Essay on Southern United States and Extreme Fondness

Submitted By LexieMakaina
Words: 1047
Pages: 5

Lexie Mauldon
Comp. 1
M.T. Clark
Stereotypes
2/16/14 You Might Be a Redneck If Stereotypes, we can't live with them, and we can't live without them. Stereotypes are a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular person or idea. People every single day get stereotyped in ways that are correct and incorrect. We have all become accustomed to stereotyping everyone we see based on what they look like, what they talk like, and even where they live. I have been stereotyped as many things in my lifetime: spoiled, prima-donna, redneck, or nerdy. Yes, some of these don't seem like they would fit together but to an uninformed, judgmental person I seem to personify these characteristics. Being from the most backwoods part of the South, I can understand how someone who doesn't know me would make the judgment that I am a “dumb redneck.” I do tend to partake in some questionably redneck activities now and then, but I don't appreciate all of the assumptions people make when thinking of rednecks. What really irks me the most is that with the redneck stereotype, I am considered to be downright dumb and ignorant, gap-toothed and barefoot, and lazy and sluggish. While these qualities may ring true for some people, I don't consider myself to have any of these characteristics. First, people always seem to have the brainless idea that all people from the South are dumb and/or ignorant. I have had a life- long obsession with grades and school. I love knowledge and learning new things and I always take pride in being smart and well informed. Does that sound like a dumb redneck to anyone? People have the everlasting idea that anyone who comes from what they consider the South are so slow that they’re moving backwards. This stereotype is horribly wrong, at least where most of the people I know are concerned. I am by no means dumb or ignorant and strive to never be. In my honest opinion the people who believe and spread this stereotype are the true ignorant people. Of course, there is some truth in every stereotype out there. I have neighbors, friends, and even relatives who would meet the dumb and ignorant redneck stereotype, but that doesn't mean that the statement is true for all. Next, I really don't appreciate the stereotype that all Southern people are gap-toothed and barefoot. I, for example, have all of my teeth, and I have an extreme fondness for footwear. Movies, TV, magazines, and books have always fueled this stereotype and even supported it. Widely known and very famous comedian Jeff Foxworthy has even found a way to make a career out of bashing rednecks with his “You might be a redneck if...” jokes. According to Countryhumor.com, “You might be a redneck if you pick your teeth from a catalog” ( Foxworthy par. 44). These crude jokes are the very things that fuel the public's wrong opinion of Southern people. Southern people are constantly shown on television with no shoes and a dismal fashion sense. I can't speak for everyone, but I wear shoes more often than not, and I have an extreme love for fashion. I am a very trendy up-to-date person, as is most everyone I know and the unbelievable fact of the matter is that I’m from the South! If movies, TV shows, and ill-advised people would stop trying to tell the public that I walk around with no shoes and no teeth, my parents would be very appreciative. After all, they did spend $4,000 on dental braces. Lastly, the stereotype that all rednecks are considered to be lazy and sluggish. Frankly, this stereotype is annoying and quite stupid. Anyone who lives or has been to the South knows that Southerners are some of the most hard-working people out there. The phrase “sun up to sun down” definitely didn't originate from the North. Farmers and ranchers mostly live in the South and work the longest, hardest hours of any other profession. I feel as…