Media Portrayal Of The South: Oden Arkansas

1029 words - 4 pages

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 difference between night and day. Country life is considered to be at a standstill compared to life in the city. However, being from the country does not make people ignorant. The twisted belief that people from the country are illiterate is infuriating. It is also unfair to label a person “uneducated”, “incest”, “trailer trash”, or “poor” simply because they were raised in the south. I have personally heard each of these and it is deeply insulting. I believe that the human beings that take part in this offensive name calling are narrow-minded.
I reckon (pun intended) that this particular stereotype persist because individuals place confidence in the media. The media portrays individuals from the country as foolish, which is not surprising. The media has two things on their agenda, to achieve fame and wealth. In corporate media the more people they are able to entice the more money they are able to gross. They advertise people from the south in a fabricated manner, because that is what appeals to the public. Thus, in general the public views “southerners” as a bunch of idiots. The media hunts for southern extremist, yes I believe these individuals to be extremist, which ultimately brands an...

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