Well, first of all, she's just a kid, and I refuse to hate on a kid. I could hate her mom, or the pageants she puts her daughter in. I could hate the "go-go juice" she feeds her before pageants for energy. I could hate the fact this family collects fresh road kill off the Georgia roads and brings it home for dinner.
Yes, in some tiny way, I hate it all. And in some really big way, I don't hate any of it.
In case you have not heard of this show, it is a spin-off of Toddlers and Tiaras,(both on TLC) a show I find pretty repulsive. The idea of dressing up tiny girls to look and act like tiny women sickens me. I don't understand pageants. Putting make-up on four year olds, taking them to tanning salons, and having them parade around in skimpy costumes turns my stomach.
So here comes Honey Boo-Boo, aka Alana. Someone had the bright idea to make a show about this little girl and (in their own words,) her "redneck" family. I'm pretty sure I can't name them all, having seen the show only a couple of times, but there's the mom, June. June spends her time "extreme couponing," shopping for Alana's pageant costumes, and playing bingo. She lives with Alana's father, a man who seems to never talk, and spends a lot of time sitting on the couch. There's the pregnant teenage daughter, and maybe another one in there somewhere.
It hardly matters, because the show centers around Alana and her beauty pageants, although the episode I watched centered around the "fun" the family has together. They slide in mud, they swim in water that clearly sports a "contaminated" sign in front of it. Yes, they are a fun loving family living in the backwoods of Georgia.
It's easy to make fun of them. They eat "sketti" for dinner. They toilet paper the house. Did I mention they slide in mud? The first time I watched the show I felt sorry for Alana. Never mind the horrific beauty pageants. More than likely the girl has never seen the inside of a library. There are no episodes (to my limited knowledge) where someone is reading to her.
I felt sorry for them all, but especially Alana. Her future seemed clear: Rolling in mud, and cooking "sketti" for her own children.
The show depressed me.
Here's why I don't hate Honey Boo-Boo or her family. They are who they are. It's as simple as that. I don't want their life, and they don't want mine.
They don't care about reading, or looking at beautiful art, or practicing yoga.
I don't care about rolling in mud, toilet papering my house, or wading in contaminated water to cool off.
But I also don't want to make judgements about their life choices, either. They seem happy. Content.
As strange as it sounds, watching "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo" was a lesson in non-judging. A lesson in live and let live.
A lesson in not feeling superior.
My inclination to judge is strong.
Alana and her family are making a lot of money off of people laughing, pointing and judging. They don't care. They are fine with who they are.
I won't go so far as to say I admire them. I don't want to be them and they don't want to be me.
But I can't help appreciating people who like themselves and make no apologies for it.
Although I won't watch the show again, no, I don't hate Honey Boo-Boo or her family.
They taught me something important.
They don't call it The Learning Channel for nothing.