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Embracing Honey Boo Boo

If you think "The Real Housewives" is a reality TV series to behold, you haven't met Honey Boo Boo!

Last week I had the surprise of a lifetime. Sadly, I wasn’t visited by the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Prize Patrol, but something else unexpectedly caught my attention, and from what I understand it captured three million other Americans' attention as well. 

Stumped as to what roused many of us to be transfixed to our TVs for a few hours last week?  Nope, it wasn’t Billy Clinton sharing his values and morals with us during the Democratic Convention: it was something even far more outrageous from them thar parts down south. It was a six-year-old Georgia Peach by the name of Alana Thompson—affectionately known to her family and fans as Honey Boo Boo!

If you haven’t had the ultimate pleasure of becoming familiar with America’s newest reality TV darling you either live under a rock, don’t have cable television or are far more disciplined than the rest of us that turn this drivel on in order to find something to occupy ourselves with.

I admit it, though I’m disciplined in many areas of my life such as flossing every night, washing the sheets on all our beds (including our bunk beds!) once a week, and changing the batteries in our smoke alarms twice a year if I just need to escape real life and don’t have the desire to read I grab the remote and surf until my heart’s content.

Well, my channel surfing certainly paid off because with one press of a button I was introduced to TLC’s newest reality show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, and no, Yogi Bear is not part of the cast. (Although, her dad is affectionately known as Sugar Bear – named after a cereal, is my guess.)

I’d never once laid eyes on Honey Boo Boo, and the only reason I continued watching after I randomly clicked on TLC is because Honey’s mom, June “Mama” Thompson, was discussing the neck crust. Yes, you read that correctly: that which collects in the many folds of her neck. She weighs in at 307 lbs, but is working on getting healthier. 

I suppose this doesn’t reflect highly on what my idea of quality programming is, but I must confess, they had me at neck gunk and within 10 minutes I learned an entirely new language complete with subtitles, because due to the heavy accent/slurring of the family, 90 percent of the show is seen with subtitles though they are speaking our native English.  

Although I’ve had eight of my own children, I always thought a vagina was, well, a vagina.  And though I’ve never been fond of that word, I’m not quite sure I would refer to it as a “biscuit” like Mama does. And, I now know how to describe cleavage with a little more sass, I believe that word would be “vajanglejaggle.”   

If you’re a newbie to Honey Boo Boo like I was, this new TLC series follows the adventures of a self-described "crazy redneck" Georgia family, and their chubby little beauty-pageant princess, Alana Thompson, known to her familiars as Honey Boo Boo.

She first appeared in TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras as a pageant contestant and made such an impression as a vivacious charmer, the network snapped up the whole family from rural McIntyre, GA: the 300-plus pound mama June; short-and-silent dad "Sugar Bear" Mike; and sisters Lauryn (Pumpkin), 12; Jessica (Chubbs), 15; and Anna (Chickadee), 17 and pregnant.  (Though TMZ did report that Anna gave birth to a baby girl in late July, so now Mama is also a Grammie.) 

Before I go any further, I want you all to know that I’m not writing about Honey Boo Boo to mock her, I’m writing to embrace her.  I’ll elaborate further on that, but let’s get back to some of the take-aways from the Honey Boo Boo (I just love saying that!) marathon I cried through last week.

Oh, yes—actual tears were streaming down my face because I had no idea that there was an art to passing poisonous gas at the dinner table, (though with five sons I know that’s hard to believe) and when Mama June sat down on her bed only to be engulfed by someone in the family’s pile of clipped toenails, I honestly didn’t know whether I should be laughing, crying or getting sick. (I chose all three!) 

Once the new family pet, a talking pig named Glitzy, joined the family there was just no way I could turn the channel.  Knowing that Honey Boo Boo and her family loved mud diving, taking blindfolded breath tests to see if they could recognize each family member by their halitosis (based on their definition of a biscuit, however, it’s doubtful they refer to knarly breath as that) and learning that Mama June feeds her not so little Boo Boo a high-energy concoction of “Go Go Juice” which is a combination of Mountain Dew and Red Bull, I just sat there stunned.

These events are just scratching the surface of all the redneck antics that unfolded during the three shows I watched, yet I’m wondering now if Honey Boo Boo and her one-of-a-kind family really need this kind of national attention? 

There are some very nice qualities that the Thompsons share with us such as their desire to volunteer and help their community as much as possible, and their love and affection for one another, but watching Mama June unveil her toes that got crushed by a conveyor belt years ago while at the water park the family visited (please, there’s not enough space here to even discuss that episode) and then watch “Pumpkin” bob for pig’s feet at some redneck festival, I really wonder if America can embrace Honey Boo Boo for something noteworthy and not for what I shamefully admit to—feeding my ignorant curiosity. 

So what about “you you:" what’s your thought on Honey Boo Boo?  The show airs on Wednesday’s at 10 p.m. on TLC.

Linda Zanghetti Sherman September 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Based soley on your review of the show, sounds like yet another case of fame for all the wrong reasons. The Thompsons have joined the illustrious group of Kardashians, Gosslings, Duggars and the cast of Dance Moms. TLC apparently needs to consider that just because they can air nonsense, doesn't mean they should.
Cora September 24, 2012 at 05:46 PM
She is adorable,Annoying and funny all at the same time gotta love her! <3
Lori Grayson October 01, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Honey Boo and her mom = the Apocalypse. Do you want to shock your system? Switch to PBS and watch Masterpiece or Lark Rise to Candleford.

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