Women want her clothes, her hair, her lipstick, her eyelashes. Some women have undergone operations to re-create her derrière. And men and women the world over have adopted her ‘selfie’ fascination.
There’s no denying it, Kim Kardashian, has a lot to answer for when it comes to trend-setting in popular culture.
But now, we’ve want more than looks. We want to her voice.
The latest Kim Kardashian craze has seen women altering the way they speak to sound more like the reality TV superstar. Yes, you heard that right – or rather, you ‘hearrrrd’ that right. Women are embracing ‘vocal fry’, or a way of speaking that emulates the celebrity’s valley girl drawl.
Research out of Louisiana State University has revealed 86% of students show signs of vocal fry in normal speech. 86%!
This became evident when they were asked to repeat a list of made-up words.
Think low frequencies, drawn out contestants and Mean Girl inflictions. ‘Whateverrrrrr’ instead of ‘whatever’, and ‘sooo cuuute’ as opposed to ‘so cute’.
“Vocal fry is a voice register most frequently heard in young female speakers of American English – a low “creaky” effect typically heard on episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” said researcher Todd Gibson.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians – Season 12 trailer. Post continues below video.
Vocal fry has been compared to ‘uptalk’ – “you know… when you, like, send the pitch of your tone, like, skywards at the end of a sentence? So everything sounds like a question?” – that’s uptalk.
Speech pathologists think both tendencies make women sound unintelligent and ditzy. Scarily enough, Kim Kardashian is changing this stereotype (reality check, anyone?) and women are using vocal fry to sound more authoritative and self-sure.
“Research has several theories as to why women use vocal fry: for example, reflecting sociolinguistic cues such as the need to sound more masculine,” Gibson explained. “Our [study suggests] that even when words have no meaning, young female speakers will seek to mark the end of an utterance or add emphasis with vocal fry.”
It just makes you wonder… Whateverrrrrrr is next?