“I’m not jumping on any bandwagon, unless it has cheeseburgers and stuff.” With her mother recently dropping nearly 300 pounds and going from a size 24 to a size 4, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson has found herself back in the spotlight after first wowing viewers on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras in 2011. Often spotted drinking a concoction of Mountain Dew and Red Bull known as Go Go Juice, Honey Boo Boo’s southern drawl and her wildly dysfunctional family left the world wanting more, which is exactly what led the Georgia youngster to land her own series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, that offered a glimpse into her life at home with her mother “Mama June,” her father “Sugar Bear,” and her siblings “Chubbs,” “Chickadee” and “Pumpkin.” Of course, the odd string of nicknames was only the start of the Honey Boo Boo craze!
Hailing from McIntyre, Georgia, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson was born in 2005 and became the youngest of Mama June’s four daughters with Jessica “Chubbs,” Anna “Chickadee” and Lauryn “Pumpkin” already part of the Shannon clan. With little else to do in the small Georgia town, Mama June knew her youngest daughter would need a hobby and enrolled Honey Boo Boo in her first beauty pageant when she was still in diapers. Before long, Mama June and Honey Boo Boo were experts in the industry and had pageantry down to a science, which is exactly how viewers first met them on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras.
Between the Go Go Juice, her southern drawl and wild behavior, audiences were in awe of Honey Boo Boo and Mama June as the duo became the highlight of Toddlers & Tiaras before TLC gave them their own series set in their hometown of McIntyre. Featuring the entire family, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo debuted on August 8, 2012 and followed Honey Boo Boo, who was six years old at the time, in what many critics called a train wreck you couldn’t help but watch as over 2.25 million viewers tuned in for the first episode. Documenting everything from their insane diets of junk food to Honey Boo Boo’s pageants and frequent spats with her sisters, the show was a huge success for TLC with over three million people tuning in to watch the second season finale in September 2013 as Mama June and Sugar Bear prepared to tie the knot.
An overnight star, things were going exceptionally well for Honey Boo Boo who seemed to get more outrageous with every interview much to the delight of her fans. But, just as the family grew accustomed to earning $50,000 per episode, everything changed in 2014 when Mama June made headlines as the media uncovered that her new boyfriend, Mark Anthony McDaniel, had been convicted of child molestation. TLC had no other choice but to cancel the series as Honey Boo Boo, Mama June and the rest of the crew spent the next few months laying low until their contract with TLC expired in 2015. By February, the mother-daughter duo made their grand return on an episode of The Doctors where the 10-year-old Honey Boo Boo’s weight became a hot topic of conversation after she weighed in at 125 pounds.
Watching her diet and losing around 25 pounds by April 2015, Honey Boo Boo resumed her life in Georgia as her mother, Mama June, set out on a weight loss journey of her own. Dropping a few pounds by watching her diet, Mama June stunned reporters when she joined Honey Boo Boo at the premiere of Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars looking much slimmer in 2016. But, that was only the beginning! Hitting a plateau in her weight loss, Mama June later opted for a gastric sleeve and hired a trainer as she shed nearly 300 pounds dropping from a size 24 to a size four and opting for multiple surgeries to remove the excess fat hanging from her stomach, neck, arms and legs. Only going to the gym and home to avoid spoiling her surprise reveal, Mama June relied on Honey Boo Boo and her daughters to take care of the shopping during her transformation.
“It’s like they cut off her head and then put it on another body,” Honey Boo Boo said of her mother’s weight loss. When her mother’s physicians and trainers suggested that Honey Boo Boo join her mother for workouts and on her journey to better health, Honey Boo Boo didn’t budge saying, “I have no idea what this man is talking about. Mama’s on this diet, but I’m not, boo boo. I like my curves… I mean, seriously this dude is really crazy!”
Proud of her mom but still refusing to diet as the youngster once told viewers, “The last time I had a salad was never,” the 12-year-old Honey Boo Boo and her sister Pumpkin are presumably in talks with producers about a reality series similar to Mama June: From Hot to Not that would guide the sisters on their own weight loss journey. Of course, Honey Boo Boo says she’s too busy with school and focusing on her boyfriend, Justin, and her celebrity crush, Zac Efron, to worry about anything else right now. But, Mama June, hasn’t given up saying, “I want her to love herself no matter what and love her for her and not give a s—t what anybody else says. But I also tell her, ‘I need you to know that you need to be worrying,’ because her dad, her grandmother on that side, do have diabetes…”
With Mama June’s incredible transformation, she’s quick to tell Honey Boo Boo and her daughters that she’s not any happier being a size four than she was as a size 24. “I mean, this sounds crazy,” but I was happy with myself at 460 pounds and I’m happy with myself now,” she says. As Honey Boo Boo shares her mother’s confidence, fans are anxious to see if the 12-year-old will soon return to the spotlight in another reality series especially now that she’s older and sassier than ever! After all, who doesn’t want to hear more of catchphrases like “I’m sassified!”