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How to Portray Southern Characters
Part 1: Southern Gals
In this Guide Series, I will teach you about the many different types of characters from the South and how to play them. Not all Southern men are rednecks or what you see on Swamp People on the History Channel. Not all girls are Southern Belles and can be more like the men. As a girl from the South, I’ve noticed all my life the different types of people down here and I’ve decided to help you all out. Plus, I’m getting tired of seeing Southern characters in roleplays played the same exact way and not having the diversity we actually have. Also, not a lot of roleplays have characters from the South and I think that by making this guide, it will make you think about adding one to your roleplay.
Basically, this foreword is just going to be a ‘too long; didn’t read’ since I’m sure many people clicked on this thinking it would be short and simple, when it is simple, but definitely not short. If you’ve already decided not to read all of this, I’m going to shorten it real quick right here.
Southern white girls are tan and southern black girls are usually darker than northern ones. Cowboy hats and boots are cool. Most likely she’ll wear jeans unless she’s partying, then she’ll maybe wear the typical mini jean skirt. Also, everyone loves flannel shirts. Southern hospitality is acting like you like people you don’t like and manners are key to life. Hunting, fishing, mudding, and sports are cool. Sweet tea is the epitome of perfection and so is country music.
Looks & Clothing
Usually, a white southern girl will have tanned skin since she spends most of her time outside. However, that’s not always the case since some our known to have pale skin since some people just can’t tan
(such as me). Dark skinned girls are also darker than ones from the north.
Most southern girls also wear simple clothes, such as t-shirts or flannel shirts and a pair of jeans. They probably won’t wear shorts too often - unless it’s very hot outside - because if they go mudding, they don’t want to get their legs covered in mud. That’s why they often wear pants that have mudstains because they’ve been mudding in them too much. However, when it comes to parties, they may wear a mini jean skirt. Not always though. That’s mostly just a stereotype.
Also, they do wear cowboy hats, but not as often as regular caps. Like men, many girls from the south will wear a simple sports cap to block the sun. Plus, it won’t fly off as easily if they were to go mudding, driving, or whatever. As for hair, most girls will still style their hair like anyone else, but from what I personally do and know from some friends of mine, they also will style their hair in a way that looks slightly windblown in case their hair actually does get windblown. Also, they always make sure they have a hairband on their wrist in case they need to pull their hair up in a ponytail or bun.
Obviously, not everyone is going to have the same exact personality because everyone is different. We all know that, but I’m still going to tell you a little bit about the personality of Southern girls. This is mostly just information about the personality a lot of Southern girls have. It does not mean they must act this way because I’ve met Southerners not be this way, but this is just usual traits.
Many people have heard of this thing called ‘Southern hospitality.’ Even though the girls are really tough, they can easily be nice, sweet, and friendly. As a girl raised in the South, my parents taught me to act this way when we have guests over or are visiting someone - even if I don’t like them. In a book titled Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South by Shirley Abbot, it clearly says that Southern hospitality is “a talent for taking on a special role in a comedy of manners that will apparently run forever, no matter how transparent its characters and aims.” If you didn’t understand that, it basically means everyone in the South is really good at acting like they like you and they want to have you in their house. It’s plain and simple. Southern hospitality is a bunch of bullshit. So, if you’re playing a character where in the bio it says they have Southern hospitality, just remember they’re faking and pretending it.
I mentioned before that Southern girls are tough. Well, it’s completely true. Southern girls are not Southern Belles and aren’t usually going to be sweet and kind all the time. These girls are usually like the men of the South and enjoy hunting, fishing, mudding, and so many other things. Because of this, they’re going to be more tough than a Southern Belle - who, don’t get me wrong, is still tough in her own way. Also, a Southern girl is tough because she might work on a farm or have animals to take care of. Not all people from the South have a farm, but they still do lots of yard work. I’ll just give you an example of myself. A few weeks ago I had to help my dad cut wood and stack the wood on the wood pile. It’s honestly harder than it sounds and it takes strength to do that kind of stuff. Also, there’s mowing the yard among other things. Women aren’t just going to be cleaning the house and cooking meals, they’ll also be doing what people think is men’s work. Women basically do everything.
Also, there’s this thing that people all from the South usually have and it’s called manners. Usually, manners are taught by parents to their children because manners are just a good thing to have - and it’s part of Southern hospitality. Usually manners include respect to elders and people of higher authority, saying “yes, ma’am,” and “yes, sir,” and “no, ma’am, no sir.” There’s also “yes please” and “thank you.” Also, they will sometimes have excellent table manners when in the company of guests.
Basically, all you have to know about Southern girls is that we have good ole Southern hospitality and we can do anything a guy can do just as good.
Obviously Southern girls aren’t just going to be working and partying all the time. There are many other things they love to do. Here’s you a fun, short list of all those.
I cannot stress this enough. I’ve roleplayed in a roleplay where there was this character that was from the south and the roleplayer posted a starter where the character had just gone deer hunting… in March… in Virginia. Now, some of you probably won’t see the big deal about this since southerners are always known to hunt deer along with other game. However, there are these things called hunting seasons. You can only hunt certain animals at certain times of the year.
Now each state has different regulations on hunting seasons, so it’s best if you find out what state the roleplay is based in so you can Google the hunting seasons. It’s not too hard to find that information. Also, if you’re going to have your character start talking about the weapon they used, research to make sure that type of weapon can kill that animal. It’d be easy if you just researched what type of guns can kill what type of animal. Also, your character will have a gun cabinet, which is where they store all their guns and keep it locked up.
All I have to say is that make sure your character is hunting the right game at the right time of year. Unless you want your character to illegally hunt an animal and get in huge trouble since in a small town, everyone knows who shot and killed what.
Suggested Artists to Listen To