“You’d better redneckognize!” is a phrase that one may initially imagine seeing on an off color gas station t-shirt or coffee mug. Alternatively, this phrase was marketed by little eight year old from Macon Georgia, Alana Thompson. Cable network TLC (The Learning Channel) fist showcased Alana, “Honey Boo Boo”, two years ago as a young exploited pageant queen on their hit show “Toddlers and Tiaras”. Today, TLC signed Alana and her unusual southern family to star in their own hit reality show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”. The series showcases this extreme family’s daily life through a variety of flatulence jokes, unhealthy habits and even crude slang. Why would TLC ever consider this satirical behavior to be material worth learning?
Although some critics may base their views off of a sixty second clip of overweight teens sliding around in margarine, those who watch an episode though to finalization may have a difference of opinion. Yes, the cast may preform odd stunts or state off color remarks, but each episode strives to leave its viewers with a valuable lesson. The importance of family, trust, and cultural acceptance is evident in every season. A majority of today’s cable networks thrive off of poorly scripted, over dramatic “reality shows” with a picture perfect cast. Instead, Alana has created her own world where all imperfections are viewed as “beautimous”. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo puts the “real” back into reality.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo may not be what you desired to learn about on “the learning channel”, but it does give a straight forward look into our societal diversity. The Thompson family is shown behaving and thriving appropriately in adherence to their personal set of stereotypically odd values. Showing a refreshing glimpse of legitimate human nature, their family faces controversial American topics daily. The family views obesity, homosexuality, poverty and teen parenthood without passing harsh judgment. Topics such as these are grasped with acceptance and understanding instead of incorporating dramatic theme music to spice up the vibe of “reality”. This not only sends a strong message to potentially young viewers but more importantly, teaches them to embrace diversity. TLC not only made a smart financial move by signing on Honey Boo Boo, they also brought cultural diversity to their network, a lesson that everyone can always learn from.