I whiled away my teenage years and much of my twenties in Northwest Florida where rural communities are plentiful as are the redneck women and men who inhabit them. And a question that came up again and again was: Why are there so many beautiful women living out in the middle of Bumfuck Nowhere? I mean, you stop in one of those towns where the gas station is also the general store–you go inside and it’s like a mini Walmart/redneck petting zoo–and this mud-caked pickup truck pulls up beside you, and out hops this gorgeous woman with long, flowing hair, a golden tan and a six pack that Ciara would muff-dive Monica for; and she’s wearing camouflage and hunter orange; and the guy riding shotgun has a beer gut, neck hair and a half-empty Natural Light can for a spit cup; and you think: What the fuck?
What the fuck indeed, good sir. What – the – fuck.
Well, over the course of many a moon and many a cheap beer, I pondered the ontogeny of rural beauty and developed a hypothesis. I call it the Theory of Natural Light Selection. For sure, other hypotheses have been proffered. Ask a redneck and they’ll tell you it’s just good, southern genetics. The local hippy will tell you it’s the result of drinking well water and eating homegrown produce fertilized by your own shit. The old timers holding court at the picnic table by the general store will say it’s from “keeping love in the family.” Well, au contraire, gentlemen, au contraire.
My hypothesis is this: There are so many beautiful women in rural communities because they never get the opportunity to leave. Picture this: Billie Jo and Betty Sue are best friends coming up. Their families live in the same trailer park. They date the same boys and men, occasionally at the same time. Go to the same rodeos, swim in the same creeks, eat at the same mullet and venison cookouts. But something happens in middle school. Billie Jo sprouts boobs and becomes a cheerleader. Betty Sue’s chest stays flat, and she starts reading Sylvia Plath and playing World of Warcraft.
Guess what happens next?
Billie Jo gets nocked up her second year of eighth grade and marries her 23-year-old boyfriend/pot dealer. She drops out, and her and Bubba move into the fifth-wheel in cousin Bodean’s backyard. When Betty Sue is graduating high school, Billie Jo is popping out her third puppy. While Betty Sue is finishing her grad program, Billie Jo is buying her first doublewide. And, as Betty Sue is trying to get pregnant for the first time, Billie Jo is celebrating her granddaughter’s first birthday.
Get the picture?
There are so many beautiful redneck women in rural communities because they are never allowed to leave. I don’t mean this to sound sinister. It’s just reality. I’ve seen it. The head cheerleader at my high school married the star quarterback. A couple years later, he was fat, she was pregnant, he had a factory job, and she had a Prozac prescription. If this sounds sexist to you, all I can reply is that Natural Light Selection is sexist. It’s not anyone’s fault. It just is. And these beautiful women have beautiful daughters who continue the cycle and further suffuse an otherwise resource-baren community with a concentration of beautiful, female bodies.
The princess isn’t whisked away to a magic kingdom by a frog that transforms into a prince. She fucks the frog and stays in the swamp to raise his tadpoles.