This child star is growing up fast and shedding her girlhood identity.
“My mama did not name me Honey Boo Boo. My name is Alana,” Alanna Thompson, who will turn 16 on Aug. 28, told Teen Vogue in a profile about how she’s changed since gaining international fame starring in TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” in 2012.
While the tot beauty queen once seemed to proudly embrace the nickname, she now filters out friends based on who still chooses to call her by it.
“I feel like folks are so much like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m friends with Honey Boo Boo,’” she said, adding that she feels people still expect her to embrace and embody the rambunctious, Southern childhood identity for which she got famous. They also assume she’s become rich as a result of it. All of that makes it difficult to let classmates at her public high school — or anyone beyond family, really — get close to her.
“To be honest, I do not have many friends. At all,” she candidly admitted. “I don’t trust nobody really, so I don’t have friends.”
With her blood relatives, however, she remains extremely close, despite many challenges: Her mother, June Shannon, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia in 2019, leading to legal guardianship of Thompson being passed to her 21-year-old sister, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon.
“A lot of folks in this world do not realize how many people are actually really affected by drug and alcohol [use] … It’s very, very hard. It’s something I’d wish on nobody, for real,” Thompson reflected. “When my mama got real bad with her [drug use], I didn’t know where I was going to end up. I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come.”
Not only has Thompson managed to remain strong in the face of child stardom and her mother’s addictions, but she’s also come away from the incessant fatphobia she’s dealt with for years with a deep sense of self-love.
“Just because I got a little bit of extra meat on my bones, you want to hate me? I’ll never get body shaming,” she said. She also receives — but seemingly shrugs off — a lot of negative Instagram comments for her nails and eyelashes. “I do not care,” she said. “As long as I like myself, I’m good.”