What Honey Boo Boo's Life Is Really Like Now

The world first got to know Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson in Season 5 of TLC's "Toddlers & Tiaras" when she proclaimed, "The other girls must be crazy if they think they're gonna beat me, honey boo-boo child!" That sass was all it took for the world to latch on to the 6-year-old who was thereafter nicknamed Honey Boo Boo. TLC immediately saw her and her family's potential to draw in viewers and gave her a spinoff series, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," later the same year. 

But since "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" was unceremoniously canceled in 2014 after reports about her mother's involvement with a sex offender, Thompson and her famous family have seen their fair share of ups and downs. These days, she isn't competing in beauty pageants, but her life is still exciting all the same. Here's what Honey Boo Boo's life is really like now. 

Honey Boo Boo's life changed completely because of Mama June's addiction

After the cancellation of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" in 2014, Alana Thompson, aka Honey Boo Boo, and her family got a second chance at television fame in 2017 when We TV began airing "Mama June: From Not to Hot," which chronicled the weight loss transformation of June "Mama June" Shannon upon learning of ex Sugar Bear's engagement. But much like the Mama June scandal that ultimately led to the cancellation of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" (via The Washington Post), another scandal rocked the family in March 2019. According to People, Mama June was arrested for drug possession in Alabama alongside her then-boyfriend Geno Doak. 

Thompson and her family staged a televised intervention with Mama June that same year. When Mama June did finally check into rehab, she admitted to a $3,000-a-day drug habit. To say things were hard on Honey Boo Boo would be an understatement. During the intervention, a sobbing Thompson told her mom that she was "scared" to be in her mom's house due to her addiction. In 2021, Thompson told Teen Vogue, "When my mama got real bad with her [drug use], I didn't know where I was going to end up."

After Mama June's arrest in 2019, Alana's sister Pumpkin took her in

Alana Thompson's uncertainty about where she would end up due to Mama June's drug addiction no doubt stemmed, in part, from the fact that her mother lost custody of her. According to People, beginning with Mama June's arrest, Honey Boo Boo's sister Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon was granted legal guardianship of the minor. Like many things in Thompson's life, living with Pumpkin wasn't without its share of drama, as her dad, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, seemed to want custody of her instead.

In an episode of "Mama June: Family Crisis" in 2020, a crying Honey Boo Boo revealed that she didn't want to live with her dad because she didn't believe her dad really wanted anything to do with her, so she wanted to continue living with Pumpkin. As of January 2021, she's still living with her. A fan commented on one of Pumpkin's Instagram photos, asking (via The Sun), "Is Alana back with her mom or with her dad? Haven't seen her with Pumpkin lately." Pumpkin's reply of "she's still with me" left little doubt about her sister's living situation.

Her dad, Sugar Bear, isn't in her life

Not only is Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson not living with or regularly seeing her mother, her father, Sugar Bear, isn't really part of her life. Mama June spoke with The Sun in 2021 and revealed that Honey Boo Boo would be staying with sister Pumpkin and not moving in with her dad. Further, she revealed that Sugar Bear doesn't interact with Thompson outside of production for their television show, saying, "The real reality of that is the only time Sugar Bear does have to do with Alana is when he's in production. There is no communication. None, none! Besides when we are in production." 

Mama June also alleged that this always been the way things were with Sugar Bear, adding, "It's kind of like 'hey,' do whatever he needs to do and then it's gone. It's not, 'Hey I want to spend time with her after.' It's been that way now for 15 years. It is what it is."  

Honey Boo Boo is all about getting paid outside of TV

Despite all the family drama in Honey Boo Boo's life, she's nothing if not business savvy. The now-teenaged reality star has been cashing in on paid partnerships since at least 2018 and has had partnerships with several companies over the years, ranging from lifestyle membership FabFitFun to "dog mom subscription boxPup Mom Crate

Never one to put all her eggs in one basket, though, Alana Thompson is also cashing in on her popularity with fans. From selling Honey Boo Boo merchandise to connecting directly with fans via the website Cameo, the star is certainly keeping her portfolio diverse. With her Cameo videos costing $65 each at the time of this writing (compared to the $25 she was charging in 2020, according to The Blast), she is no doubt bringing in some serious change. 

If Mama June's financial and legal troubles give you pause, have no worries. Family sources told TMZ in 2019 that a rep had Thompson's finances moved to an account that Mama June can't access and that, while sister Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon, can access it, she has to show receipts for how all the money is spent, ensuring that her sister's money is safe and sound. 

After retiring from beauty pageants, Alana Thompson is trying different competitions

Speaking of a diverse portfolio, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson isn't just a one trick pony when it comes to her television presence, either. In 2018, the young star appeared on the first season of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors," telling People at the time, "I wanted to do it because when they asked me, I thought this is something that I've never done and it'd be super fun and a great experience. So I figured, let's do it!" Though Honey Boo Boo didn't win the competition, being eliminated on the Halloween episode, she didn't let that stop her from competing on reality television shows.

