Media Portrayal of the South: Oden Arkansas Essay

Media Portrayal of the South: Oden Arkansas Essay

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Welcome to life in a small town. Welcome to Oden, Arkansas. Allow me to depict a picture of this country town where I was raised. Oden is a unique microscopic town located dead center in the heart of the Quachita National Forest that has a whopping 220 people who thrive there. On any given day in this small town it is not uncommon to see people riding horses, ATVs, or even a riding lawn mower down Highway 88. To put this into perspective, the entire county which consists of six towns does not have a single stop light, and the few stop signs there might as well be optional. This is the definition of country. Many individuals are under the impression that people from the south are “redneck”, toothless, and illiterate. Being from the country does not automatically make a person a dimwit; this is the biggest stereotype that I have had to battle my entire life.
The perception that individuals have developed of “country people” or “Southerners” is extremely aggravating. I was born in Arkansas and I spent 19 years of my life there. I am considered a southern bell, which is yet again another stereotype, but I am not stupid. I am currently in the last semester of my associate’s degree and I am also working on my bachelor’s degree. Almost every person that lives in this tiny town has received some sort of college education. The individuals there do wear cowboy boots, wrangler jeans, and possibly even a flannel shirt or two. Please do not let this be misleading dressing simple does not make them simple-minded, they just enjoy being comfortable. I cannot argue with the fact that the individuals living in the country differ a great deal from people who live in the city. City life compared to country life would best be compared to the differe...


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...here are unintelligent. I am from this town, I spent 19 years of my life there. I am considered a southern bell, but I know that I am not stupid for the simple reason that I am from the country. This stereotype is ludicrous and the individuals that believe this are absurd. The idea is hurtful to say the least. It is unfair for everyone that lives in the south for this senseless label to exist. However, “southerns” allow this stereotype to remain in existence; the blame can placed on many different things. I blame the media, southern extremist, and I blame myself. As person from the south I should stand proud of where I came from. I should not allow people to stereotype someone including myself because they are from the south. Being from the country does not automatically make a person a dimwit. I am from country, but I am not a dimwit. Please do not stereotype me.

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