Now, not everyone with class and tact is a phony. I know a good number of people that are genuine, sweet, and graceful. They aren't judging anyone for being less-than-graceful. But that doesn't stop many of us from trying to measure up. And a good many of us were not born with class and tact.
So what is a White Trash Mama? Well, of course we all look different. That's the beauty of embracing who you are: no longer worrying that you aren't like everyone else. The stereotype evokes images of a bleached blonde with dark roots, wearing pajama pants in Wal-Mart with a cigarette dangling from her lips as she threatens to wallop her 7 children of various ethnic descents. This is a stereotype, not a dress code. The factor that truly makes her a true White Trash Mama is the fact that she really does NOT care what you think of her. You can raise that eyebrow, shake your head, and sneer all you want; she'll just snort at you and grab another box of ding-dongs off the shelf before sashaying away.
If you've seen The Help, you've watched a beautiful example of a woman embracing her inner-White Trash Mama. Ms. Celia Foote is a sweet character struggling to fit in. She has no idea why local society shuns her. "The Help" are well aware of the fact that poor Celia is White Trash, regardless of how much money she has. Her dresses are too tight, she drinks too much, and she is too open and honest. But with a bit of help from Milly, Celia eventually accepts the terms and grows into her own skin with beautiful confidence.
I love Celia Foote. I love Milly Jackson. These are women who can't help but be anything other than who they are. Sincere. Genuine. Both of these characters have that White Trash streak, though both have very different personalities. Again, the beauty of it rests in being the person God made you to be and being okay with it.
But what about the times when you aren't happy with who you are? Then change it, stupid. That last bit of advice is for me, actually. I've not been accomplishing half what I want lately and rather than face that fact, I've sought out distractions. My life isn't tidy, so I continuously seek the comfort of my tidy internet world, lesson planning pages (that never make it to the printer) and other tidy endeavors that don't impact my real life. I can deceive myself that they are worthy pursuits, but they are only distractions.
I recently heard a quote (which I cannot find and I cannot remember,) that said the reason many people seek distraction is that they do not want to face who they are. It's been haunting me for weeks. And it's true. And now that I know it, I can pursue improvement or I can pursue distraction. Perhaps you're like me and you never quite grasped social graces. Perhaps you'd love to embrace your inner-White Trash Mama, but aren't happy with your present skin. I advise embracing the fact that this is who you are at this moment, and this includes knowing that who-you-are wants to be better. Be comfortable in the skin of someone who knows she hasn't "arrived", someone who is growing, someone God can use.
And in the meantime, remember:
- By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination. Christopher Columbus
- Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short. Adam Hochschild
- And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. 1 Corinthians 7:35