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Is revenge bitter ... or sweet?

When you’ve been wronged, a little revenge can be sweet.  And according to a new crop of TV shows, it’s the best meal out there.

Kourtney Kardashian built a career oh-woe-is-me-ing herself as the ugly, fat girl of the Kardashian clan.  Then she left her husband, joined a gym and posted her physical transformation on social media.  Kourtney became slender, fit and ultimately, confident.  And since her talk show failed miserably, why not sell her fitness regime to the viewing public?

Introducing E! Network’s Revenge Body, the show where women who were dumped get a fitness, flirting and fashion make-over to flaunt over their ex.  They feel fabulous showing off what their ex can no longer have and then move forward with confidence.

It all sounds so positive.  So WE TV decided to give it a try.  Mama June: From Not to Hot follows the weight loss journey of former TLC reality star June Brown.  June and her youngest were discovered on the disturbing beauty pageant series, Toddlers &Tiaras.  So popular was the little girl with her nearly incomprehensible southern twang and cocky disposition that she got her own show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

For four years, viewers followed the antics of the poor, backwoods family, including the long-awaited marriage of June and Honey Boo Boo’s father, Sugar Bear.  That union, however, quickly ended.  But first, it was revealed that June was secretly dating an ex who had molested one of her other daughters years earlier.  So amid the scandal, TLC cancelled the show.

Then months later, June and Sugar Bear re-appeared on TLC’s Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.  There, they revealed their ugly secrets before divorcing and collecting yet another paycheque.

You’d think television would be done with them all.  Years later, Honey Boo Boo is no longer a cute, chubby six-year-old.  She’s an obese teenager with lots of attitude and little common sense.

June’s no longer simply a loving but extremely obese and uneducated mother of four.  At thirty-seven, she’s an unemployed grandmother of two who knowingly dated her daughter’s abuser – twice.

She has little to offer except her weight loss journey.  And the reason behind it?  Sugar Bear is re-marrying and wants his daughter there.  So June plans to attend too … in a size four dress.

And therein lies her moment of revenge.  Perhaps she’s earned it with all her hard work and gastro/plastic surgery.  Unfortunately, that’s not enough for June.  Before the big day, she tries on a wedding dress and taunts the plus-sized new Mrs. Bear-to-be.

Instead of teaching her kids healthy habits and becoming an example of female self-confidence, June uses her new body to hurt another woman.  She also tells her obese child not to worry about her weight despite the family’s medical history and her own doctor voicing his concerns.

Perhaps there is a healthy level of revenge.  But this cannot be the empowerment that the recent International Women’s Day was celebrating.