Let's Be Honest — Honey Boo Boo Was Exploited As A Child & She's Paying The Price For It Now

Call her Alana.

Alana Thompson Is Bouncing Back After Being Exploited As Honey Boo Boo  Sam Aronov/Shutterstock.com

TLC's child star Alana Thompson is putting pageantry behind her once and for all.

Now, she's doing bigger and better things — like posing for Teen Vogue. 

What is Honey Boo Boo doing now?

Honey Boo Boo — or Alana Thompson — is on the verge of turning 16, she is a high schooler and is living with her sister, Pumpkin, while still working on reality TV. 

She's a normal teen who has dreams of being a neonatal nurse, and is trying to get straight A's.


Thompson rose to fame after appearing on TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras as a 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant. The nickname stuck after she sassed other contestants with the famous line. 


After "Toddlers & Tiaras," Thompson's family landed a deal with TLC ."Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" followed, and often appeared to mock what became known as a "Redneck" family around their native Georgia.

She also appeared on "Dancing With the Stars: Juniors" in 2018. 

Alana Thompson no longer wants to be known as 'Honey Boo Boo.' 

"My mama did not name me Honey Boo Boo. My Name is Alana," she said in her Teen Vogue interview, citing that she no longer wishes to be known as the boisterous child TV watchers once knew her as. 

Honey Boo Boo's family's been followed by controversies. 

"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" was canceled after it was revealed that Thompson's mother, June Shannon, had a romantic relationship with a man who was convicted of child molestation — his victims included one of her daughters. 


RELATED: What Does Honey Boo Boo Look Like Now? New Photos Of The Toddler & Tiaras Star All Grown Up

Shannon was given another chance by We TV with her show "Mama June: From Not to Hot," which followed her weight loss journey post her bariatric surgery. However, the show's fate is currently undecided as Shannon and her boyfriend face charges for felony drug possession. 

Yet just this March, Shannon wound up securing another show titled "Mama June: Road to Redemption," which also features Thompson and her sister, Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon Efird and their journey of familial reconciliation.  

Alana Thompson dealing with the aftermath of being a child star. 

The teen, who turns 16 later this month, revealed that dealing with her mother's substance abuse was difficult for her, and at times "didn't know where she was going to end up."


Thompson also spoke about the body shaming she's experienced at the hands of fellow teens and adults alike, and admitted she doesn't have many friends because she doesn't trust people.

Why? Because she's convinced they'd only want to befriend her for her "Honey Boo Boo" fame. 

People are sympathizing with her struggles. 

Many jumped to the teen's defense online, pointing out the branding was not her fault. 

"She's literally a child who's been exploited by adults all her life," someone said, earning a wave of approval from other users. 

And it's true. As a child, Thompson never had a say in any of her family's media involvement.

She was simply too young to consent to being filmed. Now as a teenager, she's paying the price by having to fight for her own identity while attempting to shed the one her family bestowed upon her.


And as if being a teenager wasn't already difficult, she also has to navigate her painful relationship with her mother in the public eye while simultaneously dealing with trolls who constantly scrutinize her appearance. 

Keep doing your thing, Miss Alana! We're rooting for you!

RELATED: Confessions Of A Retired Child Actress: I Was Frenemies With An Ex-Disney Star

Yona Dervishi is a writer who is currently working at YourTango as an editorial intern. She covers topics pertaining to self-care, radical acceptance, news, and entertainment.