Mama June is getting plenty of attention for her new, slimmed-down body... but her admitted reason behind lifestyle overhaul, surgeries, and hard work makes me super sad.
Reality star Mama June (real name: June Shannon) has worked hard to shed pounds. The mother of Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson now stars on her own reality series on We TV, the terribly titled Mama June: From Not To Hot, a show which documents her lifestyle transformation. Shannon has previously declared that her weight loss was about regaining control of her health by ending the dangerous cycle of yo-yo dieting, though she hasn't been shy about connecting her desire for a slimmer body with her relationship with her now-ex, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson. In From Not To Hot, Mama June learns that her ex (whom Mama June stated cheated on her with both men and women during their relationship) is getting married — something that spurs her decision to diet. Now, a new interview with Entertainment Tonight's Jennifer Peros once again reiterates that Shannon lost weight as "revenge" on her ex. She told ET:
"[Sugar Bear] really made me feel like shit [and] I wanted to show him, 'Hey, I can do [whatever] I want to do'… I wanted to show him, like, I am actually worth it."
That sucks. All I want to do is give Mama June a hug and tell her that no man should dictate one's level of confidence. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure it would fall on deaf ears. How could it not? We live in an age where our lives are on display, and the best "revenge" comes from making people envious of the lives they think we're leading.
Once upon a time, your exes could truly disappear. You could leave an ex in Texas and move to New York and literally never see any trace of their existence for the rest of your life. With social media, however, it's a little trickier to disappear — or to avoid the temptation of sneaking a peek at the life your former "person" is currently leading. If you're a reality star, well, your presence is already amplified: there's no way your ex is not going to see what you're up to and how you look on occasion.
I imagine that Shannon thinks about that quite often — that, whether she likes it or not, her terrible ex is getting some insight into her life. Who wouldn't want to be their best version of themselves when they do?
But nowadays, the "best version" of oneself tends to be the superficial. Take Revenge Body With Khloé Kardashian, a series in which people essentially get back at their exes, mean friends, or even shallow-as-hell partners by getting "hot." There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting some healthy, realistic body goals after a breakup in order to give yourself a confidence boost, but there's something particularly dangerous about using your body as a weapon to squash your enemies.
For one thing, why the hell is anyone wasting time trying to impress a jerk who cheated on them? Why does his standard suddenly matter? There are just no great ways for this to go. Say that Sugar Bear really is wholly impressed with Shannon's body transformation — does Shannon really want a cheater vying for her heart? And even if Sugar Bear doesn't come crawling back, there's this idea that he's taking up all this mental space in Shannon's mind regardless. He shouldn't have access to that real estate anymore.
And then there's the worst part of it: That Sugar Bear might scoff at Shannon's progress. That, despite everything Shannon has gone through — which includes weight loss surgery in addition to dieting and grueling exercise — she still might not be "good enough" in the mind of her ex. It's no easy thing to contend with, but it shouldn't make Shannon feel any less good about her big lifestyle change. Still, given Shannon's reasons for beginning this journey, I fear it would.
Mama June has been through the wringer, but I hope she eventually finds that she did it for herself, to have confidence to move past her problems with Sugar Bear, and to regain control of her health. Because, honestly? Screw you, Sugar Bear. Mama June doesn't need your opinions dictating how she feels about herself anymore. In fact, she never did.