Thursday, November 8, 2007

Southern Belle

Cover illustration of Harper's Weekly, September 7, 1861 showing a stereotypical "Southern belle"

A southern belle (derived from the French belle, 'beautiful') is an archetype for a young woman of the American Old South's antebellum upper class. During the period, Kentuckian Sallie Ward of Louisville was the most noted belle in the South, and her portrait, which hangs in the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, is often called "The Southern Belle." A Southern Belle epitomized southern hospitality, cultivation of beauty and a flirtatious yet chaste demeanor. The stereotype continues to have a powerful aspirational draw for many people, and books like We're Just Like You, Only Prettier, The Southern Belle Primer, and The Southern Belle Handbook are plentiful. Other current terms in popular culture related to "southern belles" include "Ya Ya Sisters," "GRITS (Girls Raised In The South)," "Sweet Potato Queens," and "Bulldozers disguised as powder-puffs."

To detractors, the southern belle stereotype is a symbol of repressed, "corseted" young women nostalgic for a bygone era.
GRITS - Well, I must say, that gives a whole new meaning to GETA (Good Enough To Eat).


Rhian said...

AHHHHHH!!!!!!! Not the SPQs!!!
Ah SWEAR by all that is holy that they are NOT trying to look like me. No matter what photographic evidence may be out there on certain blogs. it's a conspiracy ah tell you. Freaking mashed potato queens is what they are. grumble.

Rhian said...

ps - Roscoe James, thank you so very much for them there links to multi-syllable words like "archetype" - ah'm sure ah would never have figured out what you meant without those evah so helpful links. rolling eyes.

Roscoe James said...


Lisa Andel said...

And you think I'm whacked?