North America is a continent filled with so many unique and diverse people and places. Have you ever been down South or have family or friends from the South? If so there might be some things you've realized about southern people that everyone else gets wrong.
It's hard to watch how Hollywood depicts southern people sometimes because they're clearly out of touch. We're deconstructing some of the stereotypes we often see about southern people. Some are true and some are downright false.
10 True: Everyone does say "y'all" a lot.
Whenever someone wants to make fun of a Southern person or try their accent on for size, both in real life and in the movies, their first phrase will be "y'all." People love to mock Southern folks for using "y'all" in their everyday vocabulary.
You might think that's not a real thing and something you only see depicted in movies but it's pretty accurate. Saying y'all just saves time and it's kind of endearing too once you start to hear it all the time. It might even catch on and then you'll be using it while you're up north.
9 False: The accents are super heavy.
However, just because a lot of people from the South like to say y'all doesn't mean their accents are extreme. Movies and television shows like to make it seem like anyone from Virginia and below talk with an accent so heavy, it could give Tom Sawyer a run for his money. That typically isn't the case.
While they may have a southern drawl or lilt to their voice, it's not often you'll come across people with an accent so thick you can't understand them. But it goes along with the stereotype that Southern people are stupid and therefore they have accents akin to the "hillbilly" stereotype which simply isn't true.
8 True: Southern people can't drive in the snow.
To be fair, why would they be able to drive in the snow? Snow is a rarity down south. It usually doesn't even get cold until the end of October. Winter doesn't go lower than 50 degrees in most parts if that. The farther down you go the warmer it stays.
Even if they do get snow it's not much and on the unlucky occasion, they get hit with a blizzard it becomes a huge mess. School systems shut down for days at a time and snow piles up on the sides of the road. They're not equipped to deal with the snow and it shows.
7 False: Everyone in the South uses antiquated gender roles.
Many people believe that the South is anti-progression and that most areas still adhere to antiquated gender roles. That's not really true. Sure, there are some areas and people who are stuck in the old ways but that's going to be true regardless of locale.
In fact, Southern women are known for being extremely strong-willed and independent. Just listen to some music by female country artists and you'll realize that they don't take any funny business from anyone. You don't want to get on the bad side of a good old-fashioned Southern woman.
6 True: Southerners tend to be religious and conservative.
When you think about the South you might first think about the "Bible Belt" and the fact that there is a church on every corner. It is true that Southern people tend to be more religious than other areas of the country.
They also are more conservative and generally vote red rather than blue. That has started to change over the years but the basic values and principles are still in the southern foundation. That said, not everyone is Christian, there are a lot of different religions in the South.
5 False: All Southern food is fried and covered in gravy.
Yes, a lot of food from the South is deep-fried. Fried chicken, hush puppies, cornbread, you name it. But that's not all they have to offer. Fresh produce and vegetables are actually a big staple of southern food.
While the "comfort food" side of things may be generally more unhealthy there are a lot of other options. Cooking is a beloved past time of people down South and while you should always be cautious about what you eat there are plenty of options for those who don't want to overindulge on fried foods.
4 True: Sweet tea is a big deal.
Try going to a southern state and ordering just an iced tea. You might get a funny look. The opposite is true if you go up north and you try ordering a sweet tea.
They'll just bring you unsweetened iced tea and a couple of packets of sugar as if that is even remotely the same thing. Almost all the iced tea in the south is sweetened and that's just the way we like it.
3 False: There aren't any big cities in the South.
Most people believe the South is entirely composed of little small towns with only one traffic light. To be fair, there are a lot of small towns filled with beautiful outdoor landscapes in the South but that's not all there is. There are plenty of big cities too like Atlanta, Georgia and Miami, Florida for instance.
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There are even skyscrapers and bustling city streets. It may not be quite the same as somewhere like Los Angeles, Seattle, or New York City but the South isn't as underdeveloped as people like to think it is.
2 True: Southern hospitality is a real thing.
Yes, folks, real southern hospitality is a real thing. People genuinely like to get to know their neighbors. It's a major difference from what you might experience in places up north where you might live in an apartment complex and never get to know anyone in your building. People are open and warm in the South.
They want you to come to their home and make it feel like your own. They want to cook for you and help you out. You might notice that strangers are kinder down South to the general passerby. You should still always be careful but you will notice that the air of hospitality is a real thing down there.
1 False: Southern people don't have air conditioning.
For some reason, films and televisions shows love to depict southern people as if they don't have any air conditioning installed in their homes. The reason this is a common misconception goes along with something we mentioned above about people believing the South is underdeveloped.
It's true that many homes in the South are historical in nature and many of them might not have proper heating or AC units installed but that doesn't mean all the homes are like that. Most people have AC now, whether it's a system in their house or a window unit, they don't survive the brutal summers without it. It's more common to find northerners who don't have AC than it is in the south.