She first breezed onto the scene in TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras and seemed to steal the entire show for herself, which helped June “Mama” Thompson earn TWO spin-offs of her own. Well, her and her family, that is. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was a hit show that focused on Thompson’s daughter, child beauty pageant contestant Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and her wild, hilarious, and self-proclaimed “red neck” family, which was led by Mama June.
Along with Mama and Alana, the show also featured Honey Boo-Boo’s sisters Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, Anna “Chickadee” Shannon, and Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon and their carefree lifestyle in the town of McIntyre, Georgia. The show lasted a total of five seasons (one season aired a couple years AFTER the show’s cancelation).
Last year though, the sole focus actually shifted from Mama’s family to the outspoken Mama herself with the premiere of her reality show Mama June: From Not To Hot! which shows how the mother dropped a ton of weight thanks to a new diet, workout regime, and cosmetic procedure.
Complete transformation aside, Mama has always been surrounded by controversy since first hitting the scene, especially when it comes to her children, which allegedly makes her fans wonder if she should have ever been allowed to reproduce in the first place. Here are 15 pics that prove that perhaps being a mother probably wasn't exactly the best idea for someone like Mama.
15 She Was Arrested In 2008
Mama June had a run in with the law back in 2008 with Georgia police. The beauty pageant mom was arrested for theft and was held in contempt of court. The theft had to do with the numerous child support cases that were going at the time of her arrest.
June actually addressed the arrest on Facebook after it (and her mug shot) was uncovered.
The post has since been long deleted but uncovered and saved by Jezebel.com. “Yes, I was arrested in 2008 over a contempt of court over a child case with one of (the) girls and a theft charge that was DISMISSED the same day,” June posted. She also went on to talk about how CPS was in her life over “the go-go juice” (we’ll get to that in a bit here) she would often give her kids for energy before pageants.
14 Viewers Have Noted That She Seems To Use Her Kids For Fame (Also, Has She Ever Heard Of Seatbelts?)
Since the premiere of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a word has been tossed around by critics and fans when it comes to the reality show: Exploitation. Now, at first, fingers were pointed at the producers and the network as critics allegedly claimed that the Shannons were being exploited for ratings. Lisa Belkin of the Huffington Post called the program an anti-reality show. “I don’t think people are watching them as role models. I think people are watching them to laugh… and it shouldn’t be fun to watch. I’m not quite sure how we got here.” Supposedly over time, the focus shifted to Mama, who viewers think apparently allowed the exploitation of her children to gain a little bit of fame. Also, someone should really teach her about safety since the kids don’t appear like they’re wearing seatbelts in this picture (except the baby in the car seat, thankfully).
13 Her Taste In Men Has Always Been Questionable (And TMZ Has Proved It)
Recently, it was announced in the second season of Not to Hot that June is currently dating a new guy by the name of Gino (something she actually kept secret from her kids – they only found out when they followed her to Bingo and saw the two of them together) and everything seems to be running pretty smooth with this new fella.
But in the past, the men June brought around her kids seems pretty questionable.
For example, she dated a man named Mark McDaniel, who did time in prison for some really horrendous things. TMZ reported that McDaniel and June were secretly seeing each other during the filming of the show. Once reports started surfacing that the two were actually an item, TLC canceled Honey Boo Boo.
12 Allow Us To Discuss The "Go-Go Juice"
A bunch of critics and even CPS (according to June herself) has weighed in on the exact diet that Mama June used to have her children on, a diet that included a drink called “Go-Go Juice” which was a combination of Red Bull and Mountain Dew. Critics were outspoken about the drink because it contained about as much caffeine as two cups of coffee. “My special juice is going to help me win,” the young Alana said in an episode of Toddlers before chugging a bottle of the juice. In the midst of the criticism, June said that she only gives her daughter the juice before a pageant. “There are normal people who give their kids this,” she said. “Why is it such a big issue with us pageant moms that do it all weekend to keep our kids energized and awake?”
