Can I Have a Vocal Fry With That?
The Valley Girl Has Returned With Vocal Fry….But Is She Healthy?
From the land of the Valley Girl, now comes Vocal Fry. What is it?
No, it’s not a new offering at Micky D’s!
That low froggy croaking voice that is trending as educated, urban oriented, and upwardly mobile. It’s said that TWO THIRDS of college women are now found to be speaking this way – are they sacrificing their education for status?
According to Science Now, chances of it leading to vocal damage are very minimal. Yet, while few words here and there is no big deal, doctors say it’s unhealthy to speak this way continually. The voice box vibrations in creating these sounds cause the vocal chords to rub up against each other the wrong way, slower than normal. Not enough air is moving through. Anything that causes the vocal fold to slap together with force, particularly if shouting, can lead to injury. Often this condition is associated with a cough and vocal fatigue. Professionally, women with Vocal Fry are seen in hiring situations as less hirable – less trustworthy, competent, and educated.
Singing professionals attest that the name ‘Vocal Fry’ indicates exactly what it does – fries the voice, leading to a loss of capability for the high notes. For most of us, this is not a huge issue, but still something to keep in mind – in the event we really need to break that glass, get the attention of a law officer in an emergency, or for a few of the gifted among us, attract stray cats.
Then there’s the question of air. Little has been addressed on the subject that this author has found, but one can imagine that hindering air flow unquestionably impacts the quantity of oxygen exchange happening for the body and brain. Perhaps that might be self evident in some of the celebs of VF Speak?
Common sense and scientific studies on the benefits of exercise in oxygenation to the brain dictate that employing full range of the trachea for O2 would certainly be a better option for health than Vocal Fry trend setting. Due diligence rewards the wise to ensure the best health and the least risk of dis-ease due to lack of it, including brain cell degeneration.
How to ‘fix’ vocal fry? Take deeper, fuller breaths before speaking to ensure healthy functioning open vocal chords and voice box. It will help feed your brain and your cells to boot! Buck the trend setting behavior. Appearing as ‘in and urban’ may cause you harm, and will likely NOT cause you to be more urbane.
Other than potential harm of annoyance to listeners, studies are inconclusive as to the actual benefit or harm to health due to lack of oxygen.
What do YOU think?