Honey Boo Boo and the Problem with Pageants

I know, Honey, we were shocked that you got this show too...

I don’t think she bought that luggage at the Redneck Games…

The things I do for you people.

That’s right. I did it. I put aside every last gleaming gem of hope I had left for the advancement of humanity and plunged, tear-stained face first, into a nightmare-ish vision of what truly lies in store for our future.

May I introduce to you; Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – The season premiere.

For those of you not aware of the American child pageanting scene, let me break it down for you. As far as I can tell, it consists of beauty queen moms who are past their prime prodding their spoilt and precocious children into performing onstage in front like minded mothers and kids (And perverts. So many perverts.)

What’s so wrong with that, I hear you cry! Well, actually, you’re probably all sitting there thinking that the whole thing is insane and you don’t need me to tell you anymore, but nevertheless. If you’ve watched any programmes in the past like Toddlers and Tiaras, you will see the effects that pageanting has on children- The physical pain from tweezing eyebrows, waxing moustaches and squeezing into ridiculous and, sometimes downright inappropriate, outfits, and the emotional pain that stems mainly from the knowledge that mummy and daddy only love you when you get out there and bring home that chedda, baby!

One of the most famous contestants featured on Toddlers and Tiaras has been, of course, Alana Thompson, aka Honey Boo Boo Child. If you search her name into YouTube, you’ll see why. Alana and her family achieved infamy through their exuberant personalities and Alana’s desire to show her belly to the judges, a wish which I cannot say for sure whether I find cute or questionable. Either way, some television network somewhere apparently decided that this bunch of spirited Southern something-or-others were in need of their own show.

And boy, were they ever right!

I watched the show, and yeah, I can see why some people would have a problem with it. The family group, which consists of Mama, Sugar Bear and their daughters Honey Boo Boo, Chubs, and Pumpkin, seem to survive on a diet consisting mainly of cheese balls, and they do wash their hair in the sink, but let’s take a look at the whole picture. I have to say, as far as reality TV goes, I have seen a lot of families worse than this one. Hell, in real life I have seen a lot of families worse than this one. They’re a tight-knit group who seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and to be honest, they were kind of a delight to watch. Seriously!

I recommend that you watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, at least the first episode. I’m sure that many people would disagree with me in saying that this seems like a genuinely lovely, fun family, and you would have every right to – But give it a chance before you write it off. In the first episode alone, we see Pumpkin bobbing for pigs feet at the Redneck Games and watch as her mother invents such delightful phrases as “All that vajiggle jaggle is not beautimous!”. Can you honestly say you would want to miss that?

For me, the whole ethos of this programme can be summed by what Mama said after Alana lost her first pagaent of the season, “Overall… I’m proud of Alana. She didn’t win anything today, but in my book she’s always a winner.”. As is this show, Mama. As is this show.

To Top