11 Her Vanity Seemed To Come Before Her Own Kids (Especially When She Underwent Her Transformation)
It’s one thing when critics and fans begin to make alleged remarks about your vanity after you shed a ton of weight, but it’s another thing altogether when your own children begin to do it. This was the case when it came to estranged daughter Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell’s strong opinion of her mother’s dramatic weight loss.
“I think she did it to be more famous,” Anna said to E! News.
“I don’t think she did it just for her because she never mentioned anything before about getting plastic surgery.” June had come out and said that she would have gone through the transformation with or without the cameras, but Anna apparently isn’t buying it and claiming the weight loss was to get her another spin-off show. What does that say about her mothering skills if her own kids are calling her out?
10 She Constantly Seen Acting Like A Giant Kid Herself
Part of the charm of these reality shows was that the family always, no matter the circumstances, appeared to always be having a ton of fun. Despite all the harsh words from critics and fans of the show alike, Mama June seems to simply enjoy being a fun loving person herself, especially when it comes to her children. Though their family antics seemed off the wall when Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was on the air, June and the kids played it off like it was normal because to them, it WAS normal. They acted the same way on camera as they did off camera (which usually had even the cameramen cracking up from scene to scene). But does acting like a kid herself make June a good mother? She never seemed to question it herself, so there’s that.
9 Does It Appear Like She's Trying To Live Her Own Youth Vicariously Through Her Kids?
Beauty pageant moms have been supposedly criticized throughout history for supposedly being too hard on their children and/or attempting to live vicariously through their children via exploiting their looks and skill sets. However, when it came to Mama June, she always looked like she was having fun when placing Alana in pageants, and as long as Alana was having fun, she was too. She cheerfully rooted for her daughter in the crowd and laughed along with Alana’s silly antics.
Critics at Forbes focused on the beauty pageant segments in the show and referred to them as “dysfunctional” for the most part.
Sure, a lot of mother/children dynamics have their own set of problems, and whether or not June is trying to live through her kids, it’s her own prerogative, and her kids (at least most of them) appear as if they don’t mind.
8 Daughter Anna Was Supposedly Caught In The Middle Of A Disagreement Between June And Her Own Mother
A couple years ago, June called out her own mother, Sandra Hale, when she was arriving at Los Angeles International airport and TMZ cameras caught up with her. She then said her mother was only money hungry, and then proceeded to use harsh language when calling out Hale. This came after it was revealed that Sandra was allegedly “pushing” daughter Anna for “more money,” which angered June. June and Anna had a falling out but had reunited before June called out her own mother. June claimed that she had given her mother money, but that the older woman was insisting June give her more. Anna was reportedly in the middle of the conflict between Sandra and June. “Me and Anna do have peace, it’s just my mom she doesn’t understand that there is no more money for her, sorry.”
7 Partying Hard Or Hardly Partying?
Sometimes, when an individual gets more famous and the money starts rolling in, the individual feels they can relax and party a little bit thanks to their newfound wealth and fame. This is allegedly what Mama Jude did a few years back when she was caught having a good time at a party. Thing is, it was a bachelorette party. HER bachelorette party.
Donning a feather boa, June was living it up as she was dancing and downing shots all night.
“On the limo ride up here, I got a little buzzed, I feel kinda good, I’m ready to get the rest of my drink on,” a happy Mama told cameras. Did she do this sort of stuff all the time? Not that anyone knows of. Though, the cameras constantly caught the mother partying (with and without her family) in a personalized “red-neck” (as she puts it) sort of way.
6 After Her Form Changed, Critics Feared June Supposedly Conformed To "Plastic Culture"
While there were a lot of critics of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, there were a lot of fans of the show who called the different take on family life “refreshing” from the what’s considered normal. “Apart from the sassy, larger than life Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thomas herself, the star of that show was matriarch June Shannon,” TV critic Grethe Kemp said. “Plus-sized, unpolished, and completely unconcerned with fashion, June broke the traditional reality star mold in every way.” But then June completely changed, both physically and allegedly mentally according to some critics. “In all her time filming Honey Boo Boo, she always seemed refreshingly happy with her looks. Now, plastered in make-up, it seems like the show wants to paint over everything that made June unique.” We hope that this change doesn’t reflect on her children, but you never truly know.
