Compare the two voices of Vanessa Hudgens in this just-posted trailer for Ron Krauss‘s Gimme Shelter (1.24.14). As the troubled Apple Bailey, Hudgens not only looks but sounds like a raw, frazzled gutter rat. Her voice is somewhere between a howl and a moan. But in the introduction that begins the trailer, a prettied-up Hudgens speaks in that chirpy, “sexy baby” Minnie Mouse mallspeak voice that all young 21st Century women have been taught to adopt. I’m sorry but I can’t take any actress seriously who sounds like that. It negates whatever chops she might deliver within a performance.

A comment from In A World‘s Lake Bell: “The vocal trend that is infecting the female youth in this fine nation is the sexy baby vocal virus. [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. [The sexy baby vocal virus] originated and then festered from reality television, in some respects. I would love to talk to some of the ladies who are on reality-television shows. I have a fantasy of helping them find their true voice.”

My first piece on this voicing trend (which I called “Chirpy Minnie Mouse“) was posted in June 2010. On 7.3.11 I posted a followup called “They Had Voices Then.”