These strong Southern women are the real deal.

By Southern Living Editors
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The South is known for many things, including its abundance of strong females.

Here are five Southern women who've had success bigger than a Dixie beauty queen's hair. Sandra Bullock's career took off after starring in films like Demolition Man and Speed, but she started her life in Arlington, Virginia. Bullock's movies have grossed $2.5 billion at the box office, allowing her to donate millions to charities like the American Red Cross.

Ellen DeGeneres' long road to talk show stardom began in Metairie, Louisiana. She started performing stand-up comedy in New Orleans while earning money through odd jobs like house painting and bartending. Her groundbreaking 1994 sitcom Ellen made her a household name. Now she's got The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which nets her $50 million a year.

Julia Roberts was born and raised in a small town just outside Atlanta, Georgia with dreams of becoming a veterinarian. She eventually shifted to becoming one of the world's biggest movie stars whose films have grossed $2.9 billion to date.

Oprah Winfrey is the embodiment of the American dream. Born into poverty in Kosciusko, Mississippi, she overcame her circumstances and eventually became the most popular daytime show host on TV. As of now, her estimated net worth is $2.7 billion.

Reese Witherspoon was born in New Orleans but grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. She hasn't strayed far from her Southern roots, launching her style brand Draper James in Music City. She's also gotten into producing, creating smash hits like Big Little Lies. She's starred in films that have totaled $1.6 billion in ticket sales.

Best not to mess with any Southern belles–but especially not these powerful women.