Alana Thompson, better known by her stage name, Honey Boo Boo, is all grown-up and trying to leave her pageant name behind her. Today, the 15-year-old is more worried about getting straight As, buying her first car, and making sure that everyone knows her real name is Alana.
“My mama did not name me Honey Boo Boo. My name is Alana,” the teenager admitted to her fans. She claimed she wants to leave the character behind.
The young girl exploded onto the reality TV stage in 2012 as Honey Boo Boo. She was an outgoing and loud child on the set of TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras. America fell in love with Honey Boo Boo and her outrageous catchphrases, like “Honey Boo Boo Child,” which soon became part of the everyday vernacular.
After Toddlers and Tiaras, which documented the drama of child beauty pageants, Alana and her family went on to have their own reality TV show – Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The show followed the famous child and her family as they went about their daily lives.
The show was canceled in 2014 after it was revealed that Alana’s mother, June Summers, was dating a convicted child molester and that one of his victims included Alana’s sister.
Since the cancellation of their TV show, Alana and her family have had to deal with a lot of issues, mainly June’s drug use. In 2019, June Summer – better known as Mama June – was arrested and charged for cocaine and drug paraphernalia possession.
Her drug use prompted TLC to change her reality TV show from Mama June: From Hot to Not to Mama June: Family Crisis. Her problem with drugs greatly affected her family with Alana being taken into the custody of her older sister, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Alana spoke about how drug use affected her. “A lot of folks in this world do not realize how many people are actually really affected by drug and alcohol [use],” she said. “It’s very, very hard. It’s something I’d wish on nobody, for real. When my mama got real bad with her [drug use], I didn’t know where I was going to end up,” Alana said. “I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come.”
The former Honey Boo Boo said that her mom is working on getting her life back on track and being more involved with her family.
Today, Alana is still starring in reality TV shows, but she has a lot of other things to focus on. The teenager said that being known as Honey Boo Boo instead of her real name had hurt her ability to make friends because everyone only associated her with her TV show past.
“To be honest, I do not have many friends. At all,” she admits. “Because I feel like folks are so much like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m friends with Honey Boo Boo.’ I don’t trust nobody really, so I don’t have friends.” She admitted that her only friend is probably her boyfriend.
Alana said that many people expected her to still be the rambunctious child that she was on TV and that’s just not her anymore. She’s still not afraid to speak her mind and tell everyone how it is, but she also has other dreams. The reality TV star is hoping to one day become a neonatal nurse.
Having no friends has also affected Alana in other ways. Especially when it comes to the body-shaming that she experienced online. The 16-year-old is fighting back against today’s body positivity culture and argued that Gen Z is one of the worst enablers of fatphobia.
“I feel like my generation is probably making it worse. Everybody’s all about body positivity, body positivity until they see a body they don’t like. Like, I know I’m beautiful, and I know I got a banging body, so…I don’t care,” said Alana to Teen Vogue.
The young girl said that our culture needs to feature more variety when it comes to body size and argued that beauty pageants helped with that. Because when she was up on that stage what made her really stand out was her unique personality, not her body.