Girl-next-door

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 woman or girl, often in a romantic story.

In narratives, she tends to represent the better choice over a flashier, more provocative or crueler woman. She has no concern for social status.

The girl next door represents a distinct stereotype, as opposed to other female stereotypes such as the tomboy, the valley girl, the femme fatale, girly girl, or the slut. The male equivalent is the "boy next door". Both gender examples of the "Next Door" archetype are quintessentially addressed with Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the characters of Emily Webb and George Gibbs or in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer series within the characters of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. During World War II, American propaganda often invoked her as the symbol of all things American.[1] Songs on the armed forces request radio programs were not of Rosie the Riveter but of the girls who were waiting for soldiers.[2] Many such songs were also popular at the home front.[3] Themes of love, loneliness and separation were given more poignancy by the war.[4]

See also

References

Further reading

  • 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, 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
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