My headteacher's notion that 'her girls' would be disadvantaged by the Essex Girl stereotype prevelant in the national tabloids in the late eighties and early nineties made me hysterical with laughter. I quite seriously thought that the only thing stopping me from getting ahead in the world would be me.
I spent the next four years at uni being the butt of everyone else's jokes. (My only respite was a year in Strasbourg where I was subsumed into the the hard-drinking, loose-living stereotype of les anglaises).
I am amazed that a decade and a half later we've only moved on to the extent that the Essex Girl stereotype is being championed not just by the tabloids but by Germaine Greer in the Observer.
She'll be telling us next that she enjoys nothing more than watching Desperate Housewives and Footballers' Wives. Backward-looking programmes which promote the 'virtues' of ignorance and good looks.