June "Mama" Shannon, 33, of TLC’s reality series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, is defending herself after tabloids accused her of teasing her 5-week old granddaughter, Kaitlyn, for her physical abnormalities. Kaitlyn was born with four fingers and two thumbs on her right hand.



However, June has denied these accusations. "We have embraced [the abnormality]. It makes Kaitlyn more special to us," June told People.



June has been helping her daughter, Anna, 18, raise Kaitlyn while Anna finishes high school in McIntyre, Ga. The show’s eponymous family member Alana Thompon (a.k.a. "Honey Boo Boo"), 7, has also been pitching in. Anna has not identified Kaitlyn’s father and says he is not involved.



In addition to these teasing allegations, more controversy regarding Kaitlyn’s upbringing was sparked when Honey Boo Boo’s sister, Lauren Thompson, 12, was seen giving Kaityln a pacifier that had been dipped in Mountain Dew and the photos surfaced on RadarOnline. High caffeine intake at a young age can cause serious health problems, and Honey Boo Boo is also notorious for her caffeine consumption; before beauty pageants she drinks "go go juice," a combination of Mountain Dew and an energy drink.

"Mama" June was the subject of further scrutiny after it was revealed she had been arrested for theft and contempt of court in 2008 (the charges were dismissed), and when a video was released of Honey Boo Boo dancing in a bar.



Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a spinoff of Toddlers & Tiaras, the TLC reality series about child beauty pageants that Honey Boo Boo had been featured on. Honey Boo Boo’s outgoing and eccentric personality helped garner her the spinoff series, which first aired on August 8. Last week's episode, "What Is a Door Nut?" attracted 2.3 million viewers, a season high. — Hal Sundt

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