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So You Want to be a Southern Belle

Updated on March 18, 2020
kenneth avery profile image

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

First Off, Let Me Say That

for you to ask such a question is very tough and very awkward. You see. I am a male. Obviously I know nothing about being a southern belle, just looking at them and appreciating them is more my forte. Not that I am being rude, it’s simple. I do not want to offend anyone. But if you are seeking advice on being a southern belle, then I suggest that you run down in Mississippi toward Vicksburg, Gulfport, Columbus, and Hattiesburg and just maybe, you will see a woman like the one that you are seeking. I understand that there are many Southern Belle Contests and Appreciation Days in these locations.

I won’t lie. I have, on occasion, wondered what a southern belle’s life was like. From a distance it surely looked like living in a playground, easy-living, no stress and having a great time on a daily basis. At least that is what my eyes seen. Guess I was wrong. In 2020, I do not know if really, there is such a thing as a southern belle. No. I am not knocking or throwing mud toward my precious female friends, it is a matter of the thing Political Correctness. To some, this noun is very sticky and like walking in the dark through a brier thicket. It is for me, because I grew up in a brier thicket, literally and figuratively. Not a fun place, let me tell you.

Now. I went to my roots in my pure southern background, and now I want to really pump-up my imagination in order to share with you, “So You Want to be a Southern Belle.” Speaking from my imagination, my friend, is the only way that I can achieve this. Do not be offended. The following thoughts are strictly my thoughts and (I dare say) none of the staff of HubPages or the numerous members thereof.

If you want to be a southern belle, then you need to read these do’s and don't's concerning being and living like a southern belle. Do not say that you were not warned.


Cover on front of Harper's Biazzarre Aug. 1, 1861.
Cover on front of Harper's Biazzarre Aug. 1, 1861. | Source

Are You Ready?

Do . . .

  • be soft-spoken. This is, in my opinion, the trademark of true southern belle’s. A soft-voice captures the attention to the surrounding males who are out to “court” her while the females are there to be like her.

  • be moderate when applying make-up. One thing that a true southern belle does not need is a southern belle who looks the part of a storefront mannequin.

  • be very courteous when dealing with store owners and managers because the southern belle never knows when her husband’s cotton gin has to shut-down and she will not have his money to depend on. A friendly store owner will be very quick to hire the pretty, respectful belle.

  • be quick to forgive the error’s of those who commit those accidental sins when the stranger lets his profane mouth causes her pretty face to blush.

  • be thankful when her husband, suitor, or even a male or female friend gives them a good dinner or some other nice gift to show their friendliness. And remember, dear southern belle’s, there is no such of a think as a small gift.

  • be very respectful when dealing with men, especially those of high station, or females of the same station and even those who have met with a rather cruel life.

Don’t . . .

  • talk so much that your guests, male or female, will be so bored that they yawn, look at their watches and squirm because they are about to head home.

  • boast about how much your dress costs or how much your husband takes home from hauling another great cotton harvest. Bragging will lead to sudden anger and may lead to hard feelings.

  • let your pretty eyelids get you into a close place. If you have been blessed, (like most southern belles) with pretty eyelashes and even the most-careful women of the southern belle lifestyle, can cause menfolk to think the wrong thing when their eyelashes flutter. Watch your eyelashes.

  • be harsh toward small animals such as cats, dogs, and chimpanzee’s. There are occasions when a southern belle can use a small dog in her arms to tell those around her that she is a prosperous woman with money in the bank.

  • allow your lips to offend anyone. Example: if you are sitting at a dining table in a fine restaurant and a man who has had a few strong drinks stumbles around your table and offers you a few rather bold, colorful phrases. Be kind to that man. That kindness will bring you many rewards.

  • Be patient with the most-talkative man or woman sitting in a restaurant yakking about his or her acreage on his farm or plantation. First of all, you will end-up looking like a boorish woman and by being patient, you or your husband may buy the “motor mouth’s” land for a good price and you will be thankful that you were patient.

Now all of your would-be southern belles, come on hack heah, and sit a spell.

March 18, 2020______________________________________________


Sally Ward, a southern belle by George Peter.
Sally Ward, a southern belle by George Peter. | Source

© 2020 Kenneth Avery

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    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      16 months ago from Jacksonville, FL USA

      I love Doris' comment.

      The first word that comes to mind when I try to describe my own version of a Southern belle is "grace." The second thing that I think of are big, full-skirted dresses with ruffles and lace. Maybe silk. Then, I think of the ringlet hairstyle made with the curling iron. She probably lives in a large home with white columns and at least two stories. The surrounding yard is kept neat and tidy with beautiful magnolia trees, green hedges, and a flower bed at the base of the front porch. There are at least two rocking chairs on that porch, and a bench swing.

      The lady eats slowly, carefully, and does not take large portions or bites. She might have some artistic talent, such as piano, oil painting, or singing.

      Personally, I don't remember ever wanting to be a Southern belle, but my mother claimed she nearly would have been one, had her father not sold the Texas acreage for dirt cheap. He had decided to sell the land because, as a farmer, he couldn't grow any crops on it. Well, low and behold, after selling, oil was discovered on that very same land. (Too bad, Mom!)

      Blessings!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      16 months ago from Beautiful South

      LOL, so he says. Sorry, dear friend, Southern Belles are born, not made. My mother was a true Southern Belle although she was a child of the Great Depression and grew up poor. My first mother-in-law was a true Southern Belle although she was a Texan. That beautiful little lady had a soft spoken mouth, but she could let fly when insulted by a rude clerk in a store. She was a department manager in a large clothing store, and everyone in our small town loved her. One day when admonished by her son for some tongue lashing she gave a rude clerk at another store, she replied that she was old enough to not have to put up with that crap from some young, wet behind the ears cuss when she was the customer. So you see, Southern Belles must have been the model for the president's "speak softly and carry a big stick."

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