The Toddlers & Tiaras alum, now 15, faced backlash on Twitter and Instagram for wearing dramatic false eyelashes and long acrylic nails in her photos. Some fans blasted older sister Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird for allowing Alana to dress how she wants while in her care.
“I’ve seen that on social media,” June, 41, tells In Touch. “And what fans don’t realize is when she was 5 years old, she was in the glitz pageant. She was putting on those fake acrylic nails. She was doing the makeup. She was doing the eyelashes.”
“And, you know, I got criticized for exploiting like JonBenét Ramsey you know, cause all that had happened and those pageants getting a bad [reputation],” the WE tv personality adds, reflecting on the decade that has passed since Alana’s debut on the TLC series.
“We’re hitting on 10 years of being in the public eye,” June shares about their reality TV milestone. “So, you know, people gotta realize that she’s 15 … she’s been wearing acrylic nails since she was like eight. These stripper lashes that I like to call [them] … you know, she’s just being Alana, she’s expressing herself.”
Not only is June standing up for Alana, but she is also praising Lauryn for lending a helping hand with her younger sister. Lauryn, 21, offered to assist with Alana while June prioritized staying clean following her stint in rehab with boyfriend Geno Doak in 2020. Alana has been living with Lauryn, Lauryn’s husband, Joshua Efird, and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Ella, since last year.
“Even though [Lauryn] didn’t have to step up [as a mother figure], she did, and you know, in our family … we’ve always stuck together,” June tells In Touch, gushing how “proud” she is of Lauryn for being such a supportive sibling.
“I’ve been seeing them on social media and stuff like that. So, you know, I’ve been keeping up,” June adds. “Mom never stops with an addiction or no addiction.”
Viewers will get to find out how the Georgia native reconciled with her kids, worked toward her sobriety goals and gave back to the recovery community in new episodes of Mama June: Road to Redemption.
Mama June: Road to Redemption airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WE tv.
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