Toddlers & Tiaras: A Reflection.

I can’t even.

I’m still unsure whether this is tragic, heroic or just ridiculous? Is Honey Boo Boo Child the definition of a world gone mad or is she the epitome of using the mass media to its full potential.

To answer this mind wrecker, lets venture back through blog-time continuum and re-hash old ideas of the current media sphere.

Maybe it would be all to simple and easy to blame Honey Boo Boo/Child Pageantry on the media. The media have taken advantage of our obsession with children, pageants and dancing (you need to watch Dance Moms asap) and spun this attention seeking child star as a result. But, has it really? Or was Honey Boo Boo already in pageantry because she likes the way she feels about herself when she performs and has simply cashed in on being an engaging child? It almost always seems like a mix of both when media effects is at play.

What is really meant by the advertising for Honey Boo Boo’s original show Toddlers & Tiaras?

Denotation of the photo would imply that in fact she is a toddler wearing a tiara. The girl would also seem to compete in child beauty pageants. But is there more than meets the eye here? This ideal of perfection and ageing of children may reflect a deeper attitude within the media. This gender ideas of what it is to be beautiful as a child seemingly comes from an engrained in royal beauty (Disney princess, Princess Diana) and the significance of the tiara. Unlike other objective advertisements it seems to definitely be downplayed in its overt nature.

Is this media content affected by who owns it and what they want to disseminate? If the head of the studio or company making the show is “exploiting” the children for money than yes it most certainly is an issue. Does the Discovery Communication Inc vested interest in the program blind them to a heavy subject area that is certainly polarising in opinion. Although it would seem that the entertainment value that people are getting out of the show is more to the point then what it is saying about young girls, or at least you would hope.

The subject of beauty pageantry goes hand in hand with child models and actors and the overarching innocence of youth topic. This makes it engrained in the public sphere. This argument has never been more alive in the public and people from both sides frequently make cases for it.

BUT,

What have we learnt about media through Honey Boo Boo Child? Seemingly the relationship for both the outlet disseminating and consumer relies heavily on what each wants and needs from the other. While media does have a span of control of the information that is being presented it is up to us on whether and how we use their message.

So, Honey Boo Boo Child.

Heroic, Tragic, Ridiculous?

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