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.

Views: 522

Comment by greenheron on September 30, 2012 at 5:24am

One reason the television had to go, was that there was nothing in it for me. We only get so many hours to breathe and be conscious, and then we're gone. The little movie that I'm starring in has an extremely interesting plot, and I'd rather keep up to date on that.

Comment by Anna Herrington on September 30, 2012 at 11:08am

Joan, I haven't seen Honey-Boo-Boo's show as it's not online -- I would just for the crazy factor, just once. 

I have seen the trailers, and I have known redneck families in Georgia....and you've got it just right.

Don't want to be them , don't wish that future life on that poor child whose parents are currently labeling this child for life with this show, but in the tiny portions I saw, I saw a family filled with laughter, love for each other, and 'touch' -- I do wish someone would teach this child something else about the finer things in life, but...

Maybe it's actually nicer than being a lonely child wishing for touch, for attention, for a family that gets together and laughs. I know how that feels....plus, just once, to have seen my mother belly flop into a pit of red, nasty Georgia clay water wearing a ratty old tee shirt and come up laughing -- oh, that would make my year!

Comment by Joan H on September 30, 2012 at 11:19am

Just Thinking, I'm so glad to see you!

I've actually given this a lot of thought (!) because it is SO easy to feel superior to them, so easy to put them down... Of course they are exploiting that girl, but there is more joy in that family than I ever saw in mine growing up! 

I'll admit, it's a side show, but...I'm in a live and let live phase of my life. :)

Comment by Christine Geery on September 30, 2012 at 12:08pm

I have to admit that I don't watch much of anything on TV. A friend of mine was telling me about the show called Hoarders and I couldn't believe my ears. I love what  JT said,

"Maybe it's actually nicer than being a lonely child wishing for touch, for attention, for a family that gets together and laughs. I know how that feels....plus, just once, to have seen my mother belly flop into a pit of red, nasty Georgia clay water wearing a ratty old tee shirt and come up laughing -- oh, that would make my year!"

It would have made my day to live in a happy home too. Your post does make one think about judging others. I am at an age where I say, to each his own.

Comment by Joan H on September 30, 2012 at 12:14pm

Christine, I think getting older either makes people bitter, or more compassionate... 

I too, would have given anything to grow up in a happy home. 

Comment by L in the Southeast on September 30, 2012 at 2:50pm

I can't watch it, but I know what you mean.  TLC is exploiting the entire family, in my opinion, and I am disturbed by the fact that many tune in just to laugh at them.  I've got to wonder how "happy" anyone can be dragging roadkill home for dinner, though.

Comment by Joan H on September 30, 2012 at 5:19pm

Bill, this "reality" show hits a new low. "a real child eating carion." How insane is that??? 

I swear, I hate how we gawk at these people and feel superior. But the truth is, they let us. 

Rita, Rita, don't judge me too harshly. I can't stop thinking about these people. On one hand, they are kind of repulsive. On the other hand, they are happy, they seem to adore this Honey Boo-Boo of a kid, AND they are making more money than, well, me. Maybe it was time for their ship to come in. I don't know. Consider this post part of my mid-life, existential crisis. :)

Comment by Jenny on September 30, 2012 at 5:23pm

OK when I read the title I thought it was a blog about Winnie the Poo. Honey Boo Boo sounds like a character. Perhaps I don't get out much...

I've seen brief snippets of these types of shows Toddlers and Tiara, so stomach turning I couldn't watch for more than a minute. It just feels wrong on so many levels.

Comment by Joan H on September 30, 2012 at 5:37pm

Bill, you are freakin' deep. Really.

Comment by Hyblaean~ Julie on September 30, 2012 at 7:43pm

good point.

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