Girlie Stereotypes

We have an office assistant on the magazine called Fadwa. She is great. Lebanese but raised in Abu Dhabi. She always has an opinion or something to tell us all. This morning she arrived with a quote of the day which is as follows:

If you marry a monkey for his money, the money might disappear and you will be left with a monkey.

It got me thinking about an article I am writing about so-called Jumeirah Janes. These are basically ladies who lunch, have their nails done and complain about their maids. They often live in an area of Dubai called Jumeirah. Then I started thinking about other girlie stereotypes; Chavs, Sloane Rangers, Valley Girls, Essex Girls.


Can you think of any more? I would love to include several of them from all over the world in the article so send please them over. I was trying to think of a Swedish one but can only come up with a male stereotype: the ‘raggare‘ who drives an old American car and cruises chicks. Or maybe they don’t even exist in any more now that petrol is so expensive.

I end on another one of Fadwa’s bon mots:  A smart man is a man who makes money for his girl to spend. A smart girl is one who finds a man like that.

Nothing stereotypical about that…. Oh and by the way, if Annie Liebowitz is going bust what hope is there for the rest of us?
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009

22 thoughts on “Girlie Stereotypes

  1. What’s happening to Annie Leibovitz is really sad. It just shows that you can be a true genius but still lack business sense. It’s sad because genius cannot be learned. You either have it or you don’t, but you can learn how to handle your finances properly.

    About the idle rich (smart!!!???) women of the world. Here in Switzerland, we have an epidemic. But make no mistake, keeping up with the Joneses is HARD work! The competition is really fierced. A quote from that illustrates their gruelling job : “Typical! The Joneses are the first people in the close to get the flu.”

  2. Well in France we have (as you probably know ;)) BCBG, les bonnes petites cathos Versaillaises (with their Peter Pan collars and 5 children by the age of 32!), les femmes dans l’education nationale (I have no fewer than FOUR sisters in law plus a stepdaughter in this category and could write a thesis)…

  3. Here’s a Mediterranean stereotype for you –

    One of the more expensive towns on the island of Malta is called Sliema. Pronounced Slee-ma (and coming from the Arabic word “Saleem” or “Sliem”) it means “Peace”. It is quite a trendy place, has a large coast line and has an impressive number of eateries, bars and shops.

    People who live there are well-off, naturally, and to show that they are better than the average Maltese, tend to speak in English. The implication used to be that they are (better) educated but with post-war reforms, education has improved everywhere. Now, people from Sliema tend to talk in English but with a few Maltese terms thrown in. The result is a sentence in both languages that only a fellow Maltese-English speaker would understand. In the worst examples, someone will speak a sentence in English using Maltese grammatical rules and vice versa. These women (for it is predominantly a female trait) are known as “tal-pepe” (pronounced “tull pe-pe”). Unfortunately I do not know the provenance of the nickname.

    Hope this helps

    The Unexpected Traveller

  4. Woah, go carefully, Helena. To the unsuspecting outsider I know I come across immediately as most people’s idea of a typical Jumeirah Jane having all the prerequisites and then add some. But I’ve lived here in central Jumeirah for 20 years, and although my female neighbours may be easy to riducule they are not so simple to stereotype accurately. Drop me an e-mail if you’d like to discuss further.

  5. The only female poseurs that spring to mind can be found strutting stiff legged in the latest piste fashion up and down the main street if Kitzbuel and similar high profile centres, but are rarely seen on the actual slopes. Yet there again, I am only a man, and what do I know about female customs and practice?

  6. Ok – further to my previous comment:

    A Maltese tal-pepe would wear UK high street brand names. Topshop, Next, Wallis, Miss Selfridges since these are the biggest names on the island. There are no designer shops in Malta so anyone wearing a better brand name is in a separate league.

    Not sure that there is a specific sort of car they’d drive, but they all have the latest mobile phone – iPhone preferably.

    The U T

  7. How could you possibly forget the classic WAG? (sometimes known in my hometown of Manchester as the Wilmslow Wife. Blonde hair, acrylic nails, fake tan and the ubiquitous tight white jeans and heels. (As far away from me as it’s possible to be!)

    Caroline (love the blog btw)

  8. In Hong Kong there are Tai Tai’s.
    These are women with lots of money who are immaculately turned out and spend all their time shopping or lunching.

  9. Helena, please don’t forget about the UES (upper east side) moms or Park Avenue moms (called both). They are very well portrayed in the movie called “The Nanny Diaries.” Walk Park, Madison, or 5th avenues and you’ll see them everywhere. It is definitely not a freak show of downtown Cipriani’s (I know you’ve been there, right?) but equally entertaining!

  10. Thank you all so much, they have all been incorporated in the article which I hope will be the cover story on September 26th.
    If you had to pick one of these, which one would you be? I am rather attracted by the idea of being a Park Avenue Mom….

  11. Rich, influential pissed off women have a tendancy to fight back so heed Cate’s words on this one. I know you are a lovely person (I’ve met you) but Abu Dhabi has yet to find out. I loved Joanne’s link to the Dove commercial and have put a bare faced picture of me on my site in solidarity. Want to do the same?

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