In the land of anything goes TV, “Honey Boo Boo” is refreshing

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In the land of reality television, anything goes. “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is not the exception. The TLC show is a spin-off of the widely popular and often criticized “Toddlers & Tiaras.” Many people are inclined to criticize the Thompson-Shannon family, but they are an oddly refreshing take on the reality television family.

The show follows the lives of 7-year-old Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, 32-year-old June “Mama” Thompson, 40-year-old Mike “Sugar Bear” Johnson, 17-year-old Anna “Chickadee” Shannon, 15-year-old Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, and 12-year-old Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon.

Additionally, Chickadee recently had a daughter, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Shannon. Sugar Bear and Mama are not married, but they have been together for eight years. Chickadee, Chubbs and Pumpkin have a different father than Honey Boo Boo.

During the show, you scarcely hear any of the family members call each other by their real names. Instead, they are much more identifiable by their assigned nicknames.

Critics have found fault with the family’s diet. According to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital, the dietary concerns critics have can apply to many Georgia residents. However, the family’s eating habits are largely influenced by their low income since healthy food costs more.

Even though the sugary concoctions created in the family’s kitchen are stomach turning and the children probably consume too much caffeine and sugar, the family is refreshingly real.

They are not like another infamous American family, the Kardashians. Although a recent rumor that Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashians, was criticizing “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” was proven false, the comparison of the two families is still striking. The Kardashians seem ever obsessed with how they look while the Thompson-Shannons seem absolutely comfortable in their skin.

The Thompson-Shannon family is low-income, and they live in the rural town of Mclntyre, GA. The oldest daughter, Chickadee, became a teen mother with the birth of her daughter just like her mother was. The star of the show and youngest daughter, Honey Boo Boo, competes in the fiercely competitive world of child pageantry.

All that being said, this family deserves a certain respect. They manage to get by thanks to extreme couponing. Mama calls herself “The Coupon Queen.”

The fact that the Thompson-Shannons live in a rural setting and on a strict budget does not mean that they cannot be happy. They love each other. They treat each other nicely. Also, unlike most of America, they are not fixated on fitting a certain size or living up to anyone’s definition of beauty but their own. They are refreshingly confident and unafraid to be themselves.