My mom wasn’t totally bonkers like the moms on Toddlers and Tiaras, but let’s just say she didn’t exactly discourage my dreams of fame. We lived about a 40 minute drive from Hollywood, and there were many occasions where my mom would read about an open casting call or see that a TV show we liked needed child extras for some episode, pop my sister and I in the car, and sign us up. I wasn’t shy, and for the most part, I liked it, but I do remember my mom encouraging me to do things that I didn’t want to do, even when I’d tell her I didn’t want to do them. Like dancing on a stage at Disneyland with Donald and Daisy or talking to news crews on opening day of the big new movie theater in town. Even at seven or eight years old, I kind of knew she was making me do these things because they were the kinds of things she had wished she had gotten to do when she was a kid.
Which brings me to Honey Boo Boo Child. I’ve never watched her show, because the thought of a parent agreeing to let a TV network pimp their kid out as reality TV fodder gives me the creeps–but it wasn’t until I saw Honey Boo Boo and her mom on Jimmy Kimmel earlier this week that I saw just how bad it was. There, squirming on the couch, obviously up way past her bedtime and very unhappy about it, was Honey Boo Boo in all of her seven-year-old glory.
Here’s a clip:
At times, I’m sure she’s told her mom that she loves the attention, that she loves having her own show, but seeing her on late night TV, pretty much stating that she was d-o-n-e, but not being allowed to leave? That was painful. Little kids don’t know what’s good for them and what’s not. If it was up to them, they’d eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (sounds good, I know) and die of diabetes or a heart attack before they were 14.
Being a reality TV star at seven-years-old is roughly the same thing as living on ice cream. Would I have done it if given the option? Of course. I was a total attention whore and would have jumped at the chance. Would it have been good for me? No. Would I grow up with a totally warped sense of what I’m entitled to and how the world should work? Yes. Would I maybe even regret some of the things I said (or was coerced to say, like how Honey Boo Boo was coerced into choosing a Presidential candidate to back when she likely knows zip about politics?!)? Yes!
The whole Honey Boo Boo phenomenon boils down to child exploitation. Her parents saw an opportunity to make a ton of money off of her, and they went for it without really thinking about their daughter’s welfare. I know June Shannon has said she’s putting the money they’re making into trust funds for each of the kids to have when they’re older, which is smarter than just blowing it all on sports cars or something dumb . . . but it doesn’t make it okay.
Honestly, I’m glad I never became famous. Because being Honey Boo Boo doesn’t seem that awesome to me at all.
What do you think? Do you watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? Do you think her family is exploiting her? Tell me in the comments!