We need to talk about Honey Boo

NATALIE REILLY
Last updated 12:30 21/08/2012
Honey Boo Boo
Alana Thompson - also known as Honey Boo Boo and even Honey Boo Boo Child.
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What do you think about Honey Boo Boo?

It's hilarious.

It's a bit disturbing but funny.

It's child abuse.

Don't care.

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OPINION: If you have a computer, (and the odds are you do if you're reading this), then you probably already know by now of Honey Boo Boo's antics. The six year-old break-out star of Toddlers and Tiaras, Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo), a champion beauty Queen, has become that most auspicious of identities, 'a viral sensation', because of this clip below in which she sucks back 'Go-Go' juice (a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew)  before a beauty pageant.

And partly, too, because her mother, a proudly 'white trash' woman named June who collects coupons so she can hoard everything from toilet rolls to washing detergent, gives great quotes, such as 'couponing is better than sex'.

Well, Alana - a Georgia native - now has just earned her own spin-off show called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, the purpose of which, we can only assume, is to make everyone else feel smug in their superiority either as parents or more generally as human beings. The opening credits begin with June farting in front of their house.

Are they ...for real? It seems as though June, her husband Sugar Bear, (real name unknown. Oh okay, fine - it's Mike) and her daughters, Anna, Jessica, Lauryn and little Honey Boo Boo surely are.

But while they might be judged for their nutrient-free diet, (involving dangerous consumption of caffeine by minors), the exploitation of their youngest daughter via beauty contests, (not to mention  June's obvious problem with hoarding), it's not clear if the children are really all that traumatised by it.

This is because the family - and in particular, June - really seem to like themselves. They seem to know that they're 'white trash' and be content with that fact.

Moreover, the family, for all of their foibles, don't appear to use shame as a currency the way so many other stage parents do.

Nobody looks like they are criticising anyone else - despite a teen pregnancy.

In fact, the Thompsons look like they're having a pretty great time a lot of the time with fights confined to the sort that involve toilet paper rolls.

Now, nobody is condoning the pageants or the 'Go-Go' juice here. And nobody is suggesting that projecting all of one's hopes and dreams for a slightly more glamorous life onto their small daughter is a great parenting technique because it's not, it's supremely damaging - for both mother and Honey Boo Boo.

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But what might be worth considering before we clamber up onto our collective soap boxes to diss Miss HBB and her ilk is if it's just the parenting we're disgusted by.

If it is, then that's a reasonable position to take - the parents have been accused of child abuse by the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.

But if we're allowing our judgment and subsequent wrath to be influenced by anything further - say, by how these people look or how they speak or how much they weigh - then we've crossed over into another area, haven't we?

It's an area of prejudice based on looks and, more pointedly, class and it's that kind of attitude, young lady, that says a lot more about how you were raised than anything else.

So, now you know you're no better than anyone else on this here green earth, will you watch?

-Daily Life

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