5 Fans (And Producers) Accused Her Of Wearing An Oversized Suit In Her New Show
After fans took to Twitter to post that it was “obvious” that Mama June was supposedly wearing a fat suit in her new show, a bunch of different magazines, like Us Weekly and Cosmopolitan stepped in to investigate the evidence.
Fans were claiming that producers shot From Not To Hot AFTER June lost the weight, and apparently had to put her in an oversized suit after she shed a lot of weight.
Fans took a closer look at footage from the show and claimed that producers stuck the charismatic June in a fat suit and used prosthetics in order to hide the fact that she was already skinny when they started shooting. “It’s obviously obvious that Mama June is wearing a fat face and suit for this show’s confessional,” Us Weekly said.
4 Viewers Noted That Her Transformation Didn't Necessarily Make Her A Better Mother
Normally, when a parent is who excessively overweight, once they lose the weight, they’re able (and eager) to keep up with their children (we see commercials about it all the time), but has Mama June actually changed for the better now that the pounds are shed? When she was bigger, cameras caught her binging on junk food with her kids and not working out, which caused her to become overweight. She did tell People that she hopes daughters Lauryn and Alana will take a cue from her and start changing their lifestyle as well to become healthier, but she’s not enforcing it. “I do worry about their health, but I’m not going to say, ‘You got to eat salads all the time.’” she said. She did note that she doesn’t want them to end up being extremely unhealthy like she used to be, so it sounds like there’s hope.
3 Who Has A Camo-Themed Wedding? Mama June, That's Who
Now, this has to be more fun than anything because you don’t often see a lot of camo-themed weddings. Sure, more supposed posh people may find this off-putting, but not the Shannon family, who simply were having a ball oblivious to murmurs.
When June married her boyfriend of nine years (Sugar Bear) the duo had a camo-themed wedding complete with cameras and a camo-colored wedding gown for the bride.
Do most think it’s tacky? Sure. Did most just laugh at the fact that she and her then-husband rode off into the sunset on (what looks like) some sort of tractor? Depends on who you ask. Mama June always danced to the beat of her own drum and her wedding fared no different. Sure, the marriage didn’t last, but that had nothing to do with the camo.
2 Speaking Of Sugar Bear… Why Did She Stay With Him If She Claimed He Was Mean To Her And Her Children?
This comes back to her taste in men again. Back in April of 2017, Mama June came out and says Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson (who is Alana’s father) was cruel to herself and her children. “It’s time the world sees him for what he is,” June told Page Six last year. She even claimed that daughter Lauryn’s eye buckle was "caused by him" and that Alana “hasn’t had a relationship” with her father in a long time. The former couple even appeared on Marriage Bootcamp where Thompson revealed that he had cheated on June numerous times. A lot of people don’t understand why June stayed with Mike if Thompson was abusive? Either way, she did leave him in the long run and vows to never put her kids through that again.
1 Allegedly, She's Always Preferred To Be "A Friend" To Her Children Over Being Their Mother
If you were ever a fan of Honey Boo Boo and/or From Not To Hot, then you would have noticed that Mama June is extremely close to most of her children, but she supposedly tends to treat them more like friends. It was highlighted even more during an episode of Not To Hot last year when she included Alana (who was only 11 at the time) in the decision making on June’s chest augmentation.
“I guess Mama thinks she’s some ‘Real Housewife of Hampton’ or something,” the young girl said to cameras when talking about June’s desire for cosmetic alterations.
She even brought home some samples of silicone so Alana and Lauryn could help June decide on a size. Us magazine referred to that as “TMI” and most viewers agree that’s not for her daughters to decide.
Sources: Usmagazine.com, pagesix.com, cosmopolitan.com, channel24.co.za, jezebel.com,