Search Box

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Baby doll voices, Part II

Yesterday morning Rona commented:

Baby doll voice in a grown woman is so disturbing I tend to categorize these women as of questionably sanity. It sends a signal of something being not quite right about a person. Maybe I'm prejudiced because it creeps me out, I wonder if they did a study comparing baby voiced women to normal women.

I replied:

It's not really a question of sanity so much as it is of just phoniness. It's sort of like when women thrust their breasts at you and pout and act overtly sexual: I've always found that to be a big turnoff. And the baby doll voice usually goes hand in hand with that kind of behavior. It's almost as if these women think they're appealing to the child molester in every man when they act like faux little girls. What I always seem to hear, though, is a faint echo of, "Daddy, why did you leave when I was a little girl? Wasn't I cute enough for you?"

It's sad, but simultaneously off-putting.


It had never really occurred to me before I wrote that reply yesterday, but when you really think about it, what exactly is a woman trying to accomplish with that voice? (I'm not talking about women with naturally squeaky little voices, only those with whom it's an affectation.) If she thinks that by sounding like a little girl she's going to be more attractive to you, what she's implying is that, at heart, you're a child molester. 

And women who speak in an effusively syrupy-sweet voice, which often overlaps with baby doll/sex kitten voice, are almost guaranteed to be the opposite. 

Whenever I hear that voice, I just assume there's a viper lurking inside.

Update, three days later: I realized, after being given several examples of women who speak that way, that I was overstating the case; they're not all vipers. I should have said, when you hear a voice like that, it's anybody's guess as to who's behind it. 

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you mean. Can you link me to any videos or clips of this 'baby doll' voice? I've tried to search by myself, but I can't find it.

- Gethin

John Craig said...

Gethin --
Here's a clip of Marilyn Monroe on Youtube, she comes on at around 4:30 of the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L05TYBXwU3A

And here's Melanie Griffith, starting at around 45 seconds of this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fyxle2XfAwM

The Ambivalent Misanthrope said...

I really wanted to contribute to this intriguing discussion intelligently, but I feel I can only do that if I have practical experience of the subject at hand... and when it comes down to it, personally I have not ever known a woman who did that, so... I can't in all honesty extrapolate...

As a sort of semi-tangential contribution, then, I will say, based on personal experience, that women can affect a younger-sounding voice out of a fear of growing old and sounding like old hags. Which, as we know, gives a woman an EXPIRED label on the dating market. For a woman like Jackie Kennedy, I am sure that was the ultimate defeat.

John Craig said...

Ambivalent Misanthrope --
When Gethin asked me for an example of a woman who affected that sex kitten/baby talk voice, and I gave him Marilyn Monroe and Melanie Griffith, I realized I had exaggerated when I said there's a viper inside. There's not, necessarily. It's just that of the grown women I've known who've affected that sugar pie voice, they presented completely false faces, and could turn on you in an instant. One was, I think, a borderline personality, though I didn't know her well enough to say.

You make a good point about older women wanting to appear younger. The thing about Jackie, though, was she never had to worry about that since she was Jackie Kennedy. The public -- and the media -- never grew tired of her, and remained fascinated with her right up until her death in 1994, at age 63.

Smallberries Worldwide said...

I think this is kind of similar to what they are recently calling the "Indie girl voice" In some female singers. When I heard this song by K. Flay it made me think of that baby doll voice.

https://youtu.be/zfwFGQM4D1E

John Craig said...

Smallberries Worldwide --
Yes, that's it, though for the first 45 seconds she sounds sort of tough, then goes into more of the little girl thing after that; and she also seems to have sort of an ethnic affectation (white girl trying to sound sort of black), although I suppose that's common with rap artists.

When I was talking of women who use this voice, though, I wasn't referring to women who put it on for the recording of a song, or temporarily as a sort of joke, but of women who use it most of the time, as their persona.

gringott12 said...

Back in the day my father married a woman who lived at home with her elderly parents, also her niece lived there. She was in HS at the time. She was abandoned by her mother to the grandparents at some point, I believe the father was never in the picture. From talk between my father and his wife, she was some kind of a weirdo [the mother], drugs weird sex etc. Her mother lived in Fl, Key West. the mother came up for a visit and left the girl without notice. I think she was about 12 when this happened.
Anyway, the niece affected this baby voice all the time, I never heard her speak naturally, even later in her life when she was in her 30's. I suspect she had some major mental trauma over the abandonment. Also perhaps something else had happened to her.

All I know is I never heard anyone speak that way before [in person] and my brothers and I found her extremely odd [we were several years younger].

John Craig said...

Gringott12 --
Birdie mentioned in a comment on the previous post on baby doll voices that a number of commenters had speculated that this kind of voice is caused by some emotional trauma early on, which fits with your story. And as I said in the post, I usually hear faint echoes of abandonment issues as well. It's as if the emotional development (and voice development) stop when the parent leaves.

Anonymous said...

Georgia Engel who played Georgette on the Marry Tyler Moore Show. Her character was Ted Baxter's girlfriend, then wife. She has the baby doll voice.

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Yes, she did. But was that just for the role, or did she speak that way in real life, too?

Anonymous said...

That's her actual voice. I watched some YouTube interviews with her. She comes across as a genuinely nice lady. I am wondering whether for whatever reason, some women just end up having girlish sounding voices. Maybe, the vocal chords fail to mature. Who knows.

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Thank you. When I started writing that post, I was thinking more in terms of sex kitten voices, somehow it morphed into little girl voices. I think I'll put an update on the post, say I overstated my case.

Anonymous said...

I give credit where it's due. This name was listed on the Data Lounge website. When I looked the actress up, I was like, oh yes, I remember her. Her character, Georgette, had kind of a sex kittenish type voice.

- birdie

Anonymous said...

You can add Kathy Ireland to the list. Someone mentioned her on some forum. I watched an interview with Arsenio Hall on YouTube. She sounds like a girl. Kathy was very pretty in the early 90's.

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
I remember her, big SI model. Went on to become a successful businesswoman, as I recall. I always thought she was overrated, looks-wise.

Anonymous said...

Kathy Ireland had a paper route when she was 11 years old. My twin sister, best friend, and I had paper routes at around the same age in a suburb of Cleveland, OH. Today, I get nervous thinking about that job, getting up around 5:30 a.m., walking to the street corner where the papers were piled high, then delivered them solo. Today, it would be unsafe. Angels must have been around us.

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
I never had one, but I knew a bunch of kids who had them when I was young. I agree, much less safe today. Back then they were delivered by kids on bicycles, these days by men in cars.

Anonymous said...

We delivered the papers on foot, in a middle class to upper middle class neighborhood. I had a gay couple on my route - they had a house overlooking Lake Erie. That was my first time seeing a couple living together who obviously gay. We had these routes just for the fun of it. You saw raccoons at that time of the morning.

- birdie