We always hear about the All-American girl. Certain celebrities are said to have that all-American look about them, but what does that even mean? Since America is a country that’s often considered a melting pot because of all the different ethnicities and cultures that have migrated to it, hearing someone talk about the All-American girl can be…confusing. While it’s definitely something that can be interpreted many different ways, depending upon your own unique experience(s) with America as a country there are some general characteristics that tend to be consistent when people refer to that All-American Girl, also known as the girl next door.
Often times when you hear people talking about the girl next door, they’re also referring to celebrities like Carrie Underwood, Reese Witherspoon, Cher from ‘Clueless’, and so on. In general, they’re the women and girls that have that bright blonde hair, light-colored eyes and fair skin. Stereotypically, those characteristics tend to be associated with the girl next door in American culture. In addition, they’re the girls who you’ll see dressed in a classic way as well. Sure there are variations for everyone as to what an “American” looks like, and like we said since America is such a melting pot and quickly growing in diversity the All-American girl stereotype could change and adapt over time as well.
The thing about the All American Girl look is it’s been stereotyped for many years now, even looking back at television shows like The Brady Bunch. Many of us naturally associate the Brady family as that All-American family with their appearance included – fair skin, light hair and eye color. It’s been a standard way we’ve looked at the girl next door for so many years, it’s likely the reason why it’s still holding on even in today’s society. If you even look at country music, we tend to associate a lot of country music stars as all-American women and really girl’s next door. Ironically (or not) if you look at some of the most successful women in country music they fit the profile as well, and are often referred to as having the all-American girl next door look about them. While we may want to naturally fight the stereotype, when we really look at the way we’ve looked at certain looks for so many years it holds some serious consistency. Really though – look at Barbie! She was in this same category for years, and it’s not until recently that Barbie has even experienced some changes. A theme that may be making its way into other aspects of the American culture in terms of looks and what the all-American girl really does look like, if we really think about it, it’s changed significantly over the years.
It will be interesting to see if 20 years from now the stereotype of the All-American girl stays the same, or adjusts over time. Many believe that with the change in culture it may slowly start to adjust.
What do you think of the classic All-American Girl look?