When you think of Miami's diverse population, rednecks are probably the last cultural contingent that comes to mind. There aren't a whole lot of Honey Boo Boos or monster trucks roaming the 305. Or are there? Apparently, at least a few reformed rednecks do live in our midst. And one of them is about to be featured on the CMT show (do we even get that channel down here?), Redneck Rehab.
You heard right: Redneck Rehab. The show dubs itself as a series that "follows former rednecks as they are confronted by friends and family members who fear their loved one has forgotten their country roots."
Former Missouri girl Mishele Purdy is about to head home for some hunting, fishing and other rural pastimes when her episode debuts on Saturday, October 20. Cultist spoke to Mishele about what it means to be a redneck, rednecks in Miami, and camo as a fashion statement.
Cultist:Where do you hail from? And what makes your family redneck?
Mishele Purdy: I grew up in Herman, Missouri. I would say it's just the way they live. It's very simple, very country. They wear camo and drive trucks. Their outings are hunting and fishing. Everyone lives down the street from each other and no one leaves the town ever. You're born there and you can't leave there and there's not much change ever.
What was your life like as a redneck?
Very country. There was a lot of hunting and the stuff they still do now. It was very simple -- we went four wheeling, I was very tomboyish. There was nothing pretty about me whatsoever. I was very, very much of a tomboy.
Why did you decide to relocate?
My mother lives here and she's from here, so she had moved here a few years back. I always came and visited and loved it, so I moved here about a year and a half ago.
How have things changed for you since you moved to Miami?
Well the nightlife is great, my style has changed. I lived in Dallas for awhile, so I moved from the real country to a smaller city to here, so I kind of had the transition. Living in Dallas I got to experience nightlife, fashion, different foods and cultures, unlike where I'm from. Here it's just kind of amplified -- more fashion, more diversity of food, people and music. Everything has changed and I love it.
How do you define a redneck?
Simple minded. I don't know like, something I never want to be ever again. They're very country, very simple. No fashion, no culture, no nothing but what they know.
Do your redneck roots ever show?
No. I would say never. Most people had no idea except for the show. No one knows that side of me so this is a big surprise.
Have you run into any rednecks in Miami?
No not at all.
Were there any big surprises or adjustments for you, going from the country to the city?
It was pretty smooth but there were some. Getting into the fashion world and the nightlife of course. There are like two bars in the town that I grew up in. People wear their hair in ponytails and they wear high school t-shirts from seven years ago. Also the people. There are so many different races and cultures in Dallas too, just like South Beach.
My town is a whole bunch of German people and if anybody from any other race or culture comes they want them to leave. It was shocking but it wasn't a bad shock.
What's the synopsis of the show?
It sums up me and my life in Miami and what I do day to day. My nightlife, how I dress, where I eat, everything I kind of do in my daily life. Then it shows me transitioning into going back home and doing stuff that I used to do when I was a kid like fishing, hunting, etc. They threw me back into my childhood stuff that I used to love and it just kind of shows how much I have changed and how different my two lives are.
Is there anything you miss about life as a redneck?
No not at all. I guess the closeness of family would be the only thing. Just you know, a little slower paced life would be nice every once in awhile. Other than having family down the street I don't really miss anything.
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Are you embarrassed about being dubbed a redneck, with the show coming out?
I guess a little bit. There's gonna be a lot of shock from a lot of people about my past. There's a little nervousness I guess about people like watching it that don't know that side about me. There could be a little embarrassment there.
Mishele's episode of Redneck Rehab will air on Saturday, October 20 at 10:00 p.m. on CMT.