Kentucky has always been known for hillbillies.
For those of you who happen to tumble upon my tumblr who aren’t from Kentucky, or those who don’t watch Animal Plant, Turtle Man (Ernie Brown Jr.) is a man from my town who catches snapping turtles and other small critters. To describe him, he’s a simple man with a thick country accent and he’s missing quite a few teeth. Recently, Turtle Man got the opportunity to have a show on Animal Planet [Call of the Wildman] and more recently he was a guest on Jay Leno twice. As you can imagine this has caused an uproar in the little town I am from. It seems like a lot of people hate his show because it is making people from Kentucky look like hicks. I disagree and this is my rebuttal to them.
People were stereotyping Kentuckians WAY before Turtle Man came along and they’d keep stereotyping us even if he had good teeth or dressed more “civilized” or spoke without an accent. Why? Because it’s just what people do. You can’t sit there and tell me that you’ve never stereotyped another group of people based on where they’re from. Now, if people want to be narrow minded and judge me before they get to know me based off of what they see on TV, so be it. I’m probably going to judge them a little too. But everybody’s acting as though the whole world is just looking down their noses at good ole Kentucky well guess what… nobody else really gives a shit. Nobody sits in their houses everyday and says, “man, those people from Kentucky sure are dumb. Let’s go find some people from Kentucky and point and laugh at them.”
“But Austin, he just confirms the stereotype.” Yeah? Well he’s not the only one confirming it. Sure, he might be on TV for millions to see but there are plenty of “hicks” out there giving the state of Kentucky a bad name and they’re doing it in person. Once again, WHO CARES?
If someone meets me and sees I’m not some country bumpkin with no shoes wearing overalls (not that it’s wrong to do so), hopefully they’ll learn something.
So basically the lesson here, no matter where you’re from, is to stop being so damn self-conscious and stop moping and groaning over another person’s success. Embrace negative stereotypes, laugh at stereotypes, and show others that they’re not always true.