Don't call her Honey Boo Boo. About to turn 16, Alana Thompson feels far removed from the child pageant star she was a decade ago, even if she's still filming reality shows. No longer the center of attention as she was in TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Alana now appears on WE TV's Mama June: Road to Redemption, which follows her mother's journey to sobriety. It hasn't been an easy few years for Alana, whose 21-year-old sister, Lauryn Shannon, better known as "Pumpkin," became her legal guardian in 2019 after June Shannon was arrested on drug possession charges. "A lot of folks in this world do not realize how many people are actually really affected by drug and alcohol [use]," Alana tells Teen Vogue in a profile. "It's very, very hard. It's something I'd wish on nobody, for real." But "I'm proud of myself for how far I've come."
She's confident in herself, even though she says she has virtually no friends—"I don't trust nobody really"—and plenty of critics. She feels her generation is especially bad at body shaming. "Just because I got a little bit of extra meat on my bones, you want to hate me?" But "I know I'm beautiful, and I know I got a banging body, so ... I don't care." Her job opens her up to this criticism, but Alana says being a TV star is a smart financial decision. Still, she envisions a time when she'll leave the screen to pursue a career as a neonatal nurse. "Just because I'm from the South, people expect me to be all country bumpkin, out riding four-wheelers all the time, but that's not really how it is," she says. Honey Boo Boo and the Alana of today "are completely two different people," she adds. "I am my own person." Check out the full profile and accompanying photo shoot here. (Read more Alana Thompson stories.)