I was scrolling through Pintrest a couple of weeks ago when I saw a pin that really distressed me:
I didn’t laugh. I just stared in horror at what I’m sure a great many people think is a good joke.
I don’t often watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, though I have seen a few episodes (and enjoyed them– but that’s beside the point). Despite this, I’ve always felt an urge to defend Alana and her family.
Look, I know they’re “rednecks." I know Mama June is fat. I know that they’re not the most educated family, or even what the average person would call well-spoken. But this family loves each other. If you’ve seen an episode of the show, you’ve seen that.
June doesn’t think she looks like a supermodel, but she also doesn’t think she’s as ugly as the producers of this show want you to. She is proud of and secure in herself, and has clearly taught her daughters to possess these traits as well. When 15 year old Chubbs wanted to lose weight to fit in better at school, the family rallied around her goal to diet (everyone but 12 year old Pumpkin, who is cynical and dry and amazing and declared that she wanted to gain 200 pounds) without applying any pressure or guilt. When Alana met her pet pig Glitzy — a male pig whose hooves were painted with nail polish and who wore a tiny tiara — she announced she would make him “a pageant gay pig”! The fact that June has raised a 6 year old in Georgia to understand and embrace the concept of drag queen culture, far outweighs the recent “news” that each of her children was fathered by different men, each of whom has a criminal record.
It doesn’t matter if you agree with her or not, June is certainly a bit revolutionary for a “redneck.”
Look, I know Here Comes Honey Boo Boo isn’t exactly quality television. I know that reality television is a load of crock. But it is not okay to make fun of this family for being their messy, redneck selves.
My point is, whether or not you like the Shannon/Thompson family, they’re still people. Good people who love each other. They matter. Alana is not a “natural disaster.” That (fake) Trojan ad is not funny. I’m not saying don’t use birth control– what I’m saying is that no one is worthless. Even if they’re part of a redneck, comfort-food eating, sassy, in-your-face, loving family.
Okay, rant over. Now I’m going to go and channel Mama June…