MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – TLC reality star and pageant sensation Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson became a celebrity over night. In the past month, ratings for the show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" have soared and so have rumors about the Middle Georgia family.
The show focuses on Alana's over-the-top personality and catch phrases like "a dolla makes me holla" and "you better redneckgonize". But the show has gained just as much praise as it has criticism. Critics have accused the Thompson family of child exploitation and glamorizing redneck stereotypes. Alana's mother June Thompson was in Macon on Saturday and is disputing all of those claims. She says her daughter is just an average 7-year-old girl.
"She just likes to play and she loved the fun factory," said Thompson's mother June.
The 7-year-old strutted around in silver kitten heels during 41 NBC's interview with her. She appeared to be very playful and distracted. She even took several breaks including one for ice cream. With all of the new projects under her belt, June says her daughter is also slowing down in pageantry.
"Taking a break for a couple of months, focusing on routines and other things," June said.
When asked about her new found fame, Alana responded "I like it". June says Alana enjoys filming the show and is disputing all accusations that she is using her daughter's fame for money.
"I think it's crazy, I'm not exploiting my child by no means," June responded.
June declined to talk about her daughter's lucky "Go-Go Juice", a combination of Mountain Dew and Red Bull.
"It only happened once and the media went crazy with it", June said.
Despite a lot of the negative publicity, June says her family has enjoyed traveling across the Middle Georgia area.
"Been a lot of places and the people are hospitable," she said.
She's refuting all reports that the family is moving.
"I'm going to stay in my little house in McIntyre, Georgia and my kids will continue to go to Wilkinson County schools," June said.
June also addressed reports that the show misrepresented Macon wig shop "Shh! It's a Wig".
"She said we portrayed her in a negative light but I felt we portrayed her in a good light," June said.
"Shh! It's a Wig" owner Gloria Marable says that her costume wig sales have gone up and Alana is welcome back to her store anytime.
"She was a very sweet little girl," Marable said.
Marable says she only wishes the show portrayed her passion for medical needs clients.
"I just wish they worked in the fact that I do service medical needs, that's all," Marable said.
Honey Boo Boo also inspired Lemongrass Thai Bistro in downtown Macon. This week, the restaurant debuted it's Honey Boo Boo Child cocktail. The drink is a blend of vanilla, Irish cream, honey and "love". Bartender Brian Davis says the buzz has been tremendous.
"We all have a little Honey Boo Boo inside us. She's the biggest hype since Oprah," Davis said.
June Thompson said she's enjoyed the show and the experience overall. She said the reality is that "we're just being ourselves".
The season finale of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" airs Wednesday, September 26 on TLC.