Is Honey Boo Boo the Next Barbie?

Originally Posted on January 3, 2014 by BJ Howell.

Is there true reality in Reality TV? “Here comes Honey Boo Boo” is a reality show based off of a character/participant on TLCs “Toddles and Tiaras” (another reality show). It supposedly depicts the everyday life of Honey Boo Boo (Alana) and her family. I say supposedly mainly because I have never watched the show. I’ve seen previews, talk shows, heard conversations, but never watched. There is so much wrong with TV these days that it’s hard to find something of value in watching reality shows. As a therapist, I enjoy seeing how people live and interact. So, I often catch myself tuning into Reality TV, but it doesn’t take long before I am reminded that it isn’t true reality.

Looking at the assortment of reality shows currently on the air, it’s depressing to see where we are as a society. Last week I read an article about people being upset over the thought of a “fat” Barbie doll. While the regular Barbie is far from a healthy, realistic representation of a woman, this “fat” Barbie seems to be the extreme opposite, yet it is still far from a healthy representation. We definitely need more mirroring of what is healthy and acceptable and it looks like reality TV is not where we are going to find it. As I cringe, seeing previews and interviews, etc. of a 8yo acting like a 18yo, I also struggle to see the good but I know that there is. Perhaps the positive (depending on how you look at it) takeaways from the show are centered around acceptance and family. Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, what you do or how you act, family…is family. And “Barbies” do come in all shapes and sizes and are from all walks of life.

As a society, we need to broaden our view and reconsider how we determine acceptance. Reality and the concept of “normal” is totally dependent on an individuals experiences, and therefore a subjective perception. If anything, we need to embrace the fact that normal doesn’t really exist. Acceptance therefore needs to be based off of other criteria. When we start to see and value people without judgement and throw away our magical stick that measures “normal”, our world will be a better place…

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