April 30, 2013

Southern women

As a displaced Southern belle, I find it interesting to hear and see how my non-Southern friends, co-workers and colleagues view people from my neck of the woods. It stretches from one end of the spectrum to the other--thinking Southerners are dumb as bricks to sweet as pie. In short, everyone has a different opinion, though most do have an opinion (that they want to share). This is most pronounced in the obvious settings--when I'm meeting someone for the first, and/or when that person doesn't know many Southerners.

Shocking though it may be, we don't all like sweet tea, we don't all aspire to be housewives, we don't all know how to fry chicken, and we don't all believe that the higher the hair, the closer to Heaven. However, I do think that what sets us apart is that Southern women make the effort. I think that trait, more than how we talk or what we eat or how many bless-your-hearts we utter, is what makes a belle stand out. In fact, that's pretty much what this Garden & Gun article about redefining the Southern belle says:
To be born a Southern woman is to be made aware of your distinctiveness. And with it, the rules. The expectations. These vary some, but all follow the same basic template, which is, fundamentally, no matter what the circumstance, Southern women make the effort. Which is why even the girls in the trailer parks paint their nails. And why overstressed working moms still bake three dozen homemade cookies for the school fund-raiser. And why you will never see Reese Witherspoon wearing sweatpants. Or Oprah take a nap.
It's true--I never wear sweatpants in public (yoga pants are an altogether different subject), and I neverrarely take naps [anymore]. I don't leave the house with wet hair, and I wear makeup to the gym. 

I wouldn't have it any other way.

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