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How to Avoid Becoming White Trash

Big hair, cheap beer and really, really bad TV. These are a few of White Trash’s favorite things. Some people are born into that world; some just sort of end up there.

There is a reason why the folks called "White Trash" are found at the bottom of the social spectrum…you could call it Divine Justice, others say it’s Natural Selection at work. In either case, they’re there because they just can’t seem to get it together and rise above unproductive consumerism. Nature abhors a vacuum, and there’s nothing more vacuous than surrounding oneself with frivolous, uninspiring pop culture.

The fact that you’re reading this guide shows that you’ve got more than cottage cheese in your skull, and truly want to eradicate those trashy, tacky items in your life. Good for you! Give yourself a pat on the back, because that first step’s the hardest.

But let’s be honest…moving up from the depths of WT is not an easy journey, and you may have to discard some items and habits you’ve gotten used to. You may have to change the clothes you wear, eat better food, improve your grammar and communication skills, change your spare time activities; you may even have to change the people you hang around with.

It’s going to be especially difficult if you have relatives that actually seem to enjoy rolling around in the sty, but do not despair! Remember that the apple can fall far enough away from the tree to land in better soil, enabling it to grow and prosper beyond its heritage. (And wasn’t that one of our dreams as kids? “See? I did better than you did, nyah nyah!”)

Run!  Run away!  As fast as you can!

Run! Run away! As fast as you can!

Even models don't look good in these things.

Even models don't look good in these things.

Is that your final answer?  Oh wait...that's Regis.  Geez, I always get those two confused...were they separated at birth?

Is that your final answer? Oh wait...that's Regis. Geez, I always get those two confused...were they separated at birth?

Step One: identify the culprits!

Now that you’ve committed yourself to not wasting away in trashy-ville, you must first know what items you need to steer clear of. If you ever want to be considered someone who actually has taste then do not, repeat, do NOT attempt to utilize any of the following:

A tube top and/or mini-skirt: either of these items is often used as work clothes for the oldest profession in the world, but if worn together they scream Fashion Victim!

Any kind of pro wrestling paraphernalia: it may require a hefty dose of athleticism, but it is most definitely not drama. We all know it’s not supposed to be Shakespeare, but by emphasizing only bravado, it barely registers as entertainment. Please…I’m begging you…do NOT frame your autographed WWF t-shirt. And put those Stone Cold Steve DVD’s up for sale on eBay.

Blue eye shadow. There is no simple way to say this so I’m just going to be blunt: GET RID OF IT. Nature did not intend for this to exist. Until we can get this stuff outlawed, anyone who wears blue eye shadow deserves to be thoroughly pummeled.

Stupid T-shirts: WT males really like tee that have amusing sayings on them, often about guns and duct tape. Unfortunately, bragging about stupid activities you engage in is, well, stupid.

Jerry Springer: some talk shows are interesting for their special guests and thoughtful, topical discussions. Jerry Springer invites dysfunctional, over-emotional, attention-seeking egoists on the air, and then lets them run rampant. Alien civilizations must consider this a fascinating documentary about the underbelly of human life.

Jeff Foxworthy: he may be kind of funny, but if you find any of his observations really truthful, then you’re in trouble.

Step Two: recognize the middle ground!

There’s a lot of other stuff out there that could be considered White Trash, but not all of them actually are. Here’s a short list that’ll help you identify items that are universally accepted:

Trailer Parks!  Contrary to popular belief, not all trailer parks are White Trash territory. Many senior communities and travel centers enjoy a lot of success, without spoiling their image by being lumped into WT negativism.

Macaroni and cheese.  Sure, it’s cheap but lots of people eat mac-and-cheese. It’s simple, easy to make, and (unless you’re a really bad cook) tastes good. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with SPAM, either.

Wal-Mart.  This store is a behemoth among discount retailers, but the WT contingent considers it to be the ultimate shopping experience. It isn’t.  Buying something there a couple of times a month is perfectly acceptable.  A couple of times a week (or more)?  No.  You know there are other stores out there – so frequent them.

Beer.  Even Ben Franklin praised the existence of beer. Just try not to go overboard with it, okay? Good.

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Step Three: remember that life is a learning experience!

You really can learn something new every day. Just getting rid of WT items from your surroundings is only part of the process, however. You must also strive to improve other things in your life; here are a few that can aid your quest:

GRAMMAR and COMMUNICATION – Being able to effectively communicate is indispensable. Remember that “ask” is not pronounced “ax” and phrases that would make your high-school English teacher cringe (like “it’s all good”) show a serious lack of effort in understanding the basics. Why not improve your speaking/writing abilities while reliving the fun of School House Rock?

LITERATURE – Read more books!! Cliff Notes do not count. You don’t have to read a bunch of science textbooks; some novels are a good starting point. You could re-read some classics, like The Catcher in the Rye or The Great Gatsby .

MUSIC – Listen to some classical music every now and then, it’s very calming. If you're unfamiliar with the genre, then try movie soundtracks (Jurassic Park is good) or a ballet (like The Nutcracker), you can play them while you’re cleaning house. Just be sure to listen to the whole thing , not bits and pieces.

The idea here is to try to broaden your horizons. Lots of White Trash people flatly refuse to change anything in their lives, thereby dooming themselves to the shallow end of the Gene Pool. So try something different! Variety is the spice of life, etc.

The trick is to make choices that have some amount of value in them, so avoid empty-headed treatises about dating. For example, if you’ve always been a fan of heavy metal then listen to Thunderous Classics, which not only includes tracks you’ve probably already heard but is just as powerful, too. In that same vein, if you like romance novels then read Freaky Deaky or Fast Food Nation , both of which are fast-paced and interesting. Taking small steps like these can make all the difference, and put you on a travel path far more exciting than the backwoods. GO FOR IT!


Ldrtchbrd (author) from Pennsylvania on April 04, 2017:

If you feel it does not describe you, then just ignore the person who said it. Some people just like to throw insults.

Shnnon on April 14, 2016:

What do you do if you already do or don't do that stuff and you still get called white trash?

mkw on February 02, 2014:

Spent 3 years in a relationship with a WT gal. 4 kids by 4 different daddies. She was essentially a 14 year old in a 50 year old body. The one of her kids who turned out worth a damn keeps mom at more than arms length away. Since we never lived together; I own my house and she lives in a trailer...there's a shock! She lived basically a double life...being my GF and dealing meth when I wasn't around. She did a good job hiding it until it got out of control. All her friends are losers, tweakers, thieves and leeches who resented ME because I could actually afford to take her to a decent resturant once a week or so. But it turned out good because since then I started seeing a lady who owns her home, is drug free, drama free, pulls in 80 or 90 grand a year, is prettier, and actually has respectable friends. Hallay-fucking-luia!

John on November 18, 2013:

Lol. I have a friend that has been raised in an upper middle class loving family and is now turning into the biggest piece of white trash. How does this happen?

Sarah Campbell on November 02, 2013:

My only problem is Walmart...... My town only has a Walmart and a Big R. It takes an hour to get to Target, so I'm kinda stuck breaking that rule :(

RENEE JONES on September 04, 2013:

VERY GOOD READ.......... There is lots of White trash men out there. I find it funny that you mentioned the Tee's with graphics on them. I totally, agree

sbc on October 27, 2011:

Most of the time "white trash" is a label used for any white person with low income, even if they do listen to classical music and the rich person across town gets alcohol poisoning every night.

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on May 17, 2011:

Absolutely a great read! Honest and humorous! Voted way up!!!

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