How to Be a Southern Woman

Monday, May 20, 2013

I didn't own a cast iron skillet
until a friend bought me this one for my 32nd birthday.
Does this make me a poor excuse for a Southern woman?
"You are not a real Southern woman!" my mother-in-law said when she learned that I'm not a fan of collard greens. How could a girl born and raised in Alabama not like collard greens, she asked. 

Though my mother-in-law was joking, this wasn't the first time I was accused of not being a true Southern woman and it certainly was not the last. I'm a liberal feminist who doesn't want children and who hates to cook. By the stereotypical notion of what it means to be a Southern lady, the only thing Southern about me is my drawl. And some folks even claim not to notice that, which is crazy because I can add extra syllables to words with the best of them.

Though I did feel quite at home when I lived on the West Coast and in the Mid West, I am glad to be back in Alabama, back in the Deep South -- my true home. And I love being from the South. I am proud of my roots. I am proud to be a Southern woman, and, yes, I am a real Southern lady, at least by my own definition. 

I am the woman who understands the value of family, food, fashion, and faith. And this is what makes me a true Southern woman.

I may not want children, but I still value family. I believe in honoring my parents and my husband with all that I do. My brother is one of my very best friends. And, as I've mentioned before, I get really annoyed when people say to my husband and me, "Don't you two want to start a family?" We have traditions, great memories, and unconditional love for each other. We are a family.

And I keep my family fed, even though I don't like to cook. And if you come to my house, I'll feed you too because I believe in Southern hospitality. And I believe that people bond best over food, which is why if you want to hang out with me I'm going to always suggest we go out for brunch, lunch, dinner, or any other meal I can think of.

And when we do go out, my outfit will be cute. In the South dressing inappropriately for an occasion is considered just downright rude. Thus, down here fashion isn't about vanity, it's about good manners. So if you've invited me to an event in July, you better believe I've already started thinking about what I'm going to wear.

Though I am liberal on several social issues, I am a woman of faith. I'm a church-going gal and proud of it. My relationship with God directs my decisions and colors my worldview. Albert Einstein once said "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle." I believe everything is a miracle and I believe that because of my faith in my God. 

And in case you're thinking I should have added football to my list, I have that covered too: Roll Tide!

Proud Southern Lady!

This post was also published on my new blog on The Southern Coterie, "the social network of the SOUTH." This online community is for Southerners and all those who love the South. 


  1. Hi Javacia! Love this blog post and thanks for sharing it over on The Southern C - The Social Network of the South! Please add more of your delightful posts. You are a talented writer and inspiring businesswoman. Look forward to hearing more from you!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! And thanks for creating The Southern C. It's such a wonderful idea.

  2. Javacia, it is so nice to meet another "non-southerner" I have lived in the south all my life with deep southern roots and I don't like collards either. I'm still southern through and through. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and for your comment!

  3. You got it, Javacia! Faith, family, food, and fashion are what the south is all about. Those traits may come in various forms, but in the south we LOVE that about each other.

  4. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've heard much of this, well besides the starting a family because I already have two munchkins. Most people don't believe I'm from Louisiana, and furthermore, they don't believe I'm from a very small town in Louisiana. Or, they just assume I know how to cook, which isn't bad because I can and for the most part, I love to. But they also assume that I love all the southern food. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of most of it like most people down here are.

    But my faith in God - strong.
    The love for my family & friends - invaluable.

  5. in high traffic cheap christian louboutin commercial street, trade centers, but also discount nike jordans in the bar Christian Louboutin Bois Dore street, night market street, Bags Louis Vuitton street snack, as long christian louboutin shoes as people are not afraid of no business.The guests selected pattern Discount LV Handbags template pattern set Christian Louboutin Daffodile in place to be, and evenly Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags coated with the magic potion, remove the template, to be air shop tattoo pigment pattern through the needle into the skin, the skin discount christian louboutin has some damage, you need to use a laser to remove the handle. Temporary tattoo art avoids cheap nike jordan shoes this problem, you can always use the magic potion to Cheap LV Handbags change or eliminate according to personal preference. Gift Discount Louis Vuitton to fashion, novelty students, young friends, fashion people cheap jordans and people who christian louboutin remise 50% have christian louboutin scars or birthmarks, wholesale jordan shoes tattoos can be covered.