Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why the Folks on "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" are Good People

So, it's no secret that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC's hit show that follows a spunky pageant hopeful from Toddlers and Tiaras and her family, has certainly made it's mark in a very short amount of time. Most look at the Thompson family, self proclaimed rednecks, and instantly judge them. I have heard radio commentors and read articles that talk about the family's weight, their accents and their income level but I have yet to hear people talk about what a supporting and accepting family that they truly are, although this article touches on it. The man and I happily watch this family that does not take themselves too seriously and really does make the most out of life in what some would consider some pretty bad circumstances. I find this crew to be rough around the edges but full of love and light.

Each episode follows Alana and her family: stay-at-home mom June, chalk-mining dad Sugar Bear, and sisters 12-year-old Lauryn “Pumpkin”, 15-year-old Jessica “Chubbs”, and 17-year-old pregnant Anna “Chickadee”.With nicknames like "Pumpkin" and "Chubbs", this family embraces their physical appearance and supports one another no matter what they look like. While the family did go on a temporary diet, it ultimately ended in them all admitting that they just like to eat and to them? That's OK, no matter what you think. Something that I can totally appreciate about Mama June is that while she can be uncouth, she does her best to build up her girls' self esteem all the time. If you watch Alana (Honey Boo Boo) at her pageants, you can see that she just loves what she is doing and in fact, thinks/knows she does a great job. That is because she gets the positive reinforcement that she has done her best, even if she doesn't bring home a crown or trophy.In last night's episode, Sugar Bear (Alana's Dad) said something that touched my heart. He said "If I had one thing to change about pageants, I’d make bigger crowns and trophies. I’d make the trophies at least twelve foot tall, because I’ve seen how hard the girls work for ‘em." I mean, come on, that man loves his kids.

At that very same pageant, Uncle Poodle (Sugar Bear's brother) showed up to lend his support and show Alana a few tricks before she went out to perform. Why is he called Uncle Poodle? Well, Poodle is a nice way for this family to say "homo-sexual". That's right, Uncle Poodle is gay. What does Alana have to say about that? "There’s nothing wrong with being gay. Everyone’s a little gay." She is 6 years old. That is pretty open minded. Last time I checked, there are still people out there that aren't completely accepting of people who are gay. This Southern family, straight out of Georgia, bucks a stereotype and accepts/loves/embraces their homosexual family member. In fact, they are basically like "Whatever is whatever. It's Uncle Poodle".

Besides all of that, this family just enjoys each other's company. They may not have the manners that you or I consider to be "proper" but they make each other laugh and don't pass judgement on one another. Alana's sister Anna has spent a good portion of this season pregnant. Anna is 17. While Mama June was admittedly not thrilled with her teenage daughter's pregnancy (June had Anna when she was 15), she flat out said that Anna and the baby would be fine because they had the family's full support and that the baby would be loved. Later in the season, Baby Kaitlyn was born with two thumbs on one hand. While the family enjoyed some gentle ribbing at the hospital, the girls immediately and lovingly invented the "high six" as opposed to the "high five"... which I thought was amazing. They just loved the kid right away (despite those who think they did the opposite). Alana all on her own, said "Kaitlyn’s just another member of my family to love." That's a pretty amazing thing for a 6 year old to say... and actually, Alana says a lot of pretty smart stuff for her age, although granted with that smart stuff comes a lot of fart stuff.

They are into extreme couponing. They will let you watch them bob for pig snouts. They are unapologetically outrageous. They let us into their lives without any filter. They are good people.

Anyone who feels like this family is being exploited doesn't understand that I am pretty sure this family is on the joke. I am certainly OK laughing with them (did you see the game "Guess whose breath?"). The Thompsons asked for more money for the second season and you know what? They totally deserve it. Whatever TLC had bet on that first season was a steal. Plus, Alana has some pageants to pay for. In the words of Alana: "Mama, let’s go win this thing."

*Oh, so on a side note, do you want to get your Here Comes Honey Boo name? They have you all set up with the name generator. My name? Yeah, it's Alana Diva


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