Mother: Deb (48)
Daughter: Hannah (18)
“The Southern Belles”
With Southern drawls as sweet and smooth as sweet tea Deb and Hannah are larger-than-life women who are beyond close. From brushing each other’s hair every night (100 strokes at least – an old Southern tradition) to doing each other’s hair, makeup and eye-lashes each and every morning, to doing background checks on Hannah’s boyfriends; Deb and Hannah are connected in a way that most mom’s and daughters are not. Deb grew up in Georgia and had a successful career as a model. When she was 30, she gave birth to her perfect baby, Hannah, and she was smitten by her baby angel. Since day one, Deb has molded Hannah in her own image, like a smaller, pink-clad, “mini-me.” The two often dress and look alike in matching outfits and matching big, blonde hair. They are always together, which is super easy because Hannah is currently being home-schooled by Deb.
Hannah was bullied as a child and as a result, Deb doted on her. Deb home-schooled Hannah to protect her from bullies, build her self-esteem and naturally to be close to her daughter. To this day, Hannah lives and studies at home, surrounded by her mom/teacher 24/7. To further build Hannah’s self-esteem, mom enrolled Hannah in pageants as a way to help her daughter develop a strong foundation and feel comfortable being herself. Deb also believed that Hannah was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen and that Hannah would be able to win. Deb was right, Hannah won the first pageant she competed in and to this day has over 400 pageant titles under her belt!
Competing in pageants was not an entirely positive experience for Hannah. Though she naturally excelled at competing, Hannah was really hard on herself. It was during her time competing that Hannah realized that she was a perfectionist and she put so much of herself into competing, if she didn't win, she beat herself up for it. As a result of her perfectionism, Hannah developed an eating disorder at the age of 12 and had to be hospitalized. It was a wakeup call for Deb that her daughter needed her more than ever. Deb vowed to do whatever was necessary to help Hannah get better. It was a difficult time for the duo, but it galvanized their bond and they realized that if they are together, they can get through anything.
Hannah is on the verge of a huge change in her life as she finishing up “high school” and is currently looking at colleges. Most people are surprised to learn that Hannah is incredibly bright with a 4.5 GPA. She was recently contacted by Princeton University to apply under the premise of early acceptance into their school. However, she is currently only considering schools in Georgia, close to home. Deb is pushing for Hannah to live at home and to enroll in a university that offers online classes because she can't fathom Hannah moving away from her. Hannah is conflicted, knowing deep down she needs to leave the nest and experience the world outside of her mom’s protection, but leaving the comfort of home is terrifying and daunting.
Additionally, the lingering issues of perfectionism and an eating disorder are still a major part of Hannah and Deb’s mother and daughter dynamic. Since an early age Deb has done everything in her power to protect her daughter and to build her confidence… but some family and friends believe that this so-called protection has instead isolated Hannah from the real world and made her ill-equipped to deal with life’s more complex challenges. Critics such as other mom’s think that Deb and Hannah place too much emphasis on looks and winning and superficial traits. Deb is afraid that Hannah’s perfectionism will always hold her back from being happy as Hannah looks for outside validation from superficial sources. Hannah never feels pretty enough, smart enough or good enough and without her mother there as a cheerleader, Deb is terrified that a dumb college boy or a petty sorority girl will trigger Hannah’s deep-rooted feelings of worthlessness and she won’t be there to protect her daughter.
Deb is married to Jay, Hannah's step-father. Jay often feels left out because Deb and Hannah spend so much time together. From the time they get up in the morning until they brush each-others hair before bed, Hannah and Deb are inseparable. Jay is pushing for Hannah to look at colleges away from their home so he can have some time with Deb. Additionally, Hannah lives in the master bedroom of their home, so Jay is ready to start sharing that space with his wife! Deb was married to Hannah's father for 9 years before they had Hannah. They were high school sweethearts and she says that together, they looked like "Barbie and G.I. Joe". Hannah's father is in the special forces of the military and shortly after she was born, he realized that having a career and a family was not possible to have at the same time. He and Deb decided to go their separate ways, and Deb married Jay when Hannah was a year old. Hannah has only seen her father a handful of times in her life but they talk often and Deb is thankful that he was honest early on about not being able to be a husband and father.
Hannah has plans to be married and have children as soon as she is done with college, using school as a way to meet a future husband. Deb thinks that Hannah is misguided and should concentrate on education and a career. Deb is terrified that because Hannah is a people pleaser that she’ll sacrifice her career, her emotional well-being and her future to by a stay at home mom to a man that doesn’t truly love or respect her. Though she is currently single, Deb is always involved in choosing who Hannah dates. Deb's "helicopter parenting" extends as far as to run background checks on every man that has romantic interest in Hannah. Deb has been known to follow Hannah on dates to make sure that her daughter is safe.
Coming up in December Deb and Jay are planning a massive, over-the-top graduation party for Hannah. As a graduation gift, Hannah wants to have rhinoplasty but Deb and Jay think that she’s too young and naturally pretty to have a nose job. Deb is struggling with the reality that Hannah is a "legal adult" and that she is going to be making choices that don't always involve them staying together. Deb has gone so far as to consider buying a second property so that she can be as close as possible to Hannah, wherever she decides to go to school. Whether it’s in a dorm room or her childhood bedroom, nothing will stop Deb from spending every waking moment with her daughter.
Angela (Deb’s best friend) is trying to encourage Deb to let Hannah spread her wings and give them both space to develop independence from each other. Angela wants to start a beauty pageant with Deb in hopes that it will give her something to focus on and give her a scene of her own identity again. Deb is having a hard time balancing her anxiety about letting Hannah go out into a world that could possibly not be nice to her. Deb knows that Hannah is an incredible young lady, but she has a hard time knowing that Hannah might be hurt by the world that Deb has so ferociously tried to protect her from.
Upcoming Dates: Hannah will be graduating in December and making college decisions in Winter/Spring of 2020
· Deb wakes Hannah up every morning, makes her coffee, and they have mom/daughter time
· They brush each others hair every night before bed - 100 strokes each! Deb swears it's an old Southern secret to maintain fabulous hair
· Deb wears Hannah’s pageant crowns as she vacuums and cleans their home
· They pick out each others outfits every day, if they don’t like the outfits they make each other change
· They do each-others make up and get lip injections together
· Deb tracks Hannah on her cell phone and secretly spies on her if she’s on a date
· Deb runs background checks on any boy Hannah dates
· Hannah and Deb will text each other while they are literally in the same room
NOTE: Hannah and Deb have appeared on Kim of Queens in 2014 and Mama Junes: Not to Hot in 2018, and are currently free from any prohibitive agreements.
Deb and Hannah have always been inseparable and since Hannah has been homeschooled for so long and they spend 24/7 together, their bond is unbreakable. They rely on each other for everything and with the prospect of Hannah needing to make a decision about college ahead, the duo are in for a reality check. All of the people around them are encouraging them to "loosen the grip" they each have on each other so they can both grow in different directions. Though Deb has raised Hannah to be an exceptional, smart and capable young woman, Deb likes having her "mini me" around and they are best friends. With the possibility that Hannah could make the decision to go away to college on the horizon, they could both be faced with needed to take a step away from their smothering relationship so they can start the next chapter of their lives.