Elaine Murphy looks at the rise of child pageant stars in reality tv.
Reality TV isn’t a sudden phenomenon, but it’s steadily becoming the topic of everyday conversation. People have become obsessed with such shows such as Toddlers and Tiaras and its spinoff, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Such shows have created hysteria and obsession amongst their viewers. It’s undeniable that some people are obsessed with watching other people’s everyday lives. People want to know what is going on in their strange and crazy worlds. But there is undoubtedly a certain connection that viewers have to such reality shows, and that is ultimately the reason for their popularity. Love them or hate them, they can become an obsession.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo attracts audiences due to its “I don’t care” attitude. Some viewers might find be inspired by their bravery, others might laugh at their lack of shame. They eat road kill for, God’s sake! However, it’s the continuous positive attitude and light-heartedness that the family maintain which keeps viewers intrigued. Moreover, the humour keeps audiences entertained and each individual’s personality shines throughout. Some might think it’s trash, others might live for the trash Honey Boo Boo and co. produce.
‘Honey Boo Boo’ would not have come about if it weren’t for Toddler’s and Tiaras. The obsession surrounding beauty is one of horror for many viewers of this reality show. Girls as young as five are deprived of their childhood and forced to be something they’re not. Audiences are dumbfounded by such images, these young girls being pushed into adulthood and making them believe that beauty matters most. Such horror evoked by the show has produced uproar around the world. Most recently Ryan Tubridy slated the show and the mothers of the stars of the show on The Late Late, voyeurism is ultimately what makes the show compelling. The lack of understanding as to why parents willingly do this to their children is beyond belief, therefore compelling to watch.