Alana Thompson is no much longer the rambunctious child beauty queen the people knew as Honey Boo Boo. And she'd choose you to usage her actual name.

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Just shy of her 16th birthday, Alana Thompson, a publicly high schooler, is conserving to buy her an initial car, has dreams of gift a neonatal nurse, and is trying to acquire straight A's. She functions after school and on weekends, and also spends time going come the pool and also the mall with her sister and niece.

But the job-related she’s doing no typical. She functions as a reality television star, and also has to be doing so since she was simply a toddler. And she’d favor people, including her peers at institution who exclaimed “Oh, it’s honey Boo Boo!” once she started there, to know the surname she’s recognized for is not her name: “My mama did not name me love husband Boo Boo. My name is Alana.”


Sixteen is a stark break-up in teenagerdom, one the comes v the potential because that driver’s licenses, the end of high school lastly in sight, and also what feels choose a line between your childhood and young adulthood. But for Alana, whose date of birth is august 28, the ties in between the past and also present are tighter, and an ext documented, than most. Amid discourse on just how we talk around teenage girls, specifically those who have actually a level of cultural presence and celebrity power that renders it too easy to think of them as symbols or examples rather than human being beings, is Alana.


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As reality-TV lore speak it, Alana Thompson burst top top our display screens fueled by “go-go juice” (a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew) and pithy catchphrases. She originally appeared on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras in 2012. The show, in part, adhered to then six-year-old Alana and her mother, June, ~ above the children’s beauty pageant circuit. Later that exact same year, Alana and family were facility stage on their very own reality show, Here come Honey Boo Boo, the very first episode the which mirrors the Georgia-based team going to the “Redneck Games,” where they participated in a “mud-pit ship flop” and also bobbed because that pig snouts. The present existed in ~ the intersection of class, economics, and also family dynamics — a working-class household (or one presented as such) in a celebrity economy, through plenty of gleeful attention on the means the family’s location and also social norms can be enhanced for benefit with tiny context for it.


Dozens of posts analyzed the display as a voyeuristic emergence at the “trainwreck,” “white trash,” “redneck,” and “hillbillies,” regulating to repetitively divorce the terms from your history. Together with it come commentary ~ above the child at the center of the all, who was widely considered too loud and also twangy, too obnoxious, and just too much.


The coverage was so intense, it ultimately fell the end of cultural consciousness the the reality-television careers of an entire family were released by someone that was, in ~ the time, a child. Someone who phrases and also mannerisms (including those seemingly educated by racism stereotypes of Black women ) are documented forever. Castle permeated popular culture to the level that people forget this young adult has a real an initial name.


Alana, that is easygoing and also calm top top the collection of her photo shoot. Alana, that says, “I desire to it is in the finest I can be, and I want to make my money, and also I likewise want to make straight A's, so ns just shot my hardest.” Alana, who recounts the there have been time she’s satellite on she bed and also been like, I simply cannot execute this anymore. 


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While she knows she’s technically a kid, Alana states she thinks civilization still check out her together the boisterous small girl castle met via TV, for this reason the tendency to forget she's not a character, but a genuine person. “Like love husband Boo Boo Child,” she says, emphasizing the “child.” she’s perched on a couch in a loft-like photo shoot an are in Atlanta, comfy in bike shorts and also Crocs. Those catchphrases, she says, "were absolutely Honey Boo Boo days, for sure.” She no say lock at every anymore, “but lock still execute stick around, due to the fact that they were on nationwide television so...,” she says, trailing off.


They stick about even after she’s quit saying them, grown the end of love husband Boo Boo, and also into Alana — identities she watch distinct distinctions between. “They are completely two various people,” she tells Teen Vogue. “I would say the I do like this Alana now, fairly than the younger Alana.”


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This Alana is quiet a reality-TV personality — though current iterations focus more on her mother and also family at large than ~ above Alana herself. Here comes Honey Boo Boo to be canceled in 2014, after ~ news that Alana’s mother, June Shannon, date a convicted child molester, who victims allegedly consisted of one that Alana’s sisters.

