By Sonny Billotte
More and more of today’s reality television shows are depicting people who may not be displaying the best behavior to teens and children, their main targeted audience. Shows such as “Jersey Shore”, “Teen Mom” and “Toddlers and Tiaras” are just a few that promote what should be considered unacceptable behavior. The latest craze in reality television that has gained much criticism is the show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.
Alana Thompson, known most commonly by her nickname “Honey Boo Boo”, is a recently turned seven year old girl from McIntyre, Ga. whose family was given a reality TV show on TLC after she was noticed on the network’s hit series “Toddlers and Tiaras”. For those who aren’t familiar, Toddlers and Tiaras is a beauty pageant show depicting young pageant girls which gained itself criticism for the way it presents young girls in such a mature light.
“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” focuses on Alana and her family: mother June, father who is referred to as “Sugar Bear”, and three older sisters Lauryn, Jessica and Anna. The show seems to condone many behaviors that a child or teenager should not see as acceptable.
Every member of the family is moderately to severely overweight, and rather than trying to create a healthy lifestyle for their children by leading them down a different path, the family has very unhealthy habits. Alana’s mother June is shown starting off her six year old daughter’s mornings with a “supermodel Go Go drink”, which is Red Bull mixed with Mountain Dew. That amount of caffeine and sugar is bad for anyone, let alone as a six year old girl’s breakfast. There is no encouragement of exercise or healthy eating from anyone in the family.
The show also promotes teen pregnancy as Alana’s 17 year old sister Anna is shown pregnant on the show. The mother, June, had Anna when she was just 15 years old and attempted to put her up for adoption. Why, then, would she not make sure to educate her children about having safe sex? Maybe if she had done that, then the daughter she had and clearly didn’t think she could handle when she was just 15 years old wouldn’t end up in the same situation.
Inappropriate language is also condoned on the show. The family openly swears around their six year old daughter and as a result, she sees that as acceptable and swears as well. Also, the family uses nicknames such as “biscuits” for parts of the body that children should not even be talking about. The family comes off as very uneducated and they all speak incorrect English.
For any child watching this show, they are given the notion that being overweight, unhealthy, and engaging in inappropriate behavior beyond their maturity level is OK. No consequences are ever shown for the children’s bad behavior. The fact that this show is aired on a television channel called The Learning Center gives the network a bad reputation because “Honey Boo Boo” and her family are far from educational.