“I was raised on the ketchup.” –Honey Boo Boo

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson exhibited undeniable star power when she burst on the beauty pageant scene in TLC’s reality show, Toddlers & Tiaras. The spin off, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, is in the midst of its second season starring the charming yet controversial seven-year-old child and her southern working-class family.

Honey Boo Boo’s mom, June Shannon has been criticized for subjecting her daughter to the rigors of competitive beauty pageants, exploiting her family for reality TV fame and fortune as well as the diet she feeds her daughter which includes “Go Go Juice”–a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew that contains the caffeine level of two cups of coffee. The concoxtion is used to sharpen her daughter up for fierce pageant battles. Shannon has responded to this criticism stating, “There are far worse things…I could be giving her alcohol.” But Honey Boo Boo’s ambitious mom has also been praised for her tenacious business sense: she feeds her family on $80 a week by clipping coupons, cooks up roadkill whenever possible, and she obtains child-support checks from each of her four children’s fathers. Honey Boo Boo’s favorite “sketti” dinner recipe of loads of melted margarine and ketchup poured over pasta, is just one in a stready stream of outrageous, offensive, or “must-see TV” moments. Oddly enough, several reviewers have noted somewhat wholesome–if unorthodox– family values exhibited in the family dynamic. For example, The Guardian criticized TLC’s attempt to portray the Thompsons as people to “point and snicker at,” arguing, “None of the women or girls who participate in the show seems to hate themselves for their poverty, their weight, their less-than-urbane lifestyle, or the ways in which they diverge from the socially-acceptable beauty standard.”

So, as you devote yourself to honing the craft and pursuing healthy habits, along comes Honey Boo Boo swooping down on the scene, grabbing millions of TV viewers including Johnny Depp, Tina Fey, and Anderson Cooper. This phenomenon reflects modern-day TV culture that rewards the outrageous, the controversial, and the fame-obsessed. This can be challenging for an aspiring actor to compete with when he or she is trying to do serious work. But, keep in mind, Honey Boo Boo’s success is based primarily on her genuine appeal. Let’s face it: She has “It.” She’s bold, authentic, and unapologetic. These are qualities that any actor interested in success aspires to. Time to take stock in your inner Honey Boo Boo: What are the genuine qualities within you that make people take notice? Figure it out and fully value it. There’s your gold–tap into the vein!

 

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