Blake Lively recently announced her pregnancy on her lifestyle website Preserve, which is a lovely occasion worth celebration. Something NOT worth celebration? Her recent ode to the “Southern belle” and her seeming ignorance over, you know, the fact that Antebellum America was not a great place for black people, who were largely enslaved.
Here’s her description of the fashion spread:
Georgia peaches, sweet tea, and the enticement of a smooth twang…we all love a bit of southern charm. These regional mainstays, along with an innate sense of social poise, evoke an unparalleled warmth and authenticity in style and tradition.
The term “Southern Belle” came to fruition during the Antebellum period (prior to the Civil War), acknowledging women with an inherent social distinction who set the standards for style and appearance. These women epitomized Southern hospitality with a cultivation of beauty and grace, but even more with a captivating and magnetic sensibility. While at times depicted as coy, these belles of the ball, in actuality could command attention with the ease of a hummingbird relishing a pastoral bloom.
Like the debutantes of yesteryear, the authenticity and allure still ring true today. Hoop skirts are replaced by flared and pleated A-lines; oversized straw toppers are transformed into wide-brimmed floppy hats and wool fedoras.
The prowess of artful layering -the southern way- lies in inadvertent combinations. From menswear-inspired overcoats to the fluidity of soft flowing separates, wrap yourself up in tactile layers that elicit a true sense of seasonal lure.
No doubt there are many beautiful, charming things about the South both geographically and in its people and traditions. However, to completely ignore pre-Civil War relations and instead focus on the fact that ladies were ~real ladies~ for the sake of fashion and faux-artisan bullshit is pretty tasteless. Maybe hit pause on that one, Blake.