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Critics of Honey Boo Boo too harsh

Critics of Honey Boo Boo too harsh (credit: Molly Swartz/) Critics of Honey Boo Boo too harsh (credit: Molly Swartz/)
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Kids in mascara, pregnant teenagers, obesity, extra thumbs, and way too much roadkill — it has finally happened. A monstrous chunk of America’s ridiculous societal upsets have made it to the limelight in TLC’s reality comedy show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

This spin-off from reality show Toddlers and Tiaras stars the hillbilly pageant queen Alana Thompson, her mom June “the coupon queen,” Glitzy the pet pig, and the rest of their uncensored, unconventional family.

The show follows Alana’s beauty-pageant struggles and various subplots involving her sisters — nicknamed Chickadee, Chubbs, and Pumpkin — and her father Mike, a.k.a. Sugar Bear.

The show is wildly compelling; it’s crude, honest, and most importantly, hysterical. It’s like every other tabloid-endorsed reality show, except it’s missing the trust funds, the Jersey nightclubs, and the seven strangers picked to live in one house. The similarities, however, lie in the array of overstrung off-screen scandals that, in recent weeks, have circled Honey Boo Boo and her clan.

The most infamous controversy surrounds photos that feature Pumpkin, Alana’s twelve-year-old sister, feeding Kaitlyn, Chickadee’s newborn daughter, Mountain Dew-dipped pacifiers.

Soda is unhealthy at any age, and it is widely agreed that giving it to a one-month-old is going too far. Feeding infants soda may result in obesity, diabetes, cavities, and other nutritional deficiencies. This was probably not Pumpkin’s best move, but in her defense, maybe it was the best they could do. It’s not healthy, but it’s their normal. Coming from a family that feasts on roadkill, I don’t find it so weird.

This, however, has itched the feet of mothers and nutritionists alike. But I haven’t even gotten to the best — and juiciest — part of this story.

Kaitlyn has an extra thumb. And the most “scandalous” part of Kaitlyn’s extra limb? Mama June has been accused of making fun of it. Imagine the claimed awfulness of this: A thirty-two year old grandmother having the nerve to tease her infant granddaughter for her birth defect.

Critics argue that while it was unfortunate enough for Kaitlyn to suffer from this defect, she should at least have support from her family. In an interview with People, June retracted her negative approach, claiming, “We have embraced [the abnormality]. It makes Kaitlyn more special to us.”

The show may be backward, but the criticism is even more so. Even though it is entertainment, the show is still real. These people are real.

They live this lifestyle that people condemn, criticize and try to fix, but it’s still their lives. These controversies are bizarre, but that does not make them scandals.

The Mountain Dew and extra thumb issues aren’t even the half of it.

Critics are in uproar over the fact that each of June’s children have different fathers. They are furious that ratings exceeded those of the Republican National Convention for some demographics. They swarmed over a wardrobe malfunction.

The criticism is coming from every direction, and at the root of it is the lack of approval over the family’s lifestyle.

It’s just their way of living, and that does not stop me or the other three million viewers from reveling in it. Honey Boo Boo has come, and she is certainly not wavering out of the spotlight. The real question is this: Will their lifestyle stop you from watching?