If you look up the definition of the word belle, you’ll find the overwhelming consensus for its meaning across almost all dictionary versions is the same with little variation. In my own comprehensive definition, belle means “an attractive/beautiful woman or girl, especially one whom is admired or favorited for her charm, allure, mannerisms, or impressive persona”.
Belle originates from the Latin word “bella”, the feminine of “bellus”, and means “beautiful, fair, alluring, charming”. Even more interesting, the word and pronunciation of belle or bella as we know it in the English language carrying this same or very similar meaning can be found in multiple languages around the world, including French, Italian, German, Irish, Swedish, Turkish, Swahili, Indonesian, Armenian, Mongolian, and many more. So as you can see, “belle” is a universal word that distinguishes a certain type of woman/female based on her appearance, behavior/mannerisms, and persona.
Now that we have the word belle defined from a world viewpoint, let’s take a closer look at the persona of a belle, specifically a Southern belle. Let me make something very clear. You do not have to live in or be from the South to be a belle. You don’t even have to be a Southerner to be a Southern belle. You see, being a Southern belle is not strictly a geographical distinction. It’s a mentality, an attitude, a way of life and how you present yourself to the world. It’s also how you are perceived by others and is based on who you are as much as what you do. It’s an identity rooted in femininity, natural charm, authenticity, simple sophistication, subtlety, and grace.
For the Southern belle, it’s all about priorities and attention to the best lived life. Her priorities are clear – family first, love above all else, consistent faith, strength and quality of character, honor, and excellence. She’s devoted, confident, timeless, kind, and caring. She can feel at ease in lace and pearls or in jeans and flip flops. She’s happy tucked away in a small cabin in the woods or roaming the halls of a luxurious mansion. She’s content to spend the day at a ballgame or lake eating hotdogs cooked over the fire or at a grand gala sipping fine wine and eating fancy hors d’oeuvres prepared by the world’s finest chefs. No matter the surroundings or circumstance, she’ll adapt and feel right at home. And she can make you feel at ease and welcomed in any given moment or circumstance too. She’s feminine and gentile but not in a way that’s girly-girl froo-froo. Because that would make her seem weak. A Southern belle is anything but weak. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty, her hair mussed up or to work hard. She’s strong and determined, spunky and feisty, fierce and fiery, and quick to stand up for what she thinks is right. Even it that means “having a come to Jesus meeting” with someone and calling them out on something or defending another who was wronged. She’ll stand for what’s right, even if it’s not popular. A Southern belle seeks to find and give comfort, make people feel welcomed and loved, takes care of her own and others besides. She is real, authentic, and tactful, but direct and to the point. And always, she carries an innate charm that drips with sweetness and simple elegance.
To put it in simple terms, a Southern belle is a lady in every sense of the word. She’s a woman that’s the living, breathing epitome of class, sass, and comfort. What’s more, a Southern belle practices and perfects these characteristics and this mentality in such a way that it becomes an art form. And that’s what I call “the art of Southern belle’ism”.
So let’s dig every so slightly into the essence of a Southern belle – class, sass (Southern sass to be exact), and comfort – to get you well on your way to perfecting the art of Southern belle’ism, shall we?
“Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It’s the sure-footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life. ” ― Ann Landers
This quote from sums up class very nicely.
Southern sass is an attitude, a lifestyle and a finely honed skill that’s spontaneous, strategic and special. Southern sass is not something a Southern belle does. It’s a large part of who she is. It’s part of her very core and personality. Somewhat of a recipe, it’s a gourmet dish that’s infused with a dose of femininity, a spoonful of tomboy, a heaping cup of sophistication and is garnished with down-home comfort. It’s flavored with a touch of fun, a tad of sarcasm, a dash of sexy, a smidgen of sweetness and a pinch of reality. It’s saucy and flirtatious. It’s rich, real and hard-core. It’s delicious, decadent and satisfying but leaves you wanting more.
Southern sass is individually refined and perfected by every belle to make it her own. Every southern belle has sass and she has it down to a fine art. Never will you find a Southern belle at a loss for what to do or say in any given situation. She strategically contemplates and responds accordingly. She knows when and how to use her sassy self to charm you, correct you, love on you, assist you, match wits with you, give you what for or just to let her hair down. And she knows when to put her sass in her pocket for another day. She picks her battles wisely and leaves her opponents thankful for the experience, even though they’ve lost the war. Because Southern sass is fierce and so is the Southern belle.
For the record, Southern gentlemen are just as sassy and fierce. The beau knows and can work his sass just as well as the belles. But the Southern gentleman’s sass is total masculinity that oozes from every pore with sensitivity, consideration, compassion and wisdom. There truly is nothing in the world quite like Southern sass!
Comfort is the little things. Because the little things are the big things. It’s the people, things and experiences that make you feel loved, pampered, peaceful, secure. It’s a luxurious bubble bath, fuzzy socks, your favorite pajamas, a cozy snuggle with your sweetie or child, a delicious home-cooked meal, a cup of steaming hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate (with marshmallows), a good book. It’s a pat on the hand and assurance that things are alright and everything will be fine, even if the opposite seems true. It’s a kind word, an inviting smile, a supportive gesture. It’s a helping hand or advice when you need it and encouragement when you don’t. It’s feeling welcome and important, appreciated and respected. Comfort is everything that makes your then and now enjoyable, peaceful, and promising. Comfort is home!
And that, my dear, is the art of Southern belle’ism.
Since we’re on the subject, I invite you to join other belles and myself at the Neos Belles’ Club™, a fun and informative preferred customer experience where you can perfect your own kind of Southern belle’ism. When you become a VIB™ (Very Important Belle™), you get perks and benefits from your Neos Belles’ Club™ membership that can’t be beat. Choose from any of the four full membership levels. There’s one to fit almost any budget. With a full membership level, you’ll receive a nice full member discount to the boutique, special members-only access to content at neosskincare.com, product exclusives, be an influencer with Neos product lines and fragrances, and more are all part of your VIB subscription. You’ll also be given the keys to our private VIB group on Facebook. “The Parlor” is a fun and relaxing place where we chat, share, let our hair down, learn, have members-only classes, and so much more. Yes, it’s a girls club with class, sass, and comfort.