Have you all seen the show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? It documents the life of rambunctious child pageant star, Alana Thompson (a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo Child), and her equally “energetic” family in rural Georgia.
Alana is known for her larger-than-life personality and her famous one-liners, including “A Dolla Makes Me Holla” and “You Better Redneck-ognize”!
I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve actually seen all of the episodes. For some reason, I can’t peel my eyes away when it’s on. The family’s antics are a bit wild, and yes, I am appalled by some of the things they do. However, I must say that there is something heartwarming about them too. It seems like they are happy and have a lot of fun together, and despite the fame that reality TV has brought them, they still remain grounded.
There’s a lot of media coverage that portrays them as the laughingstock of America, but I give the family props for staying true to themselves. People may call them “dumb” or “ignorant”, but honestly, they’re a whole lot smarter than people give them credit for. A lot of celebrities squander their money away on flashy, silly things and later end up with major debt. At least it’s admirable that the Honey Boo Boo family aims to be frugal and places emphasis on spending quality time together (versus spending money).
Mama June, the family matriarch, is a self-proclaimed coupon queen. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, she said “You save money for your family. That’s what it’s all about. I could be a multi-millionaire and still want to get the best deal for my family.”
From the looks of it, Mama June is also the one who manages the household finances. Alana’s dad, Mike Thompson (a.k.a. Sugar Bear), is a contractor and was the sole bread winner for the family, so June tried to help out by being thrifty when she could. For example, before watching the show, I didn’t even know that you could go to food auctions and bid on items that are about to expire… (not that I would do that)! They live in a modest house and in many ways, continue to live as they did before they got famous.
And what about all the money they made from the show? Well, the family’s biggest purchase since then was a 2005 Ford Expedition. Mama June was very careful about those earnings and set up trust funds for each of her kids, including one for her granddaughter, Kaitlyn. The majority of the money is automatically divided up and placed into the girls’ accounts.
In an interview with TMZ, Mama June said that she doesn’t see the earnings herself. “TLC puts the money into the girls’ trust accounts for me and then I get an email telling me how much everyone gets. I want my kids to look back and say, ‘Mama played it smart.’” Her girls aren’t allowed to access the money until they turn 21, unless they have a medical emergency or need it for education. In my opinion, the kids are fortunate to have a mom who is sensible enough to plan for their financial future.
On top of that, I have to say that the family has heart. They may not have the best manners. They may not be the most refined. But they do know what’s important– spending quality time with loved ones and sharing meaningful experiences together. Throughout the season, you can see that giving back to the community is a big part of their lives. Maybe that’s what makes them special and sets them apart from other reality TV stars.
Beneath the goofiness, the Honey Boo Boo family has their heads on straight. Love them or hate them, we can still admire them for that.