In 2021, Thompson reunited with Mama June to compete on the singing competition show "The Masked Singer," sharing the beach ball costume with her mom. Despite being eliminated on the same night they were introduced as the last Wildcard contestants, Thompson told Nick Cannon via video interview after the show aired, "I had a lot of fun. It was something very different."

Mama June and Honey Boo Boo are still working to repair their relationship

If you think that Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and June "Mama June" Shannon appearing together on "The Masked Singer" is a sign that the two have repaired their relationship, that's unfortunately not the case — at least not yet. In an interview with ET after their appearance on the singing competition show, Thompson shared, "I feel like right now, we're definitely working on us and trying to fix the relationship." She added, "I don't feel like it's 110% fixed, but it's definitely getting there, that's for sure."

Mama June told ET that the pair's appearance on "The Masked Singer" was particularly meaningful to her. "I realized that was the first time I had been and done a project with Alana, a huge project ... in LA at that, and been sober," she shared. Mama June also revealed that she's moved closer to Honey Boo Boo.

Despite the fame, Honey Boo Boo is a regular teen

With all the fame and very public family drama, it may be surprising to learn that Honey Boo Boo attends public school and is a lot like every other teenager in America. In September 2021, the teen star went back-to-school shopping with Inside Edition and picked out clothes from her favorite store, rue21. Despite taking photos with fans, the trip (and the clothes she tried on) seemed incredibly normal and typical. 

Speaking with Inside Edition, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson revealed that her favorite subject in school is "probably science." Fitting, given her desire to be a neonatal nurse, according to her profile in Teen Vogue. According to the magazine, she is a lot like other teenagers in other ways, too, saving up for her first car and trying to get good grades among them. She told Teen Vogue, "I want to be the best I can be, and I want to make my money, and I also want to make straight A's, so I just try my hardest."

She is pushing back against body shaming

Virtually ever since she found fame, people have also been taking aim at Honey Boo Boo's body. The star says it's nothing new and told Inside Edition that she doesn't let it affect her. "I feel like all my life everybody's hated on me and, like, regardless, I'm going to do what I want to do anyway," she said. "So, I mean, I don't really care what folks gotta say about me." Clearly, she's not going to let what people's negative comments bother her.

Alana Thompson also doesn't find much of the "body positivity" movement to be genuine. She told Teen Vogue, "Everybody's all about body positivity, body positivity, until they see a body they don't like," continuing, "I don't understand why people think this way. Just because I got a little bit of extra meat on my bones, you want to hate me? I'll never get body shaming."

Not a little girl anymore, she has an older boyfriend

In late September 2021, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson shared on Instagram a photo of herself holding hands with someone later identified as Dralin Carswell. The word "bae" was overlaid on the photo. Though as E! News notes the photo has since been deleted, the internet never forgets, and fans wanted to know more about Honey Boo Boo's apparent bae. 

A source told The U.S. Sun exclusively that the man in the photo is indeed Thompson's boyfriend Carswell, who is four years older than her. According to the source, the pair had been dating for around six months when the photo was posted and, despite the pair's age difference, Thompson's family approves. The source revealed, "He was quiet at first, but he's like one of the family now. He's just as fun and crazy as the rest of them."

They grow up so fast.

Because of her fame, Alana Thompson doesn't have many friends

Despite her fame, or rather because of it, Honey Boo Boo keeps her circle small. She told Teen Vogue that her only friend is probably her boyfriend. She added, "I don't trust nobody really, so I don't have friends." The reality star reiterated this when she spoke with Inside Edition, saying, "I honestly don't have friends because I feel like people nowadays are just always wanting just to be friends because of who I am." 

When she does let people get close to her, it's a long process of building trust. She told Teen Vogue that, over the course of a few months, she has to test people by doing things like seeing if they call her Honey Boo Boo instead of using her real name, Alana Thompson, or trying to pay for things rather than just assuming she's rich (which she insists she isn't) and will cover costs.

She doesn't want to be called Honey Boo Boo anymore

Speaking of using her real name, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson wants everyone to do call her by her given name instead of her reality TV nickname. In her profile with Teen Vogue, she said, "My mama did not name me Honey Boo Boo. My name is Alana." 

The nickname isn't the only thing she wants to leave in the past. Thompson told Teen Vogue that she also doesn't use her signature catchphrases anymore, "but they still do stick around, because they were on national television." Even though people may still think of the sassy, go-go juice-drinking beauty pageant star when they think of Thompson, that's just not who she is these days. Well, except for the go-go juice – that's still "delicious."

Speaking of her younger self versus herself now, Thompson told Teen Vogue, "They are completely two different people. I would say that I do like this Alana now, rather than the younger Alana."