With everyone swooning about the late Lauren Bacall‘s husky, purry voice (N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis calls it “low and flat, wildly insinuating, electric and lingering”), it’s time once again to plead with all the under-35 women out there who speak in sexy-baby voices. Please step back, ladies, and think things over…please. Because too many of you have decided that sultry, smoky voices — the kind that Bacall, Glenda Jackson, Anne Bancroft and Patricia Neal used to play like wind instruments — aren’t as appealing or are perhaps even unattractive, and that you need to adopt those perverse beepity-beep-beep voices that Lake Bell mentioned last year.
“The vocal trend that is infecting the female youth in this fine nation is the sexy baby vocal virus,” Bell told NPR’s Terry Gross. “[It’s] a huge problem for a myriad of reasons, one being…is that sexy? Because…I think [what’s] intended is this submissive ‘I’m a 12-year-old and you can tell me what to do’ [thing], which I think is pretty weird, for that to be considered sexually enticing.”
Go to any bar and restaurant and walk around and listen to women’s voices…”peepity-peep-peep” and “squeakity-squeak-squeak.”
From a riff posted on 6.3.10: “I’m obviously not reporting scientific data, but it does seem as if an awful lot of Minnie Mouse voices are being feigned or emphasized these days, and that the rich, intriguing tonalities found in the wonderfully adult voices of Meryl Streep or Ann Sheridan in the 1940s, or Jessica Lange or Katharine Hepburn or Joan Crawford or Greer Garson or Faye Dunaway or Jodie Foster aren’t heard as much.”