s Valspeak and today's.
- Kimberly Hart from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (played by Amy Jo Johnson) was originally a valley girl in the first season, and shows hints at being one in the later seasons before Amy's departure from the series.
- Hilliary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is another good example even although she might be considered upper-upper class.
- In the early 1980s, Hollywood films and songs portrayed the female-dominated mall lifestyle in the San Fernando Valley. The Sherman Oaks Galleria was perhaps best known as the home of the Valley Girl, since this San Fernando Valley mall was where Fast Times at Ridgemont High was filmed in 1981. (Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1985 movie, Commando, was shot there, too.) The mall was featured throughout Fast Times at Ridgemont High, beginning with the opening scenes of the film, which starts with an elevator ride up to the food court where the young Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Judge Reinhold worked at the fast food stands. However, despite its popularity with stars like Molly Ringwald and Janet Jackson, business at the Galleria began to decline significantly during the 1990s. The 1994 Northridge earthquake caused extensive damage to the structure and served only to accelerate the vacancy rate. The remnants of the building were razed in 1999, and in 2002, the Sherman Oaks Galleria reopened as a markedly different open-air facility that now serves as home to several Warner Brothers offices, mortgage companies, restaurants, a movie theater, and a 24-Hour Fitness center.
List of fictional Valley girls
- Brittany and Tiffany Wilson (Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans) in the comedy film White Chicks. In spite the film setting being in the Hamptons, the two characters are introduced as visitors from Beverly Hills.
- Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman) in the quintessential Val teen movie, 1983's Valley Girl.
- Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) in the 1995 teen movie Clueless, though she actually lives in Beverly Hills.
- Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), Margot (Jessica Cauffiel), and Serena McGuire (Alanna Ubach) from Legally Blonde.
- The Muppet Janice (sometimes "Janis"), a member of The Electric Mayhem (The Muppet Movie (1979) and The Muppet Show).
- Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson) in the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Romy and Michele from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
- Pink Five (Amy Earhart), the hero of a series of fan-made movies is a fast-talking Valley Girl type placed in the Star Wars universe.
- Helena Douglas (Sarah Carter) in the 2006 action movie DOA: Dead or Alive.
- Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) from the High School Musical series.
- Switchboard the gossip columnist from Beverly Hills Teens
- Poland (Feliks Łukasiewicz) from Axis Powers Hetalia
- Clover from the animated TV show Totally Spies!
- Eris from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (Madonna-like accent switch)
- Shadowcat from X-Men: Evolution
- The LTDFCD from Operation: P.O.O.L on Codename: Kids Next Door
- Shirley the Loon, the always-meditating duck girl from Tiny Toon Adventures
- Minerva Mink from Animaniacs
- Tammy Duvall from King of the Hill episode Ho Yeah! (2001)
- Daphne Blake from A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
- The Tweevils (Kirstee and Kaycee) and Cloe from the Bratz animated series
- The Ashleys on Disney's Recess
- Mio Hio from the anime D.N.Angel
- Caitlin Cooke from the animated series 6teen
- Topaz Trollhopper from Trollz
- Stacey from Disney's A Goofy Movie
- Serena, the heroine known as Sailor Moon, in the English dub was edited into a valley girl.
- Madison Taylor and Sakura Avalon, the English dubbed counterparts of Cardcaptor Sakura heroines, were edited into valley girls.
- Clare from the show Code Monkeys
- Portia Gibbons from The Mighty B!
- Ellie of The Lily Five from Shaman King
- Little Miss Chatterbox in the US version of The Mr. Men Show
- Bonnie from Kim Possible, and to a lesser extent, Kim Possible herself and the other cheerleaders
- TTiffany Blum-Deckler, Stacy Rowe and Sandi Griffin and Quinn Morgendorffer from MTV show Daria.
- Kimiko Tohomiko in Xiaolin Showdown
- Mimi Tachikawa from Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 in English dub
- Misty's sisters from "Pokemon", in the English dub
- Lindsay and Katie & Sadie from Total Drama Island
- Lo from Stoked (TV series)
- Kelly Taylor (played by Jennie Garth) on Beverly Hills, 90210.
- Donna Martin (played by Tori Spelling) on Beverly Hills, 90210.
- Kimberly Hart (played by Amy Jo Johnson) on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
- Shannon Rutherford (played by Maggie Grace) on Lost was compared to Paris Hilton, being described as "spoiled daddy's girl".
- Ja'mie King (played by Chris Lilley) on We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year
- London Tipton (played by Brenda Song) from the television series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck.
- Brooke Logan (played by Katherine Kelly Lang) on The Bold and the Beautiful.
