Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson at 16: On drugs, body shaming, having no friends

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This child star is growing up fast and shedding her girlhood identity. “My mama did not name me Honey Boo Boo. My name is Alana,” Alana Thompson, who will turn 16 Aug. 28, told Teen Vogue in a profile about how she’s changed since gaining international fame starring in TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” in 2012. While the tot beauty queen once seemed to proudly embrace the nickname, she now filters out friends based on who still chooses to call her by it. “I feel like folks are so much like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m friends with Honey Boo Boo,’ ” she said, adding that she feels people still expect her to embrace and embody the rambunctious, Southern childhood identity for which she became famous. They also assume she’s become rich as a result of it. All of that makes it difficult to let classmates at her public high school — or anyone beyond family, really — get close to her. “To be honest, I do not have many friends. At all,” she candidly admitted. Not only has Thompson managed to remain strong in the face of child stardom and her mother’s addictions, but she’s also come away from the incessant fatphobia she’s dealt with for years with a deep sense of self-love.

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