Alana Thompson Unrecognizable, Sheds Honey Boo Boo Image: ‘I’m My Own Person’

Alana Thompson wants to have shed the persona that made her a household name. The 15-year-old reality television star wishes to move past her “Honey Boo Boo” image and move into a new phase of her life. She claimed “I’m my own person” to Teen Vogue.

Alana Thompson poses in a rainbow shirt for a press event.
Alana Thompson | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Alana Thompson rose to fame on ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’

Thompson exploded onto television screens in 2012 as a six-year-old beauty contestant on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras. Cameras followed Thompson and other young children as they worked the beauty pageant circuit. She became a standout on the show for her family’s loud and proud appreciation of her performances, fueled by “go-go juice,” a mixture of Red Bull energy beverage and Mountain Dew soft drink.

Her charming demeanor led the family to star in their own spinoff series titled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Thompson’s family included sisters Anna, Jessica, and Lauryn, and mother June and father Mike. The clan had catchy nicknames for one another, including Honey Boo Boo, Sugar Bear, Mama June, Chubbs, Pumpkin, and Chickadee. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was an instant hit with viewers, who loved watching the outrageous Georgia state clan navigate their day-to-day lives in a tiny house next to a railroad track.

With fame came heartbreak for Alana Thompson

Alana Thompson in a vintage photo from Toddlers and Tiaras.
Alana Thompson | Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

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Toward the end of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo‘s run, scandal enveloped the family. June Shannon and Mike Thompson split, and the clan’s matriarch began to date a man Mark McDaniel who had just been released from prison. TMZ reported McDaniel was jailed for molesting an eight-year-old child.

TLC canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, saying in a statement, “Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being,” reported The Washington Post.

Alana Thompson learned hard life lessons in front of the cameras

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Thompson, her mother, and sister Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon returned to television in 2017 in a new series for WeTV titled Mama June: From Not to Hot, which documented June’s weight loss journey. The show aired for three seasons, and a new love interest was introduced into June’s life, boyfriend Geno Doak.

Doak and June Shannon were arrested for felony possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia at a gas station in Alabama (per TMZ) in 2019. The series was rebranded Mama June: From Not To Hot – Family Crisis. One season later, the show was renamed again. Now called Mama June: Road to Redemption, it showed the family as they dealt with the fallout of June’s addiction and her need to reconnect with her family.

Alana Thompson wants to move out of the shadows of her reality tv show past

In a new interview and photo spread with Teen Vogue, Thompson claims she is ready to stake her claim in the entertainment industry on her own terms and wants to separate herself from her Honey Boo Boo past.

The teen is saving to buy her first car and has dreams of being a neonatal nurse. “I want to be the best I can be, and I want to make my money, and I also want to make straight A’s, so I just try my hardest,” she said. She is also looking to put some space between her former reality show persona and today’s young woman. “They are completely two different people,” Thompson admits. “I would say that I do like this Alana now, rather than the younger Alana.”

“I guess people still expect me to be little Honey Boo Boo, and I’m not anymore,” she explains. Her experiences over the past several years, including watching her mother fall into drug addiction and moving in full-time with her sister Lauryn and her husband Josh, forced Thompson to make some hard observations about her own life.

“I don’t ever look at people, and I’m like, ‘Oh, I wish I was like her,’” Alana added. “Because I don’t ever wish to be like nobody. I am my own person.”

Mama June: Road to Redemption is currently on hiatus.

How to get help: In the U.S. contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Servies Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357