Early life, family, educational background
Reality TV star Anna “Chickadee” Shannon was born on the 28 August 1994, in McIntyre, Georgia, USA, the eldest daughter of June Shannon or “Mamma June” and David Dunn. She first appeared on the small screen when she was 17 years old and expecting her first daughter Kaitlyn, on the family reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.
“Here comes Honey Boo Boo”
It is an American reality show, featuring family drama in the life of a child beauty pageant contestant Alanna Shannon, known as Honey Boo Boo. The first episode of the show premiered in August 2012, and it finished in 2014. The reality show received negative critiques, and attained 1.6 ratings, but was followed by 2.2 million viewers, being TLC`s reality show with the highest rank. The A.V.Club described it as a “horror story posing as a reality television program” and negative comments followed, raising concerns about child labor and exploitation.
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Who is June Shannon?
The first public appearance of June Shannon was in the TLC series “Toddlers & Tiaras” in 2009, alongside 5-year-old daughter Alanna Thompson, who with her joyful personality and natural talent won the beauty pageant, and later inspired the family reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” which featured the Shannon family, including Mamma June, Anna, Jessica, Lauryn, and Alanna, as well as other members of the family and close friends. June Shannon is the head of the Shannon family and the woman behind the reality show “Here comes Honey Boo Boo”. She was born in1979 in Georgia, USA, one of the four children of Marvin Shannon and Sandra Hundley.
Her parents divorced when June was two years old; she didn’t have an harmonious childhood, and became a mother at aged 15 – her dating life is a series of failed relationships. June has been battling obesity for years, but has lost weight, together with her daughters Lauryn and Alana, with the help of fitness trainer Kenya Crooks, by eating small portions and walking, however, Mamma June still had to undergo bariatric surgery and have parts of her stomach removed. Due to past events, she does not have a good relationship with the eldest daughter Anna, and when asked about it she responded: “We talk every once in a while. Anna has some problems she needs to deal with herself and needs to stop being so selfish. It is not all about her”.
June occasionally sees her granddaughters. June was criticized for imposing a diet on her youngest daughter, which included a high dose of caffeine in preparation for beauty pageants. The Shannon family was exposed to harsh criticism by the viewing public.
Anna was raised by her maternal grandmother Sandra, as her mother initially wanted to give her for adoption to Anna`s uncle and aunt, James and Janice Shannon. Anna did not have contact with father David Dunn, who was imprisoned for stealing a gun a year after Anna was born. Her father was forbidden to see Anna when she was young, and hasn’t made an appearance in important events in her life, including her wedding ceremony. The first of the Shannon girls to matriculate from high school was Jessica in May 2015, from Wilkinson Country High School in McIntyre, Georgia.
When the family moved to Hampton, Georgia, Jessica remained behind to finish her senior year of high school. She is now pursuing her studies at South Georgia University to become a nurse. She shared the same DNA with Lauryn, as Michael Anthony Ford, currently serving a sentence for sexual exploitation of a minor, is the father of both girls. Lauryn, also known as “pumpkin”, became famous as the one who gwas struck by lightning when she was six years old, and as “Honey Boo Boo” claims has been acting a little crazy ever since. Anna Shannon has addressed in public statements her estranged relationship with her mother and three half-sisters Jessica, Lauryn and Alana.
Her sisters have on several occasions openly demonstrated their dislike for Anna and criticized her choices. When she decided to get a tattoo, her younger sister Jessica was certain the tattoo would be either “dumb or misspelled.”
Victim of Sexual Abuse
Anna’s childhood was traumatic, and forced her to enter early into the world of adulthood. She was a victim of sexual abuse from her mother`s then-boyfriend and now convicted sex offender Mark McDaniels. Anna dared to open up to her teacher who alerted the authorities, and measures were taken against the perpetrator. He was charged with child molestation and rape, however, her story did not convince her mother, and she never received the much-needed support in difficult times.
