The Here Comes Honey Boo Boo franchise has always been controversial. Like much of reality TV, it operates on a dichotomy of both feeding into our basest desires, but also sometimes providing a unifying thread for humanity by jerking our tears and making us feel connected in our need for junk entertainment — not to mention the good work of shows that really do life-changing things for people, like Shark Tank and Extreme Home Makeover, even if they might be exploitative at their core.
So it’s no surprise that Honey Boo Boo spinoff Mama June: From Not to Hot has been wildly popular, as it’s tracked the downright astonishing, and also costly ($75,000!) transformation of Mama June’s body.
But the spin of the show and many headlines about it have focused on the revenge aspect. That really shouldn’t be what’s important. Mama June wasn’t just overweight, she was clinically obese at 460 pounds, which can be life-threatening. Not to mention, she also has children who all have had their struggles with nutrition and weight documented in the show over the years.
This show isn’t about revenge. It’s about women getting healthy together, for themselves, their happiness and their family.
Mama June, almost unrecognizable after the insertion of a gastric sleeve, breast augmentation and intensive skin removal, seems to understand that now, telling People, “This needs to be about me and making myself happy.” She went on to discuss her children. She did admit that she’s never going to say, “You got to eat salads all the time.” But after her transformation, she’s seeing that this is about the family as a whole and a deep need to make a mental shift when it comes to their perception of food. She admitted, “I don’t want them to go through what I went through in school or with surgery… I’ve seen them lose and gain weight, but I don’t want them to end up like I did at 460 pounds. Who would want that?”