Saying Boo Hoo to ‘Honey Boo Boo,’ TLC’s New Reality Show

The show about Alana Thompson, 6, and her attention-craving family is banned in at least one local household.

Only one word comes to mind whenever I see promotions or clips for TLC’s newest train wreck, Honey Boo Boo, starring Toddlers & Tiaras breakout star 6-year-old Alana Thompson: Gross.

Georgia native Thompson, nicknamed “Honey Boo Boo,” has about the same vocabulary and attention span as my 3-year-old. In a segment where she disclaims Justin Bieber, only to assert she likes him just a few minutes later, her mom, June, constantly tries to draw her back into the interview.

While viewers may be attracted to the little girl and her bizarre catchphrases – “You betta redneckognize!” – the show is on my long list of programs I will never let my daughter, Quinn, watch. The last thing I want is for her to try modeling herself after Honey Boo Boo, who often allows her mouth to hang slack and go “Aaaaaaaaagggghhhhh.” Thankfully, no one in my family is clamoring to change the channel back to see Honey Boo Boo.

My 78-year-old mom believes Honey Boo Boo may very well be the second coming of the drug-addled version of Anna Nicole Smith. “Ugh,” she said, turning immediately back to her morning newspaper after listening to just a minute of the grade-schooler and June on CNN.

And my husband is just plain turned off by the entire Toddlers & Tiaras franchise. “That’s the worst thing ever,” he said. “What is the point of having a child pageant? Any answer you give me will be wrong. Are you teaching these kids a skill? What skill is that?”

An attorney friend of mine perhaps said it best: “I think there are better ways to build up a child’s poise and self-confidence. Child pageants instill in children the importance of exterior, superficial ‘beauty’ and extravagant spending on flashy clothing, which will cause problems for those children as adults.”

I actually don’t mind pageants, as long as the contestants are vying for the titles of Miss America, Miss USA or Miss Universe. These women are often talented, smart adults who understand the competitions and their requirements. 

Child pageants, unfortunately, always call to my mind snapshots of little JonBenet Ramsey, the young pageant queen who was killed in Colorado in 1996. During the search for Ramsey’s killer, who was never found, the news constantly questioned whether it was all right to dress a 6-year-old to resemble an attractive young woman, makeup and all.

Ramsey’s murder and now Honey Boo Boo seem to be bad as bad press could get when it comes to child pageantry.

And while it’s fine to dismiss Honey Boo Boo and all things Toddlers & Tiaras as kids playing dress-up, it’s disturbing to see parents invest such a huge chunk of their time teaching their children the value of curls, false eyelashes and strutting on stage just so.

Why are these moms and dads in such a hurry to produce little grown-ups?

My own toddler loves to watch me put on makeup before I head off to work. Once in a while she begs me to put some blush on her cheeks, insisting, “I want to wear makeup, too, Mommy!” I give in every now and then, taking out my makeup brush to softly pretend to place blush on her cheeks. At first I was slightly amused by her interest in looking like me, but I came to realize how much I really didn’t want to sully her pure skin.

After years of wearing makeup, my skin now requires cleanser and a moisturizer. The daily routine, when I actually get up in time, takes me at least 10 minutes.

I hate it.

So while I’ve been in Quinn’s shoes – wanting to emulate my mother and dress up like an adult – as a mom, I want her to enjoy all of the good things associated with childhood. Rather than foundation, concealer and blush, I’d prefer her to ride her tricycle around Lake Murray and chase bubbles with friends at Balboa Park.

As a parent, it is my job to guide Quinn through these early years and make sure she doesn’t miss out on making memories she will cherish as an adult. Because of this commitment to protecting these precious years, our family will gladly take field mouse-bopping Bunny Foo Foo over gum-popping Honey Boo Boo any day.

cbitt August 16, 2012 at 02:25 AM
well said!lol
BananaRamma1212 August 16, 2012 at 05:10 AM
It's called "child exploitation". And somehow we are not only allowed to let it happen, but film and broadcast it as well.
Elias Tavarez August 16, 2012 at 06:32 AM
I have to agree with Katy on this. Sure, maybe they love each other, but that doesn't make what they do right. Child pageants and the publicity being brought to these children are harming them. I don't see the benefit in doing them, anyway. What's the point? If the purpose is to up their self esteem, why can't the parents just tell them that they're beautiful and that they love them? For children, that is enough. Now these kids need judges and the media to tell them they're beautiful. It's pretty sick.
Elias Tavarez August 16, 2012 at 06:35 AM
And (sorry to repost) about Beth's comment: yeah, it would be pretty messed up for someone to judge the children and tell them how to behave..... Good thing the parents and the pageants aren't doing that, right?? Wrong.
HaliB August 17, 2012 at 11:42 PM
I watched the show for the first time last night, I turned it off less than half way through. I found this family's demeanor repulsing. As for cbitt's comment about "Honey Boo Boo" being from the south and her small vocabulary range, I'd like to say that not everyone in the south has a limited vocabulary; when I think of women from the southern states, I think of southern belles and southern hospitality. The first women's colleges and some of the oldest universities are in the south. I'm from the north so I'm not offended by any of these southern fables, but I do believe that one should get his/her facts straight. As for the child pageants, I'm not a supporter. Promoting the importance of appearance to young children is what makes society so superficial. These 6-7 year old girls are wearing fake teeth, fake eyelashes, hair extensions, getting spray tans, and wearing revealing costumes. In a world with pedophiles, the parents should focus more on letting their children be kids and less on turning them into prostitots!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »