The Southern Belle Label

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Continuing from yesterday, the second question I asked these southern belles was, “How did being a southern woman tend to keep you small or hinder you in the expression of who you are?” Their answers:

In my professional life I found an attitude of, “Hi honey, that’s nice, now go home and cook something".

I was raised to be eye candy, have sex, make babies, and hire someone else to do the work. Men are the breadwinners in the family.

The southern rules of the polite exterior and sharp critical interior didn’t make sense to me.

I was told I was too loud, and that if I didn’t look like everyone else I had a serious character flaw.

As a black southern woman I felt invisible, unrecognized and not acknowledged.

I was taught it was arrogant to “toot my horn”.

I thought l had to cross over and take on more of a male role to be successful and powerful as a woman.

I was challenged to fit into the lace, frills, fru fru and “you all” type definition.

I thought I had a standard to live up to and it was quite confusing for me.

I didn’t know until I was a teenager that it was okay to use something other than white toilet paper or white sheets.

I think it was just the freedom and play. I really get how the charm benefited me, and yet when I moved out of that mold it was as if “all eyes were on me with who do you think you are?”

I was crushed that I couldn’t sit Indian style in my dress.

Stayed tuned for tomorrow. Hear how the southern belle label enhanced and expanded the expression and power of these same women.

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