In 2018, Alana showed up on Dancing v the Stars: Juniors, and also the year prior, a reality display following she mother’s physical transformation, Mama June: From not to Hot, ultimately rebranded together Mama June: roadway to Redemption, on i beg your pardon Alana right now appears. In 2019, Alana’s mother was arrested ~ above possession the a controlled substance and also drug paraphernalia charges, and also Alana’s sister, Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon, 21, was given legal guardianship end her.

When audiences freeze-frame her as the little kid who ended up being a windy figure prior to she was in elementary school, that situates Alana as a character amid a messy narrative, no a teens whose formative years — and also the trauma within them — have played the end in prior of cameras.


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The family members used come be with each other all the time, not simply for filming, however for frequent family dinners. When June’s drug use worsened, that was like the family damaged apart. Having Pumpkin, and Pumpkin’s daughter Ella, in she life to be a comfort for Alana. Forgiveness was one component of start to mend the relationship with she mom, but the other was her mother admitting she actions to be wrong.

“A many folks in this people do not realize just how many people are in reality really affected by drug and alcohol ,” Alana says. (And she’s right: An approximated one in eight children age 17 or younger live in families with a parent taking care of a substance usage disorder.) “It's very, an extremely hard. It's other I'd wish on nobody, because that real.” Now, she and also her mommy are functioning on gaining “back ~ above track” to wherein they provided to be, and she states she’s proud the her mom for working on herself.


She’s proud of it s her too. “When mine mama acquired real negative with her , ns didn't recognize where i was walking to finish up,” Alana says. “I'm proud that myself because that how much I've come.”

Her windy upbringing method Alana isn’t afraid to set boundaries in her personal life. “I'm somebody that speak my mind even if it is you choose it or not,” she says. “If ns don't feeling comfortable doing something, I'm going to tell you.”


More importantly, she provides feeling comfortable v herself a priority, in spite of how today's social media economic situation breeds comparison. Recently, due to the fact that she’s to be wearing lengthy lashes and also long nails, Instagram followers are swift to tell she it’s too lot (or "too grown"). “I guess civilization still mean me come be little Honey Boo Boo, and also I'm not anymore,” she says. The stereotypes of wherein she’s native feed the too. “Just due to the fact that I'm indigenous the South, world expect me to it is in all country bumpkin, out riding 4 wheelers all the time, but that's not really just how it is,” Alana says. “There space so plenty of folks on mine Instagram that perform not favor my nails or mine eyelashes. Yet I carry out not care. As long as I choose myself, I'm good.”

“I don't ever before look in ~ people and also I'm like, ‘Oh, ns wish ns was choose her,’” Alana adds. “Because i don't ever before wish to be favor nobody. I am my own person.”


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Keeping that mentality in ~ the head of your mind is hard in basic — specifically as a teenager when you’re growing into yourself; and particularly as a teenager whose appearance, language, and identity have become fodder because that conversations on everything from beauty beauty stereotypes, to what classifies as great manners, to exactly how she need to look. In ~ one point, the television display The Doctors also staged a “health intervention” for her, where a younger Alana mutual that she liked nuggets come a chorus that laughter native the audience; her appearances on truth television left no component of her personality and body unscrutinized.


Body shaming is something command at she every single day in she comments section, she shares. She’s doubtful of the idea that Gen Z is dismantling fatphobia and also oppressive body photo standards. In fact, she says, “I feel like my generation is more than likely making it worse. Everybody's all around body positivity, human body positivity, till they watch a body they don't like.”


“I don't recognize why people think this way,” she continues. “Just because I gained a tiny bit the extra meat on my bones, you desire to dislike me? I'll never acquire body shaming.”

Alana focuses an ext on exactly how she feels around herself, in her own skin, 보다 what commenters need to say. “Like, I know I'm beautiful, and also I recognize I acquired a banging body, so...I don't care,” she claims with a shrug. She thinks we have to be showing all different kinds of bodies, which is something she thinks pageants in reality excel at.

What made she stand the end in those cases was her personality, she clues out. And yes, Alana thinks she what pertains to mind when human being think of a pageant queen: “I mean, come myself i was a pageant queen.”


