Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

January 7, 2013

Lessons learned from Honey Boo Boo

-- — Georgia has become famous this year as the home of reality television star, Honey Boo Boo, a young, avid beauty pageant contestant on “Toddlers and Tiaras.” The show features Honey Boo Boo and her family, who outwardly appear to be the stereotypical embodiment of backwards Southerners. They have quaint nicknames for each other, they are overweight and not shy about eating, they talk with strong accents, and they have funny interactions that have endeared them to their viewing audience.

On Monday, though, another side of Honey Boo Boo’s family was revealed. It seems that the family’s matriarch is a smart and savvy woman. Instead of blowing the $15,000 to $20,000 from each show that the family earns, Mama June has the money deposited into trust funds for her four daughters. They can’t touch the money until they are 21 for anything other than education or a medical emergency.

Mama June was on numerous news shows Monday, as commentators discussed this supposedly surprising side of a woman who is not exactly a member of the country club elite. She even went so far as to say the family will never live above their means or waste their money on things they don’t need.

Perhaps the surprise on the part of the national media is understandable because apparently, they don’t understand Southern women. Thrift is ingrained at an early age, as is cutting coupons, how to re-use everything from aluminum foil to Christmas wrapping paper, and ensuring that children are taught manners and do chores to earn their allowances.

In other words, Honey Boo Boo’s family may be the object of humor for many who laugh at their supposed uneducated ways, but what they are in reality is decent, hard-working, old-fashioned Southerners, who are smart enough to save their money for the future and who are happy with who they are and what they have.

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