I watched all the episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and I realized – they’re the modern-day, redneck version of the Bennets in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice!
Before I get trampled on, via waltzing by die-hard Austen fans, I only allude to Honey Boo Boo and her family’s behavior. (If you call that behaved at all.) A side-by-side with the Keira Knightley 2005 film Pride and Prejudice, Honey Boo Boo’s family is almost the same from the headstrong mom (Mama), quiet and passive dad (Sugar Bear), down to an unruly set of daughters (Chikadee, Chubbs, Pumpkin, and Honey Boo Boo with Baby Kaitlyn completing the roster; to date, she’s the most behaved of them all.) But here’s the main difference: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Mama in possession of young girls is not out to marry them off to affluent men-folk in McIntyre, Georgia.
What’s refreshing about the reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is, it’s a family that is not afraid to be themselves, neighbors and uppity-crust audiences be damned. Just like in Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet is unapologetic for the things she would do to have her daughters’ welfare taken care of. Of course, the best way was to have her five daughters proposed to by men with means. These days, you don’t have to do that because one) women have choices and can be 27 years old like the Lizzy Bennet’s friend Charlotte, and not be called “without prospects” (how rude), and two) Mama does that now to her children who are minors? Totally illegal.
Mama has similar intentions albeit they’re more attuned to each of her daughter’s needs: Chikadee got pregnant at 17 but it doesn’t mean Mama’s going to let her push that baby out of her biscuit by herself. Yes, Chubbs wants to lose weight and Mama doesn’t have to but joins her anyway for support. Fine, Mama makes a mean and controversial Go Go Juice for Honey Boo Boo to keep her energy up for pageants; yet if the little girl doesn’t win, no biggie. Nobody’s getting yelled at or made to feel guilty for losing. And okay, Mama does not want to get married to Sugar Bear even after more than a decade and a daughter together; heck he practically raised her first three girls and cut the umbilical cord of their grandbaby upon delivery – at least Mama has chosen a patient, understanding, and loving man not just for her but for all of them girls.
How about them sisters, huh? They horseplay, wrestle, jump in the mud or water, whatever’s in sight (not the one with flesh-eating bacteria, Mama’s not gonna hear of it), race through mud tied to an ATV (that daredevil Pumpkin), and generally like physical activities that test their sturdiness and lack of humiliation. Their food choices include cheese balls for breakfast, sketti (spaghetti with butter and ketchup mix) for lunch, and the occasional convenience store at the nearby gas station for snacks. Their manners are questionable: they eat with their mouths full and not on the dining table, they fart as many times as they can (familiar and not-so company included), and they yell to talk to each other. Honey Boo Boo’s family is loud, spirited, opinionated, loving, and real – this is a bunch of females who aren’t interested in being perfect; they’re all about big personalities who don’t make excuses for it and have little care for what others have to say. Isn’t that the Bennet Sisters to a tee? I think Jane Austen would approve. Like the female characters in Pride and Prejudice, Honey Boo Boo and company are proud ladies who are beautimous and rebelchious, vajiggle jaggle and all so you betta redneckognize.
You can read more from Melissa Ann Orcine on her blog.