There’s been a lot of talk about Honey Boo Boo lately. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s about a Redneck family in Georgia being filmed while they go about their day to day lives. The little girl Alana spent some time on the kids’ pageant ring and was initially featured on Toddlers and Tiaras. The mom is an extreme couponer. Apart from that, they’re not spectacular in any way. So why all the outrage?
I’ve seen so many tweets and Facebook posts where people are furious about this show. I don’t get it. I was following one thread the other day where a bunch of proper middle class men and women were carrying on about how the way they lived was horrible and bordered on child abuse, and how no one in their house was “allowed to watch it.” The show is a disgrace. But well, I don’t understand why. I don’t agree.
What I see is a family comprised of an obese mother with four daughters from the ages of about eight to seventeen (I think). Sugar Bear, the father of the youngest, is a simple but stand up guy who works seven days a week to support his family. They know they have bad manners and that people look down at them but they laugh it off. They don’t pretend to be something they’re not. They don’t even want to be something they’re not. They have an attitude that they’re fine the way they are, so be it.
So again I ask, where is the problem? On one episode they were bobbing for pigs feet. On another they spent the day as a family putting together a small swimming pool to escape the summer heat. In another they got a pet pig named Glitzy. A different time they had a baby shower for the oldest daughter who is pregnant. I know people roll their eyes at all this but why?
Has our society gotten so uptight and sterile that we forget how it was when we were kids? Have we forgotten that there are simple pleasures, things people can do besides go online, and play in clean and approved areas? Have we forgotten that kids used to get dirty, and scraped, and pick their noses, and pet strange dogs, and scream really loud and hit each other and bite? And no one took us to therapy or medicated us if we acted out. We were rough and tumble and we survived.
When I was little, we ate chicken off the bones, and my grandfather ate the cores of the apples and gave out popcorn balls to trick or treaters. We didn’t get our boy dog neutered; and when I was in my twenties, for a brief period I had a pet pig. We grew up eating sugared cereals and Devil Dogs, and Kool-Aid (with lots of sugar), and stayed out very late and didn’t tell our parents where we were. Hell, we went door to door to sell our school’s fundraisers and never once thought we’d be kidnapped. And no one was.
Is it so wrong that in Honey Boo Boo’s world, they lack refinement? Are we better because we are clean and tidy and carry Germ-X and monitor our children 24/7? Shield them from the horrors of Honey Boo Boo and her ilk less they start asking if they can make a Slip and Slide out of an old tarp?
Cut them some slack. Don’t judge them because they’re different. Don’t be afraid to let go of your reservations for a half hour and watch the show. Remember how people were before we were so appropriate all time. And who knows, maybe you’ll like it.
Please check Tracy’s AMAZON page for more of her books and stories.