Honey Boo Boo: Can she avoid the life The Onion predicts for her?

Recently, Honey Boo Boo wrote a column about the renewal of her TLC show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, that said, in part,

“I want to take a moment to thank all of our fans out there and to remind them that this charade is, of course, going to end very, very badly.

You know that, right? That my whole life is, sooner or later, going to wind up being a complete and utter train wreck of delusion and misery? Just want everybody to be clear on that.”

This is, of course, brutal satire from The Onion, not actually her words. It’s worth a read, though, because it’s both funny and horrifyingly sad, since it’s predicting a future for a six-year-old that isn’t exactly unlike the lives that other child stars have had–including reality stars, starting with An American Family‘s Lance Loud.

As much as I think the scenario in the piece is a possibility, there is a lot of hope, and that hope comes in the form of June Shannon, Honey Boo Boo’s mother. Yes, the woman who’s an extreme couponer/hoarder and calls a vagina a “biscuit” and feeds her child Mountain Dew and Red Bull.

June recently told the Macon Telegraph that the show hasn’t changed their lives much except “we’ve got paparazzi following us” and security because “fans that come to our house but we enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories and how we’ve changed their life and how happy they are that we have our show and stuff.”

That sounds like she might be a little oblivious, but that may be by design. And that’s backed up by A typical TMZ story today that, while it lacks sources and proper use of punctuation, has a lot of positive information, assuming it’s true.

The site reports that after episode two, June and company were given a raise from $5,000 to $7,000 an episode to $15,000 and $20,000 per episode: awesome that the network recognized so soon the value of the family and compensated them, though I’m sure an argument could be made that they deserved more.

More significant to me is the (again, unattributed) revelation that “TLC even offered to help the family find a somewhat larger, more secure home, but June refused” because she “is heavily involved in her town,” and that “June has turned [agents] away. She says she doesn’t want to make money the sole object of the show and she’s worried if she signs with an agent that person will talk her into making various appearances that will take her away from her family.”

Those are smart decisions for someone the television show portrays as a buffoon. But if this is accurate, The Onion may just be wrong, for once.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.