Anger · Personal · Rant

I AM NOT A MORON (Or; F*ck ‘The Only Way is Essex’)

I am not a moron. I don’t spend my days shopping and getting my nails done, nor do I go to trendy nightclubs, nor have aspirations to be a glamour model or a ‘socialite’. Yet, thanks to the latest televisual cesspool from ITV, whenever I tell anyone where I live, this is what they assume. Yes, dear readers, I am from Essex. And as a county, we’ve been getting a bad rap for years. I don’t know whether Chigwell-ites ‘Birds of a Feather’ are to blame, or if it’s something else, but the rest of the world seems to have this impression that we’re vapid simpletons.

Our regional accent is considered to be the epitome of idiocy and if I had a pound for every time I’ve heard an Essex Girl joke, I’d be rich enough to open my own nightclub…*ahem*. But why is this negative stereotype perpetuated? Why do people not think of the intelligent and innovative Essex-born ‘people of note’ when they think of our beautiful county? I bet you didn’t know that the painter John Constable (of The Hay Wain fame) was born in Essex? Or even, indeed, that the setting of the Hay Wain is right here in Essex, a lovely little place called Flatford Mill (where I once went on a Biology A-Level field trip, but that’s a story for another day!) What about Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judy Dench, Rik Mayall, Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, Olympic decathlete Dean Macey, Dudley Moore CBE…need I go on?

So yes, while we do have the onerous title of being the birthplace to John Terry, Jodi Marsh and Chantelle Houghton, they do not represent the masses. The school I attended is rated 14th in the whole country for A-Level results. It’s in Essex. All of its pupils are from Essex. Is this getting through yet?! I may swear like a docker, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have the vocabulary to use other words if I needed to. I may have been blonde for many years, but I’ve yet to find a valid equation where blonde + Essex = low IQ.

I know one tiny blog post isn’t going to eradicate decades of Essex girl jokes and page 3 girl assumptions, but please, I’m begging you, when you think of Essex, please don’t think of this:

Think of this:

Hadleigh Castle, built in 1215 by Hubert De Burgh

Or this:

The Hay Wain by John Constable


Dame Helen Mirren

Thank you.

10 thoughts on “I AM NOT A MORON (Or; F*ck ‘The Only Way is Essex’)

  1. Thanks for posting the Hadleigh Castle pick, it brings back so many memories.

    The odd thing is that I spent the first 18 years of my life in Essex and don’t recall ever actually coming across any Only-Way-Is-Essex-type characters, and yet when people ask where I come from I still inwardly cringe because I know what the response will be. I’ve even had to deal with it in job interviews!

    I’m not a clubber, I don’t spend my life in a salon and I prefer to think of myself as a well-educated, respectable businesswoman. Most of the people I know from Essex are a lot like me, so why have we still got this terrible reputation?

  2. Good one, well done! Regional stereotypes are horrendous. I’m ok because I live in a ‘nice’ area, however I went to university in Newport and that was a very different kettle of fish.

  3. Never even seen “The only way is Essex” my love! But you’re from Essex, and I love you, so I LOVE ESSEX!
    p.s. we had that painting on our dining room wall as a kid, the Hay Wain one!

  4. To be fair, I did have that idea of Jersey, that everyone was a guido or guidette but as you say, what chance do you have when the media potrays it that way? Having said that, I’d love to visit, I’ve looked at pictures of yours on Facebook and thought that the place you live looks beautiful. And I know YOU aren’t a guidette or a big haired idiot 🙂

  5. Thanks! I got comments from your hubby when he was watching “The Sopranos” that we all spoke like that and said things like “yous guys”. lol I live about 12 miles from the Delaware River in Hunterdon County. It’s a really nice part of the state. Yous guys should come visit sometime! 😉 We’re about an hour from NYC and Philadelphia.

    1. We’d LOVE to come and visit, I’d love to meet you guys and I’d love E & R to meet and play together!

      Now, if I could just get Husband on that plane…!

  6. I feel I get the same rap for being from New Jersey – with shows like “Jersey Shore”, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”, “Jerseylicious” and “Jersey Couture” you can’t help but think all Jersey girls are big haired idiots. New Jersey is also considered “the armpit” of the country, however, we have some of the wealthiest counties in the country, lots of farmlands and nice beaches. I think people just get the impression that all of New Jersey looks like the area around Newark airport, which certainly isn’t the case.

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