While everyone else is busy pretending they hated the season premiere of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and denouncing the future of America, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: I love Honey Boo Boo and everything she stands for. She and her Mountain Dew guzzling, cheese ball scarfing redneck family just happen to also be progressive, lovely people who teach their children that tummies are beautiful and it doesn’t matter how many chins you have as long as you’re happy.
Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson was first seen in all her belly-shaking glory on Toddlers and Tiaras. She strutted the stage in her midriff bearing cowgirl outfit with the toddler equivalent of a beer gut, practically screaming a big “fuck you” to all the tight-lipped, perfectly groomed pageant mothers and their creepy china doll daughters. (For the record, we’re still of the camp that believes all child pageants are, by nature, creepy and rather deplorable. Tummies aside). While the television audience watched in horror, Alana’s mother, June, “vajiggle-jaggled” her double chins and made a face we all wish we hadn’t seen, encouraging her “Smoochie” to work it. From that moment, it was clear that this was not your typical pageant family in that they don’t give a single fuck what you think.
In the first episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” a show dedicated entirely to documenting the ridiculousness of the Thompson family, they proved their flippancy when they proudly weighed themselves on national television. One of the four daughters decides she wanted to lose weight (subsequently, her nickname is “Chubbs”) and asked her very large mother if she would join. The mother’s response was music to my ears. It was perfect. Like a choir of angels. She said, “I’m pretty happy with myself, but for support for you, I’ll do it.” And fatties everywhere rejoiced because finally someone on tv acknowledged that you can, in fact, be fat and happy.
This is why Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is way more than a trashy reality show about a pack of crazy rednecks. It’s rare that we see fat people on television, much less fat people who are happy with themseleves. Fat is a four letter word in our society and so often an insult used to describe something one would never want to be, or to decry a lesser version of humanity. In reality, fat is a descriptor. It describes overweight people, and nothing more. It does not mean “disgusting” or “bad.” It just means fat, and Honey Boo Boo’s family understands that.
Daughter Lauryn said, “My mama, from her feet to her head, is enormous. What? I mean there’s no other way to describe her.” It’s true. June is fat and happy and that’s cool. Alana exclaimed, “My mama weighs the most in our family because she’s fat.” Also true! And they all moved on and had fun with their fat mother because, as it turns out, fat people are human beings that love and have fun and have interests too. Just like skinny people.
It is truly refreshing to see fat people portrayed as real people on television. In a world of The Biggest Loser, More to Love, Dance Your Ass Off and Mike and Molly, which all focus on fatness as a personal shortcoming or a joke, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is (pardon the pun) like a thick milkshake on a hot day.
Granted there have only been two episodes, and there is still much room for error, but this season looks promising. Not only has the family proved to be incredibly body positive, but they’re progressive in other ways too. After losing a few pageants, Alana’s dad, Sugar Bear, brings her a glammed-up teacup pig to comfort her. Naturally. Alana decides that her new (male) pig is gay and will therefore dress in drag while accompanying her to pageants. When her sister cries that a pig can’t be gay, Alana so eloquently replies “It can if it want to. You can’t tell that pig what to do.” Preach it, girl. Granted, Alana’s definition of gay is slightly problematic (if a boy dresses as a girl he is gay– and vice versa), she is, after all, only 6. And this six-year-old is both aware — in a vague sense– of homosexuality…and is totally chill about it.
Going forward, one of the largest problems I actually foresee is a probable swine flu outbreak in the family. Between Alana sleeping in her pet pig’s crib and her sister bobbing for raw pig feet at the redneck games, they seem to be at high risk. A porcine epidemic notwithstanding, it looks like there’s a lot of belly jiggling in our television future. I am so down with that. Get it, Honey Boo Boo Child!