- Chelsea Handler from Girls Behaving Badly and The Chelsea Handler Show
- Karen Foster (played by Angela Watson) on Step by Step.
- BJ Carter from House of Carters.
- Gina and Jessica (played by Amanda Bynes and Christy Knowings respectively) in the All That recurring sketch What-Everrrrrr.
- Amber (played by Amanda Bynes) in The Amanda Show recurring sketch The Girl's Room.
- Wendy Lubbock (played by Brooke Theiss) in the ABC sitcom, Just the Ten of Us.
- Kate from Lizzie McGuire (though it could be argued whether Lizzie herself is a Valley Girl).
- Christina Kirkman from All That.
- Cerie (Katie Bowden) of 30 Rock has some Valley-Girl-ish traits.
- Vicky the Valley Girl from Saturday Night Live (played by Gail Matthius, the same woman who voiced Shirley on Tiny Toons).
- Fancy Crane (played by Emily Harper) from Passions.
- Elvira the late-night "vampire" talked in Valspeak ("I mean, wow, it's like déjà vu!").
- Melissa Joan Hart's character in Clarissa Explains It All would lapse into Valspeak.
- Harmony Kendall, the spoiled unicorn loving deb' (later spoiled vampire) from the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, played by Mercedes McNab. In a lesser degree, Cordelia Chase, her former best friend and life model, played by Charisma Carpenter.
- The celebrity, Pamela Anderson (and the character she portrays, Vallery Irons in TV show V.I.P.).
- Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) and Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) on hit TV series The O.C., which also includes a parody of itself within the show titled The Valley.
- Brooke Davis (played by Sophia Bush) from the hit television show One Tree Hill.
- Bridget Hennessy (played by Kaley Cuoco) and Kerry Hennessy (played by Amy Davidson) from the television show 8 Simple Rules.
- Lisa Turtle (played by Lark Voorhies) from the television series Saved by the Bell.
- Aphrodite (played by Alexandra Tydings), the Goddess of Love, was portrayed as something of a Valley Girl in the television program, Xena: Warrior Princess.
- Robin Maxwell, played by Blair Tefkin, in V. One comment about her is that the Resistance hideout she is expected to live in "isn't the Mazza Gallerie."
- Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis) on That '70s Show.
- Jennifer DiNuccio (Tracy Nelson) on Square Pegs.
- Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) on Friends is often portrayed as a Valley Girl before she moved in with Monica. Several flashbacks confirm this.
- Hilary Banks (Karyn Parsons) from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Her character was actually from Bel-Air. In one episode, Hilary makes a disparaging remark about the San Fernando Valley, probably a negative remark toward the 1980s Val (but also fairly typical of West Side views of the less cosmopolitan and more solidly middle class/working class valley), or simply a dislike for another L.A. neighborhood.
- Babs Bunny in a few episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures
- Mallory Keaton (played by Justine Bateman) on the '80s sitcom Family Ties. In a memorable double episode even her normally athletic and tomboyish little sister Jennifer (Tina Yothers) goes through a Valley Girl phase after her 13th birthday.
- Kelly Bundy (played by Christina Applegate) on the sitcom Married... with Children.
- Amy from KCHAT in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
- Toni, the host of Flash FM in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City may also be heard uttering phrases in Valspeak.
- Amy Rose from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- Berri from Conker's Bad Fur Day has a Valley Girl accent and looks like one too.
- Jo-beth Casey, a minor character in Timesplitters: Future Perfect.
- The Ones from the Purple Moon games (Nicole, Stephanie and Whitney) all qualify.
- Cipher Admin/Scientist Lovrina from Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.
- Goombella from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door displays some characteristics of the Valley girl stereotype, although she is also an academic university graduate.
- Cassandra Alexandra in Soulcalibur series, despite her Greek nationality, she is shown having strong similitude with the valley girl.
- The characters Kimberley and Demi in the novel Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding.
- Miranda from Alan Dean Foster's Glory Lane.
- Unnamed character in Laughing Cow Cheese radio commercials (such as the Highway Patrolman spot) by Joy Radio, Inc. of the mid-1980s.
- Dumb blonde
- Essex girl
- Sloane Ranger
- Fjortis is used to describe similar behavior in Scandinavian youth.
- Pissis is a Finnish expression for female youth behaving in a similar manner.
- Julie Brown is among the performers from the era who personified and popularized the valley girl image.
- Kogal and Ganguro are basically the Japanese equivalents.
- San Fernando Valley
- Sloane Ranger
- Valley Girl, song by Frank Zappa
- School diva