The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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January 9, 2013

Angie gives thumbs up to Honey Boo Boo

CLINTON — When it comes to reality TV shows, what’s real and what’s fake?

My definition of fake would include “The Real Housewives” in all of the following locations — New Jersey, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Orange County and Miami. Unfortunately, the list could go on and on and on.

I have never watched these shows; however, I think they probably have more fake body parts than Joan Rivers.

The Kardashian clan would definitely be included in this category. Does Kim’s elaborate wedding to Kris Humphries ring a bell or their quick split? Or the fact that the mom, Kris, wears more eye make-up than Cleopatra?

The only thing genuine about the Kardashians is Olympic-medalist Bruce Jenner. The fact that Bruce spends a lot of time on the golf course and in his garage playing with his toy helicopters says volumes.

The list of tasteless reality TV shows, in my opinion, also goes on to include: “The Real World,” “Teen Mom,” “Amish Mafia,” “Moonshiners,” “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” and “Hoarders.”

I watched one episode of “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” and I about threw up in my recliner. I hate to admit it, but I have watched my fair share of “Teen Mom” episodes as the newsroom staff will attest to. I’m not proud of it, but at least I’m honest. Nobody’s perfect — not even the chicken lady.

The one reality show that I have grown to like is “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Even though this family is a bit off the wall, they are at least genuine. They don’t pretend to be someone they’re not. If you’re not familiar with the show, the clan consists of Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, June “Mama” Shannon, Anna “Chickadee” Shannon, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon, Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson and Baby Kaitlyn Shannon. And last but not least, Lee “Uncle Poodle” Thompson also visits the family from time to time. The family hails from McIntyre, Ga., where Honey Boo Boo participates in beauty pageants.

The Georgia clan isn’t flashy. You won’t see Mama wearing designer jeans or high heels like Kris Jenner. I have a feeling she probably shops at some of the same stores I do. I don’t think I can say the same about Kris Jenner. I doubt if she has ever worn a pair of $20 jeans or ever found a great deal at a garage sale. At least Mama is a real woman.

In a day and age when family units are disjointed, the Honey Boo Boo clan sticks together just like the butter Mama uses in her famous spaghetti sauce. And unlike other shows of this genre, they all seem to like each other. In a recent episode, the clan was carving pumpkins and chasing each other around a corn maze. Now, that’s togetherness. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Kardashians celebrating Halloween or sharing sugary snacks with each other.

Mama is very good with the household finances and seems to manage the household very well. None of them seem to have let stardom go to their heads. I don’t think it ever will. They seem to have their feet and egos planted firmly on the ground. Even though it is reported that Honey Boo Boo rakes in $15,000 to $20,000 per episode, the money is definitely not squandered on frivolous items. I recently read a “People” magazine story online where Mama was quoted  as saying, “You’re never gonna see me drive a Range Rover or a Mercedes. I’ll drive one if someone else pays for it. Never gonna live above my means.” It’s too bad other TV celebrities don’t live by that mantra.

Since stardom doesn’t usually last forever, Mama has set aside trust funds for all of her reality-TV-show daughters. Not a bad idea. The girls can’t touch their money unless it is for a medical emergency or school. This coupon-clipping mama is definitely Mother Knows Best.

When it comes to TV personalities, Honey Boo Boo is a very colorful one. She has definitely become the featured attraction on The Learning Channel. She is a no-nonsense little girl. She tells it like it is and doesn’t pussy foot around the issues. She is wild and crazy, and at times a little crude when she’s talking to her belly full of candy, but a good wild and crazy.

She’s a kid, albeit not an angel, but she’s a kid. I think I would rather spend an afternoon with Honey Boo Boo than Kim Kardashian any day of the week. At least Honey Boo Boo might share some of her beauty secrets with me.

Angie Bicker has been employed with the Clinton Herald since 2001. She can be reached at angiebicker@clintonherald.com.

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