I am completely unashamed by my obsession with bad, bad television. I used to try to pretend I wasn't totally obsessed, but no one ever bought it. Not even me. So I gave up the charade.
My name is Stephanie. I puffy pink heart bad television. With sprinkles.
I swore I'd never watch the Toddlers and Tiaras because, really? I have no concept of that world. I played softball and shunned make-up when I was a kid. My family was poor. If we had $8000 it certainly wouldn't have gone to buy me a pretty Princess dress. My parents had other priorities, like paying for our house and making sure we had food. I have similar values so even though my daughter is clearly the most gorgeous little girl ever of all time, there was no way I was putting her in a pageant.
Furthermore, I loathe bratty children. Loathe them. There is nothing that makes my teeth itch more than a child being a sassy-assy to their parents. Okay, actually? The thing I hate more than that is when the parents say, "Oh! Little Lu-Lu Jane McKenzie is SO SPIRITED!" No. Lu-Lu Jane McKenzie is going to grow up and appear on an episode of Snapped okay? Your kid isn't so much "spirited" as they are "a huge dick". I know. It's hard to tell the difference sometimes.
Thus? I mostly enjoyed the Toddlers and Tiaras because, I'll admit it, it made me feel like a really good parent. Not many things make me feel like a really good parent, but even I can sit and watch the antics of Jerzee Marie and her desperate crazy-eyed mama and think, "Well. I'm doing better than that lady anyway." I feel similarly about the Teen Mom program. Maybe I'm not good, but I'm better than them, you know? I take my victories wherever I can.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've surely heard of Honey Boo Boo and her Coupon Queen Mama, Maybe Toothless Daddy, Pregnant Teenage sister and house LITERALLY on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as I heard about this program I immediately set the TiVo, fully intending to hate these people and everything they stood for whilst feeling very smug and pleased with myself for being "better" than them.
But that didn't happen.
I liked them.
Okay, I really liked them. I like that little Alana. She's hilariously funny, very self-assured. I adored her from the moment she declared something like, "You can't tell a pig not to be gay!" I mean, who says that? Alana says that. She also named her road kill Darlene and, after eating it, used her belly to "talk" to the camera men. I'm not even kidding. She's actually spirited and I literally, not kidding, cheered out loud that she won "Queen" in the show last week. Even though everyone knows that means she didn't pull for a higher title. (Once I figure out what "pulled for a higher title" means, I'll let you know.)
I love Alana's mama, June. Yes, I was horrified at her "forklift food" and fear that she's probably got the diabetes (and not just because of her crusty neck), but I like her. She loves her kids. She's hilarious, and I think it's mostly intentional. She's okay with who she is. Okay, she farts a lot, which I try really hard not to do, but I still think she's a nice person. I think Alana's dad loves her and you know what else? He's present. He's proud of her. He's helping raise a bunch of kids that aren't biologically his. He has a job, or maybe two jobs. Maybe he has no teeth, but I don't think that makes him a bad person.
So I guess people are mad about this show. Like really mad. Like, "I cannot go to bed because SOMEONE ON THE INTERNET IS WRONG" kind of mad. And I guess I don't get it because I can't quite figure out why people hate this family so very much. Because the mom is fat and the little girl is chubby? I know it's still cool to hate fat people in this country (although by God we better not hate anyone else!), but seriously? Is that what is objectionable about them? Is it because the mom coupon shops? I'm all for saving money and I don't think she was insane about it. Is it because June has kids with more than one baby daddy and is a grandma at a very young age? Because, um, that describes a lot of people. A lot, a lot of people. And a lot of those people just handed the baby over to grandma or Ne-Ne or whoever to raise and I don't think June did that.
So I don't get it. Maybe I'm just not sensitive to horrible things anymore since I've logged many hours of horribleness, but I just don't get why this family is such a bad example. What I see is a family who seems to genuinely care about one another. I can't help but like that. What you see is what you get and I honest to God don't think they care if you like it one way or another. As someone who recently was reduced to tears by a really bad review? I have to say I think that's a very admirable trait. My goal in life is to not give two craps what anyone thinks about me. I'm not there yet.
I'm not better than these people. Cleaner? Probably. Fart in public less? Absolutely.
Beyond that? I just don't see it.