The ‘vocal fry’ epidemic
If you could pick, which part of Kim Kardashian’s life would you choose to have? The things that spring to mind may be the trademark Kardashian booty, hair and makeup team on speed dial or being married to Yeezy, right? However, that’s not the case – women are deliberately trying to imitate the way Kim K speaks.
Women in the UK are changing the way they speak by adopting ‘vocal fry’ to sound more like A list celebs such as Katy Perry and Britney Spears. This involves elongating certain syllables so that phrases such as ‘no way’ are pronounced as ‘no waaay’ and ‘whatever’ as ‘whateverrr’, turning them into a drawl.
Surely if there’s anything we would choose to change about ourselves, the absolute last thing to pick would be the way we speak? Well, you would think so anyways…
So why are people bothering?
According to Louisiana State University, researchers found that women think that lower voices make them seem more masculine, allowing them to compete with men in the workplace.
Okay so, this speech technique hasn’t exactly hurt Kim K’s career (obv) but many believe it carries negative connotations and can actually have damaging effects. A study has found that women who speak with ‘vocal fry’ are less employable as it has been criticised for making women sound ‘ditsy’ and ‘unintelligent’.
To make matters worse, feminist author Naomi Wolf said: ‘The less charitable refer to it privately as painfully nasal, and to young women in conversation sounding like ducks quacking’.
On top of this, chairman of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama, Cally Foster, has said: ‘It seems extraordinary that, having fought for the right to be heard, women risk not being listened to, by adopting a ‘speech impediment’ – one that is best laughable, at worst vocally damaging.’
Honestly, is it really worth the effort?
As if it wasn’t enough to drag yourself out of bed at 6am with minimal sleep and having to make yourself look semi-presentable for the day, the last thing on your mind should be the way you speak.
And FYI, we can totally take on men with our ‘normal’ voices so perhaps avoid the ‘vocal fry’ breakout ladies.