Reality TV Star
Anna Shannon started her career as a reality TV star in the family reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” at the age of 17. The first season of the show features her baby shower in a wrestling theme. When she was promised fame and a brand new house, she abandoned her grandmother’s home and moved to the Honey Boo Boo House to be part of the show, where she remained longer than she initially agreed with “Mamma June”, but ultimately didn’t receive anything she was promised. The show was canceled in October 2014, when rumors surfaced that “Mamma June” was renewing her past romantic relationship with McDaniels; he was released from prison, denying her daughter`s sexual abuse allegations against him, thus additionally straining their relationship.
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Anna could not keep quiet, and took her story to “The Dr. Phill Show” where she spoke openly about her horrific experience when she was an 8-year-old child, harshly criticizing her mother`s immaturity and selfishness, as she allowed McDaniels to be near her daughters disregarding his past – Mamma June denied all. Anna has also appeared on the “Steve Harvey” morning talk show. The last four episodes of the family reality series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” were filmed before the incident, and aired in April 2017.
Anna Shannon has become an influencer with over 165,000 followers on her Instagram account, and has taken advantage of her position to promote several brands, including as an Avon representative, announced in 2015 on an Instagram post.
She shared with her followers the immense joy of becoming an entrepreneur and living the life of a boss, being able to work from anywhere and anytime she was available, and able to earn money in a short period. However, this is not the first time she has promoted brands; in 2014 she became a brand ambassador of Young Living Essential Oils, which she claimed had the power and effect to prevent Ebola, during a major Ebola outbreak in the US, as well as a cure for cancer. Fans didn’t appreciate her promotion, as the Federal Drug Agency (FDA) denied her statement. She was also harshly criticized for her attempt to raise $20,000 with the launching of the GoFundMe page, being called an opportunist.
Personal life, husband and children
As with her mother June, Anna Shannon became pregnant with her first child at an early age – her daughter Kaitlyn Elizabeth Clark was born in 2012 when she was still a teenager. The child was born with four fingers and two thumbs, one of which was removed in November 2016. The father of the baby is Anna`s high school sweetheart Caleb Clark, who she split from and he does not have any relationship with the family.
She became engaged to long-term boyfriend Michael Cardwell after he made a romantic proposal with the words “Marry me” made with pepperoni on a pizza, and the couple walked down the aisle in May 2014 – the ceremony was featured in the season finale of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.
The couple welcomed daughter Kylee Madison Cardwell on 9 December 2015, so at the age of 21 Anna was the mother of two girls. Anna made several statements demonstrating her immense happiness to be marrying the love of her life and how blessed she and her daughter Kaitlyn were to have Michael in their life. However, the marriage didn’t last long, and after the divorce Anna moved back to Georgia accompanied by her two daughters. Her love life has been vertigo, but she is currently in a relationship with Eldridge Toney. The couple is very present on social media, and they particularly love to share their love for one another on their Instagram accounts.
Appearance, clothing style
Anna’s height is 5ft 4ins (1.62m), she has blonde hair and blue eyes, and constantly wears glasses.
According to her sister Alanna “Honey Boo Boo”, Anna has the “weird skinny gene” in the family a,nd does easily put on weight. She has a tattoo of Kaitlyn`s name and date of birth on the left side of her stomach, and a tattoo on her shoulder she made with Michael to celebrate their engagement.
Net worth and salary
Anna Shannon has had several sources of income as she is influencer on Instagram, brand ambassador for several products, and featured in her family reality TV series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, where together with her close family members, she appeared in 24 episodes from the time. Her net worth is estimated at over $300,000, as of late-2019. Anna Shannon sued her mother for $300,000, claiming Mamma June has not given her the money for her participation in the reality TV series, as well as for her daughter Kaitlyn.
As a chief executor, her mother signed her accounts, and later she discovered that her accounts lacked a significant amount of money. Anna accused her mother of spending her money on a new car which she gifted to Mark McDaniels. She had previously requested several times for documents that would justify the spent money, but did not receive any response from her mother. The family supposedly earned $22,500 per one episode of the reality show, one-third of which was divided among the children. Throughout the legal dispute with her mother, Anna received support from her maternal grandmother Sandra Hale. Anna isn’t going to rest until her mother has recovered the money she had spent from her trust fund.