Why Honey Boo Boo Star Alana Thompson's Latest Photo Has Fans Worried

The "sassified" girl once known as "Honey Boo Boo" is showing the world that she's more than just a beauty queen or a redneck stereotype. Her news-making interview in Teen Vogue showed that at 16, Alana Thompson is a self-assured young woman who's thriving despite her turbulent family history. (Her mother, "Mama June" Shannon, is in recovery from drug addiction, and is slowly rebuilding her relationship with her daughters.) Thompson is also growing up in another significant way — and not everyone is on board with it.

In August 2021, The Sun broke the news that Thompson has been dating Dralin Carswell, a 20-year-old college student, for more than half a year. Thompson's three older sisters — including Lauryn Shannon, her current legal guardian — reportedly approve of the relationship. Thompson made the relationship Instagram-public on September 27 with a post showing her and Carswell posing on a Halloween hayride wagon. The two wear matching T-shirts featuring a mummy, with the caption, "That's How I Roll." Thompson is holding a "Bae" sign decorated with hearts. She captioned it with pumpkin emojis and the phrase "Spooky season." The post has already received more than 111,000 likes on Instagram, along with plenty of reactions. 

Some fans are delighted just to see Thompson happy after all the drama she's been through. "Aww, too cute!" a fan gushed. "I'm happy for you." Even Thompson's aunt Doe Doe Shannon seems pleased. "You two are so cute," she wrote, adding a heart emoji.

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Fans are worried that Alana Thompson is too young for this relationship

Not everyone thinks Alana Thompson's teen romance is so adorable, though. Her Insta post sparked a heated debate over the couple's ages. Four years may not be a significant gap for people in their 30s, but a high schooler and a college student are a different story. One follower wrote, "A 16-year-old and a 22-year-old have nothing in common and should not be in a relationship. It's just not right." A 20-year-old fan offered her take: "I have friends still healing for being tricked into thinking they were grown enough to date 20+ year old men in high school, and there's thousands of people just like them." Another pointed out that laws regarding minors were made because young teens' minds "are too juvenile and immature to make these kinds of decisions."

On the other side of the fence were supporters who took a MYOB approach. "Why does everyone feel the need to criticize what people do?" asked a fan. "She clearly knew what she was getting into, so let her live her life the way she wants to." Another added, "[S]he clearly isn't a baby anymore, so therefore she makes her own decisions and if she's happy then let a girl be happy." 

It was clear, though, that all of Thompson's followers only want the best for her. One worried that Mama June's own rocky relationship history didn't make her the best role model for Alana, but added, "[H]opefully she's grounded and centered in a healthy place in life."