Here Comes Honey Boo Boo returns to our televisions tonight at 9 PM sharp (or sharpish if you’re into mountain time). Already people are decrying the return of this family to TV and declaring it to be a national travesty that they’re given any attention at all. After all, they’re poor and they’re overweight and most offensively of all, they’re happy. There’s nothing that upsets Americans more than people who are happier than us — despite the fact that they’re bigger than us and poorer than us and less educated than us.
As someone who joined in among the masses during the season premiere last year and protested the very existence of this show, I understand where people are coming from when they complain. When you just watch clips of the show, June Shannon and Honey Boo Boo and Pumpkin and the rest of the gang do seem to promote the pursuit of stupidity. But watch more than just a few clips and you’ll see that there’s a lot more to them than what the internet chooses to highlight. Unlike so many other families who we see profiled on reality TV shows now, they actually all like and support each other. While it’s sad that a supportive family’s now a novelty on TV, it’s the truth. Look at Teresa Giudice and her feud with her family on Real Housewives of New Jersey or any of the conversations between the Kardashians on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and tell me that they’re promoting something other than family drama and scandal. Sure the Thompson clan might not be doing things that you like doing, but they’re happily doing them together. Maybe farts don’t make your family crack up, but can you think of another reality show on television where everyone seems to genuinely enjoy each other’s company?
And that’s just the tip of this hidden family values iceberg that we’re about to explore today. While June Shannon definitely makes questionable choices when it comes to raising Alana — like feeding her the infamous gogo juice at pageants — I still think she’s one of the most sane pageant parents out there. Unlike most of the children we see competing on Toddlers & Tiaras, Honey Boo Boo seemed to actually enjoy being there. Performing comes naturally to her and it really does appear to be just another outlet for her to shine. Am I pro pageant? Absolutely not. But am I pro kids doing what makes them happy? Yes. She’s a star and she belong on some kind of stage.
Want to know something else that’s awesome about June? She’s saving all the money she makes from the show in a trust fund for her daughters. According to an article on The Stir, they can’t access it before they’re 21 unless it’s for a medical emergency or for schooling. Yeah, that’s right. Rather than turning into Dina Lohan and riding on the coattails of Honey Boo Boo’s success, June Shannon’s putting the money away for her kids. More ways that June’s keeping her famous children grounded? She’s encouraging them to give back to the less fortunate. During last year’s holiday season, they used their newfound fame to donate a ton of toys to a local Georgia charity. Teaching children to give back at a young age doesn’t really seem like the start of the apocalypse to me. But if you’re anti-charity, by all means keeping hating on the family.
Need more evidence that they’re positive role models for us? Okay, let’s talk about Sugar Bear. While Honey Boo Boo’s his only biological child with June, he treats all the girls likes his daughters. That’s a big thing. For their family and for the girls. As someone who comes from a divorced family, I know how important it is for people who come into the family to treat everyone equally. It goes a long way toward raising well-adjusted adults who are functioning members of society. He could’ve easily treated them like step-children, but instead he embraced them as his own. In fact, it was his fast bond with her entire family that made it so easy for June to fall in love with him.
Feeling a little bit better about this family now? Maybe you’re ready to touch on one of the biggest moments of last season then. The moment when Honey Boo Boo casually mentioned “everyone’s a little bit gay.” While I doubt she’s read up on the Kinsey Scale lately, that’s an awesome attitude for a kid to have. At the end of last season, we learned a little bit about her Uncle Poodle – a proud redneck who also happens to be gay. For many supposedly liberal people out there, it came as quite the shock that someone can be gay and also be a redneck. But surprise, it is possible! Turns out that we’re all a little bit ignorant comes it comes to actually understanding other people. Ironically enough, we’re the ones who might need a lesson on tolerance and being open-minded toward people who are different than us.
If you’re still not convinced that this family’s not the worst thing to ever happen to our country, remember that Honey Boo Boo is 7-years-old. (Also that her real name is Alana Thompson and she is a real live person.) So even if you don’t agree with anything I’ve written above, it’s important to remember that she’s a child. So making fun of her weight and the way she speaks and um, anything that at all relates to her makes you a huge dick. So keep that in mind when the show premieres tonight and you’re tempted to say something witty — she’s a little kid and she doesn’t deserve to be insulted by grown adults.