I admit it, I not only watch “Toddlers & Tiaras,” I have rooted for the Shirley-Temple-from-a- reverse-engineered-universe, Alana Thompson a.k.a Honey Boo Boo Child, even as I cringed at every word that came out of her and her mother’s mouths. While her TLC show doesn’t interest me much, her success and spirit do.
Honey Boo Boo Child – call her HB2C – is age six and her family (mom June, dad Sugar Bear, 12-year-old sister Lauryn “Pumpkin,” 15-year-old sister Jessica “Chubbs,” and 17-year-old pregnant sister Anna “Chickadee”) have run over the modern parenting mold in a muddy SUV, backed over it and then jumped off and rolled in the remains.
I think that’s what anyone who has tried to succeed within the model of perfection in both body image and parenting technique find a guilty pleasure to watch.
Writing anything positive about this child is a social test because of her regional dialect and choice of what some, like Salon, have termed her "racist" adaptation of a "sassy black women." She may not be aware of these perceptions. But if they ever sport the Confederate flag or utter a racist word I will never watch the network again.
The first thing your brain screams at June Thompson as she pours “special juice,” a cocktail of RedBull and Mountain Dew is, “You’re doing it wrong!” It’s screaming because the sound has to travel over the war whoop the hindbrain is making as HB2C struts her stuff with reckless abandon and Puckish pleasure as she waves her hand along her chubby sides saying, “Look at aaaallll a this!” Then she makes her chunky midsection “talk” as she squeezes her bellybutton and tosses out a one-liner you repeat for two weeks afterwards.
This child is happy in her own skin, no matter how much of it there is. That’s because her whole family is both overweight and nonchalant about it. They are certainly not going to get on the cheap-shot wagon alongside those bashing Amerca’s fittest by calling some of the female Olympic athletes “fat” or “heavy” as some critics recently have.
You are more likely to see this family beaning each other with rolls of paper towels, leaping into mud pits and laughing out loud, than looking over their shoulders and worrying about who’s standing there with a tape measure to size them up, down, or around.
In both the mini beauty queen and home environment shows, the mom announces to the world, “Some people are gonna love us and some are gonna hate us, and we don’t care what anybody thinks.”
No, I can’t stand that the mom swears in front of the kids and gives a child “special juice.” And I am not a fan of teen pregnancy.
However, for now HB2C is an undeniable instant hit for her BooBooisims such as “A dallah make me holla” in a bad economy.
Unlike other little pageant girls, I don’t think the child is told what to say by media-savvy hired coaches, but simply repeating and putting her own South Georgia spin on what she hears her self-styled extreme “Coupon Queen” mom say.
Through all the tacky and wacky, and beneath all the mud in which they both roll and have slung at them, it’s still a relief to see a genuinely happy, well adjusted child who dreams of being a princess on her own terms.