'Honey Boo Boo's' Mama June: 'Whatever path she chooses, I would follow'

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"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" returns to TLC Wednesday (July 17) and Mama June tells Zap2it that her life has not changed all that much in the year since unleashing her family on the world.

"Nothing has really changed besides I got a bodyguard," June Shannon says.

The extra security was needed because, she says, "When we go out we pretty much draw a big crowd."

Honey Boo Boo and her mom shot to attention originally on "Toddlers & Tiaras" as the extroverted blond girl entered pageants. She didn't win the beauty contests, but she did win her own show.

The McIntyre, Ga., family of three older sisters and Alana (Honey Boo Boo) launched a reality show last August, which depending on your point of view became was either a lot of fun or a sterling example that western civilization was on its last breath. Honey Boo Boo eating cheese puffs off the floor for breakfast and drinking a lot of caffeine drew criticism.

Shannon and Alana's dad, Mike Thompson, known as Sugar Bear, were married in May, when she wore a camouflage print, orange-accented wedding gown.

Though Shannon was not revealing much of what was coming this season, she says that Honey Boo Boo, who soon turns 8, is not as interested in pageants as she once was.

"Whatever path she chooses, I would follow," Shannon says.

Having done the pageants, sometimes spending about $1,800 on one dress, Shannon says the advice she would give other moms of daughters on the circuit is, "Win or lose, be there for your daughter. It is all about having fun. For me it was when Alana tells me, 'I don't want to do something,' don't do it. For me it is all about my kids. I become second."

Shannon has an easy relationship with her four girls, and accepts them for who they are, including teen mom Anna

As a mother, what's most important to her is "be their mom and their friend at the same time."

And as any mother of teenage girls knows, that can be challenging. 

Shannon does laugh a lot with her daughters, especially when they inhale bodily emissions.

Wednesday's episode coincides with the "Watch 'N' Sniff" card inserted in People and Us magazines. Viewers with these cards can follow the show with their noses as Honey Boo Boo and her family pass a lot of gas and are highly amused.
Photo/Video credit: TLC