Being a Southern belle is more than monograms and pearls

It’s all about respect and having a good head on your shoulders


The Southern belle – a charming piece of porcelain, to be treated with the same respect she gives. Her youth and purity are to radiate from her being. Whether you’re from the South or not, we all long to be this ideal woman.

There are countless magazines with guides including wholesome Southern recipes and overpriced clothing, promising to help achieve this image. What those sources may not tell you is that being a Southern belle isn’t something sold in a mold.

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In order to be a Southern lady, you need these two things: a strong heart and a mind to match. Kate Spears wrote in an article for Deep South Magazine: “A true Southern belle is more than a feisty, hot-tempered beauty who flounces around in a hoop skirt.”

Being a true Southern belle, whether she originates from the South or not, is something that can be achieved without a million-dollar wardrobe – it’s all mental. From experience, I’ve gathered the following are all characteristics of that ideal Southern woman.

‘Come as you are’ is a state of mind

If she invites (or doesn’t invite) someone to her home, she does not expect them to be perfect. Now, this also doesn’t mean she allows herself to be walked all over, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Simply put, she is a good hostess. She doesn’t necessarily have to cook an extravagant meal for her guests, but she most certainly can if she needs to. All she has to do is make sure her guests feel welcomed in her home. They won’t ever feel like a burden or as though they can’t be themselves.

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‘Family is the most important thing’

Though a Southern belle may not be perfect, she understands that family is above all. If the family is struggling or going through a rough patch, she isn’t afraid to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done, even if it means sacrificing her outward beauty, because she knows that beauty is not always something that is physically apparent.

‘If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’

Though family is extremely important, a true Southern belle knows how she feels is the key to making it all work. She may sacrifice her sanity for a day or two, but if she isn’t right with herself, nothing good will come of anything she sews. “Me time” is essential to the well-being of her family and life order.

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‘Southern ladies are known for being subtle – like a freight train’

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson was right – though she may not make a scene, a true Southern belle makes it apparent that she won’t be walked all over. Respect runs through her veins, but she also practices the art of standing her ground. You may wear boots, but you won’t find any marks on her.

Whether you believe in the idea of the Southern belle or not, you can find us all around the globe. All a Southern belle really is, is a respectable woman with values and a good head on her shoulders.