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Giovanna Fletcher's impassioned plea to stop Essex Girl stereotype: 'It's utterly disgusting'

Sharnaz Shahid

Giovanna Fletcher felt compelled to take to her social media sites on Thursday to defend her Essex roots. The 31-year-old was appalled to learn that various English-speaking dictionaries have defined an "Essex Girl" as someone who is "unintelligent, promiscuous, and materialistic".

Urging her followers to sign the petition to get the descriptions removed, the mother-of-two - who is married to McFly rocker Tom Fletcher - revealed her extreme annoyance over the "derogatory" remark.

"'Unintelligent, promiscuous and materialistic...' I'm becoming increasingly annoyed at this...," she wrote alongside an image of the definition from the Oxford English Dictionary.

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Giovanna Fletcher felt compelled to take to her social media sites on Thursday to defend her Essex roots

"I am very proud to be an Essex girl. You know, a girl from Essex. It's utterly disgusting that this derogatory explanation of the term is in the OXFORD DICTIONARY! Please sign the petition to get it removed!"

The Oxford English Dictionary claims that an Essex Girls is "a contemptuous term applied to a type of young woman, supposedly to be found in and around Essex, and variously characterized as unintelligent, promiscuous, and materialistic."

Meanwhile, Collins Dictionary described the term as "a young working class woman from the Essex area, typically considered as being unintelligent, materialistic, devoid of taste, and sexually promiscuous."

The petition, which brought together by local workshop group The Mother Hub, was launched earlier this month to "reclaim" the real description of an Essex Girl.

"We were shocked to see that "Essex girl" was listed in the dictionary, and appalled at the definition," they told HELLO! Online. "We launched the petition to raise awareness and to open a dialogue around the derogatory "Essex girl" stereotype, which is clearly something many people feel passionately about, according to the thousands of comments we have received.

"We understand that it is listed in the dictionary as a result of widespread usage in the English language, but to us (and to everyone else who has backed the campaign), 'Essex girl' simply means 'a girl from or living in Essex'. We think it's time to finally ditch the stereotype, so here at The Mother Hub, we are doing our bit to reclaim "Essex girl" by publicly celebrating the incredible women and girls in and from Essex, who in no way identify with the dictionary definition."

In 2002, Claire Turner, a spokesman for Oxford University Press defended the definition.

"New words and phrases are chosen because of the frequency with which they are used. We didn't mean to insult anyone," she told The Telegraph.