Mama June defends Honey Boo Boo’s relationship with older college student: 'She’s not the child y’all fell in love with'

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June "Mama June" Shannon is shutting down critics who have slammed her daughter, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson's relationship. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
June "Mama June" Shannon is shutting down critics who have slammed her daughter, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson's relationship. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

She’s 16, he’s 20 – and their relationship has attracted plenty of criticism because of their age difference.

So much so that June “Mama June” Shannon has had to jump to the defence of her daughter, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, and her boyfriend, Dralin Carswell.

After going public with their relationship last year, Alana and Dralin received backlash because he’s a college student and she’s still a teenager in high school.

Now Mama June has shut down the negativity, telling people to forget the charming, cheeky child they got to know on the family’s hit reality TV show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. She’s a mature teenager who turns 17 later this year, she points out.

“Dralin is older but, at the end of the day, Alana’s not that 6 [or] 7-year-old child y’all fell in love with 11 years ago,” Mama June says.

The 42-year-old single mom added that Alana’s older sister, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon (22), and her now-husband, Joshua Efird, were the same age when they started dating.

“Alana has grown up. She’s graduating high school next year, guys!”

Alana and Dralin went Instagram official in September last year by posting a now-deleted Halloween snap.

Since receiving a flood of hateful comments, the couple have mostly kept their relationship off social media and Alana even turned off the option for followers to comment on her posts.

“Dralin and Alana are attached at the hip and hang out together all the time,” says a source close to the couple.

“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.”

The family may approve of Dralin but the rest of the world has a hard time doing so.

Besides their age difference, critics have also had an issue with Alana and Dralin being an interracial couple.

“She’s getting a lot of hate because she’s in an interracial relationship,” Mama June says.

Though she’s given the young lovebirds her blessing, Mama June admits she has one gripe about Dralin.

honey boo boo
The world got to know Alana as a cute, chubby- cheeked toddler in the reality hit shows Toddlers & Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

“I mean, he’s not bad. He doesn’t treat her bad or anything like that but he needs to hold down a job a little bit more,” she says.

She’s also allowing Alana to make her own decisions and mistakes when it comes to love, she adds.

“They’re [young]. So if they last? Fine. If they don’t, it can be her first love.”

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