When you live somewhere for long enough, things that seemed odd to you at first become the norm. What was glaring is now wallpaper, what was bizarre is now day-to-day. It’s only when you have visitors come to your town that the veil is lifted and you see things afresh through their eyes.
We’ve recently had a couple of friends through town, Karen from Australia and Uli from Berlin. And the two of them immediately honed in on the LA Woman as one of the odder creatures on the earth.
I’ve made jokes about them before. I mean, how can you not? Made famous by Hollywood and immortalized in countless films and shows as the vapid high school/co-ed/young woman, perpetually blonde and valley girled in accent. Ripe with fodder for laughs.
But that’s just it. I did make jokes about them. But now I don’t, because I don’t even see them anymore.
So we’re out at dinner with Karen the other night and she is taking in a table of women who’ve rocked up for a birthday. To the other side of us we have a Kardashian look-alike contest going on. There’s a lot of make-up and sequins and hair and shoes ablazing.
Of course there is the obvious. The vapid conversations, the video clip styling, the war of accessories. But it was Karen who made the observation that they all felt the same. Not looked, felt.
And right she was. Physically, they are all variations on a theme of what it is to be a girl in the city of angels. But what I’d never noticed before is that they are energetically the same girl. The vibe they project is that of a princess.
Raised to believe that they are special, entitled to the nth degree, taught that every second outdoors you must project your correct image which has been accorded from on high by the movie industry. So you must glitter and glow as you look down on all around you.
As royalty has been reared for a life in the court, so too has the LA Girl been raised for a life in Tinseltown. Where royals may have the odd hunting trip or ceremonial visit to town, The LA Girl has the odd trip to a resort in Mexico and dinners at the Roosevelt Hotel.
The difference though is that a royal is to the manor born, whereas the LA Girl spends a lot of her life trying to get into that manor that’s she’s been raised her whole life to think she automatically deserves. So perhaps the vibe of a princess in waiting is closer to the truth.
Like every court on the planet has an accent that is reserved for it, so too is there a special dialect that the LA Girl practices. Uli was the one who commented that there is no other place on the planet where women speak in that Mickey Mouse voice.
“Thank you” becomes, “think yew”. “I love that” becomes, “aye lah-ve thyat”. And “So awesome” becomes, “soo ahh-sum”. All cranked up and tweaky, like an elf sucking helium.
Zone in on any conversation and the discussions are alarming. As members of the chattering class, there are never any serious issues being debated. Conversation largely revolves around celebrity news and he said, she said. But the most alarming thing is that the level of vocabulary is so limited. Words tend to be no further along than when they were at high school. And there is something immature about the emphases and where they land in the sentence; it gives the impression of a toddler trying to make a point as opposed to an adult holding a conversation.
In Japan, there is a male and female accent and even special words reserved for only one of the sexes. Women there very much know that the women’s Japanese foisted upon them is a cage in which they are kept. Women here in LA are clueless to this. The accent, the behavior, the everything keeps them in a bubble they don’t even know they’re in.
It got me wondering about how a woman like this might do in other cities around the States. LA girls would literally be crushed in the street by the New York woman. A woman from Seattle would wonder why this LA girl can’t play in instrument or raise a chicken. And the women down South would wonder why she can’t cook or throw down in a fist fight.
As for the rest of the planet, forget it.
So amazingly, this city has produced a woman who can only survive within its city limits. A pampered creature who grazes the strip malls, wears dresses too short and knows every manicurist in a 10 mile radius of her home.
The crazy thing is that after five years here, I think she’s what a normal woman is like.
Oh My Gahd LA, like, think yew.