when did living country have excess guidelines?

In light of my recent 16th birthday, and the realization of my social group branching out these past few months, I’ve begun to realize the sometimes-present stigma within the lifestyle that I, and many others, live. This lifestyle, of course, is one of a ‘country’ life, and as I grow and listen and learn, I’ve begun to realize that many have begun to place seeming guidelines upon those of us who call ourselves country, or western, or some who classify themselves as rednecks. 

The lifestyle is different for many, unique to the person as many lifestyles are. And while there are some who unjustly call themselves country, I am pleased to say I would consider myself a country girl before it became popular. In the recent some-odd 5 years or so, I feel that over the internet it has become a ‘fad’, a trend, to lead a country lifestyle. And I believe it is the overall best way to live your life, I do not believe there should be excess guidelines over the idea of living country. 

No, I don’t believe someone who lives in the middle of a bustling city is country, unless this is under some odd or estranged circumstances. The idea that one must own a horse, or listen to only 90’s country, or only ever wear their broken in cowboy/girl boots, to actually be country is absurd. Living country is more about where your loyalties lie, less about what vehicle you drive. 

My family and I live close to a small town, one that is close knit, where everyone knows everyone, and everyone looks for ways to help others. No, I don’t own horses, we don’t live on a ranch, we don’t farm, but we love to live self-reliant, thriving on our property where we still don’t have to worry about neighbors. Our family runs a family-built business that my parents have built from the ground up, and through that business we have learned how to live through hard work and resilience. My siblings and I have had the hard-working characteristics taught to us since birth, the idea that nothing comes easy, and that God is above all else.  

This is not to say that all country people are Christian, or necessary the best people, but to be truly country the individual should realize the freedom we thrive in, have a healthy respect for their mama, and know how to work hard. 

I may drive a car, I may enjoy wearing a dress (very occasionally), might I enjoy some music that isn’t country, heck I might even like a little bit of makeup, but does that make me any less country? Of course not. Honestly, if one cannot thrive through making the country lifestyle somewhat individual to themselves, should they even call themselves country? 

As I grow a platform on places like Pinterest, I see so many people throw shade at anyone who is not country, and it saddens me. The true values of a country individual should be caring and respectful, not prone to hurting others, someone sticking up for the underdogs. 

Country is a lifestyle, one that should not have unnecessary guidelines. Owning a horse or a truck does not, and should not, make or break a country life, and I think those who argue that it does should have their own lifestyle questioned.

Hannah 🤘

6 thoughts on “when did living country have excess guidelines?”

  1. Mm I loved this, Hannah! Not knowing much about even the country stereotype, this was nice to read and think through. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas <3

  2. Hannah, this was uh-maze-ing! As a girl who lives in the country on a farm, the ideas of “oh, you don’t have a horse?” or “oh, those aren’t real cowboy boots” bugs me so much. There is no set “country” person, in my opinion. You don’t have to own cowboy boots (as much as I would like to 😂), listen to nothing but country music, own a horse, etc. like you said. This is something that always bugs me, and you put it into words so well. Great job, Hannah!

    1. Yessssss, Lilly! I didn’t own cowgirl boots till around two years ago, and they are amazing, I wear them or my heydudes almost everyday 😂
      And thank you! I’m glad this rant resonated with you!

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