Directly across from the couch whereby Alana sits, a team is dismantling folding tables that shoes and shuffling racks of garments out that the room. Alana is unperturbed by the chaos. Probably in a habit borne of year of on-camera interviews, Alana repeats nearly every question back when she answers, fifty percent thinking aloud, fifty percent framing what she shares v the conciseness of a sound bite. The situations are unique, however at the heart of the conversation is what part might take into consideration “teenage stuff”: jobs and money, her connection with her sister, and also friendships. In various other words, points a life is make of.


“To be honest, I carry out not have numerous friends. At all,” Alana says, remarking that her just friend is more than likely her boyfriend. “Because i feel favor folks room so lot like, 'Oh, my God, I'm friends through Honey Boo Boo,'” Alana adds. “I don't to trust nobody really, so i don't have actually friends.”


You need to really check folks over three or four months, she explains: She watch if they call her “Honey Boo Boo”; she watches whether they offer to pay because that anything or assume she will, since they likewise assume she is rich, i m sorry she clarifies isn't specifically true.

Unlike sheepish denials from other celebrities, Alana is candid the being ~ above TV isn’t simply a an individual choice; it additionally feels prefer a clever financial decision. She’d never make as much at a normal job — and plus, she says, being on TV is much simpler than a consistent job. 

“I desire to have actually a life, girlfriend know? I desire to be able to support my youngsters when ns do have kids and stuff choose that,” she says. “It’s certainly something the is good for the moment being, good for later on in life.” however she can also clearly see the job she won’t be filming anymore. At some point, she think there simply won’t be anything left come film, and she’ll simply be working her parenting job.


But because that now, she loves working v her family — she doesn’t have to worry about people judging her at work, and has civilization to speak to. Alana says the human she looks up to most is Pumpkin, and her sister’s husband, Josh. Pumpkin, she says, “stepped up as soon as I had nobody.” when she relocated in v her sister, she decorated her brand-new room, bringing just her garments and personal items v her, leaving behind the necessities like a dresser and bed. Also though Alana in reality loves decorating, “I shouldn't have to redecorate mine room prefer this. I must be in my very own bed at my mom's residence just chilling, you know?” Still, living through Pumpkin has been fun: They stay up late, they clock movies, and spend lot of of time hanging out through Ella. “But I know it's stressful top top her, due to the fact that she has an additional person to take care of,” Alana says.


That move, however, is component of why Alana is proud of that she’s become. She’s become a much better person, she says. She matured. Despite the flux that coming-of-age in windy — heaped on height of the interior chaos that often molds coming-of-age, in general — Alana is secure in naming she goals.

Before coming to be a nurse, she desires to graduate high school and also college. She wants to relocate out when she transforms 18 and purchase a house, and before that, a car. She thinks she’ll store working while in college, because she’s currently thinking about student debt. It seems prefer the most practical advice someone deserve to offer a teenager between unpacking what problem to them, and also why; who they desire to be, and who castle are: It's not just relying on desires or five-year-plans or reinvented selves, however carving the end the styles, relationships, and also moments that feel many like friend at any given time that carry you a tiny closer to the variation of yourself you’re constantly growing into.

As Alana’s phone lamp up through incoming texts, the final racks of clothes are rolled out of the studio, whereby she’ll depart quickly with she boyfriend, that joined her on set, and a birthday cake the team in the studio gifted her as very early celebration. What go future Alana look like? She grins. “I don't know what future Alana’s like. Ns haven't met her yet.”


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Photographer: Peyton Fulford 

Photo Assistant: Ross Landenberger

Stylist: Ansley Morgan 

Stylist Assistant: Julia Kostakos 

Tailor: lindsay Long 

Makeup Artist: daniel Mitchell 

Hair Stylist: Erin Taylor


Hair Stylist Assistant: Chelsea Sitten 

Manicurist: Tahra Clarke

Prop/Set Stylist: Christa Leveto 

Prop/Set Assistant: Julia Harris 

Videographer: Brock Shanks

AC/Sound: Fraser Jones

Producer: Erin Kasari 

Production Assistant: daniel Burt 


Covid Compliance Officer: Tracie Stephens 

Art Director: Emily Zirimis

Fashion Director: Tahirah Hairston

Visual Editor: Louisiana Mei Gelpi

Designer: Liz Coulbourn

Video editor: Matt Sparks 


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