Thursday, August 11, 2011

on being Southern

One of my favorite photography blogs posted a link this week to a column called Redefining the Southern Belle. It's from, appropriately, Garden & Gun magazine. (Best name for a Southern magazine ever.)

The beginning of the article is an essay, an ode to Southern womanhood. The rest is a rundown of successful Southern women of today. I mostly love the essay part; that is, mostly.

Being a Southern girl, I read these kinds of odes to Southern-ness often. (Southerners are nothing if not self-congratulatory.) I wonder if there are as many odes to other regions ...odes to being a Yankee? To Midwestern womanhood? Sounds weird just saying it - "Midwestern womanhood." Somehow I don't see women from, say, Kansas bragging about themselves too terribly much.

Most odes to Southernness end up being full of rosy stereotype and hyperbole, as you might expect. This essay is no exception. But there are gems in there worth noting and worth being proud of, if you are - like me - a Southern woman:
Southern women see no point in the hard way. Life is hard enough. ...When you are born into a history as loaded as the South’s, when you carry in your bones the incontrovertible knowledge of man’s violence and limitations, daring to stay sweet is about the most radical thing you can do.  
There's also a great explanation - the clearest I've read - about why most of us go to so much effort on our appearances. Read on for the reason why.

Yankee girls, are you rolling your eyes? Southern girls, is this right on the money?

1 comment:

MrsDragon said...

California girl here and definitely eye rolling. She makes some sweet points but also throws some sharps elbows. Southern women like men and "let them stay men"? Ay, ay, ay.