"Southern belle" is a term used to describe women from the South with distinct characteristics that give them a warm, enchanting and inviting air. Southern belles are polite, respectful, well-kept and use certain words in their speech, in addition to generally having an alluring southern accent.
Southern belles speak with a slight southern drawl. Their grammar is impeccable and refined, with a trademark "sir" and "ma'am" for everyone they meet. Respectful in conversation, southern belles wait patiently for their turn to talk. These women often use terms of endearment such as "honey," "darling" or "sugar" for most people they interact with. Men of interest are typically referred to as "gentlemen callers," not "dates" or "boyfriends."
Proper care and maintenance of hair, both wanted and unwanted, is a must for a true Southern belle. Hair should be curled and styled at all times and makeup always worn in public. Many Southern belles keep up their physical appearance in the privacy of their homes as well. Weight maintenance and stylish clothing are also imperative. Additionally, a strictly kept fashion rule by belles is no wearing of white before Easter or after Labor Day.
Throwing memorable, elegant soirees is an inherent role of a Southern belle. True belles are light, sweet and sociable without being overbearing when out for the evening. A certain amount of mystery must be maintained by a belle, even with her most intimate of friends. Cooking for others is often seen as a characteristic of a bonafide belle.
Classic southern belles are known to be charming, slightly helpless and extremely polite. Graceful movement and elegance must be worked and anger must never be shown in a public setting. Deep appreciation for even the smallest of acts added to a genuine surprise for any effort made on her behalf gives a Southern belle some of her irresistible charm and distinction.