Either my sense of humour has improved or things are funnier lately. I’m watching, and enjoying, television more these days. I am so easily amused I have even been keeping tabs on the latest (2007) Australian Big Brother house.
I am constantly amazed at how differently I view the housemates compared to their popularity ratings. One of the most popular house mates in the 2007 Australian Big Brother house seems to be as innocent and sweet as sunshine. She has not said or done a single thing wrong, so far, yet I have seen expressions on her face that tell me she actually has quite a sadistic streak.
She is very good at hiding it, sometimes the only clue is the way her eyes light up, but I get the feeling she enjoys seeing other people getting hurt or upset. She does not do the hurting herself. She is too clever for that. She hangs out with someone whose personality is hurtful and laps up the effects of that persons behaviour on other people.
Since writing those words this house mate actually has given in to the urge to enjoy other people’s pain. I watched one night as she opened the door to a discussion that would give her the chance to rub salt in other people’s wounds. Here is part of a Daily Telegraph Big Brother 07 recap. The author is pretty vicious and I do not agree with a lot of what he said in this article but this section is, in my opinion, a pretty accurate reading of her behaviour in that particular episode of Big Brother.
“The thing about this embarrassing rant by Aleisha is that it’s dressed up as empowerment. She sounds like she’s saying ‘hey, if someone doesn’t like you, just don’t worry about it, life’s too short, I know someone who died.’
But she’s not. She’s belittling Rebecca and Jamie for wanting to be Emma’s friend despite her being a cow. She condescendingly tells them that Emma is a great person and implies that she has some god-given right to be a bitch to them because you can do whatever you like in this life.
And while it’s not said, it didn’t need to be, but she is telling them Emma is cool, they are not, and never the twain shall meet so just get over it. Also, they have no need to feel bad because there are other nerdy dorks in the world for them to hang out (with) even if the cool kids hate them.
On-A-Leisha then goes and gloats to Emmammeries about what was said.”
What the writer of this recap doesn’t get, however, is that Aleisha is not the lap-dog he is viewing her as. She is allowing herself to be seen that way so she can enjoy seeing others get hurt without having to take any flack for it. My guess is that she often hurts people and leaves them wishing she was a little less “dumb”.
I saw the episode in question and Aleisha’s gloating took the form of the words, as near as I can remember, “It was so much fun”.
Aleisha killed two birds with that little episode. She inflicted pain and discomfort on Rebecca AND on Emma!
She basically told Emma the other housemates started the discussion when, in fact, she did. She led Emma to believe people lined up to backstab her and she, Aleisha, the poor little loyal friend was forced to defend Emma to them. This left Emma upset about being the target of mass criticism behind her back and totally unable to punish Aleisha for being part of a bitch session about her!
The ultimate result of Aleisha’s little chat behind Emma’s back was to intensify Rebecca’s pain a thousand fold more than Emma’s actual behaviour had caused and send her sobbing to BB about feeling as if she doesn’t exist.
Aleisha was then able to enjoy Emma’s discomfort and annoyance over how Rebecca was reacting to being told to accept things and earn points with all housemates, and viewers, by running to “comfort” Rebecca with further condescending instructions to accept being treated as if she is invisible.
Rebecca did not ask to be comforted. She cried alone to BB, denied anything was wrong to Emma, told Aleisha nothing was wrong and only spoke up when Aleisha refused to go away. It was Aleisha who turned it into a big thing and whose lack of compassion was presented as a common-sense solution to the pain. She said to Rebecca, in effect, “chin up – accept the abuse because there’s nothing you can do to stop it”. Meanwhile she keeps reassuring Emma she has every right to go on causing such pain.
It intrigues me that the producers editing of the footage is actually sometimes effective at influencing my opinions of the people in the Big Brother house too. They almost managed to convince me the girl who claims to be psychic was calculated and malicious when she went and told tales about what two house mates had said to a newcomer.
Later on I realised there was no malice at all – Demet told the story exactly the way she saw it – negatively. She was simply predisposed to view all behaviour in the most negative way because these people are, in her mind, competitors who cannot be trusted. I think she was looking for who to trust and who to reject and the first people who gave her any reason to doubt them became her primary opponents.
One of the most interesting things I know about people is that whatever they hate most in other people is very often something they are guilty of themselves.
Demet has a passionate hatred for “fake” people which made me look very closely at her for signs of fakeness. Because of that I was struck very forcefully, after Demet’s eviction, by the way she reacted to being with her “friend” Aysun again! Theirs was not, as far as I can tell, the usual reaction to seeing a much loved friend. It was the usual reaction lover’s have when they are reunited after a separation.
The sight of her friend wiped out all interest in how many bikes she had won. They ran to each other, held each other as if they would never let each other go again, and sobbed in each others ear about how much they had missed each other.
In terms of body language, they spoke as I have only ever seen lovers do, they held each as tightly as they could and clutched each others heads. People tend to only touch the heads of other people under fairly limited circumstances. It signals either serious familiarity and intimacy or the one doing the touching is displaying authoritarian affection towards the one they touch. Demet was not touching the head of her friend as Mother to daughter so my guess is they are more than friends!
On the official site Demet claims her fiancee’s name is Nat. I suspect Nat is actually short for Natalie and the name used by her friend on the night, Aysun, is a pet name. In Turkish Aysun means: “As beautiful as the moon”.
If Demet’s family do not approve of her belly dancing I suspect they would have a lot more trouble with her being a lesbian. That would explain the way it has failed to come to light when so many gay men have been made a feature of in BB. It would also explain why she hates people who are “fake” so much and why she is so quick to “sense” fakeness in others.
It really doesn’t get any faker than to be a lesbian but claim your fiancee is a man named Nat and the woman you held as if you would never let her go is just your good friend.
I could, of course, be completely wrong. Perhaps the engagement ring “Aysun” was wearing was not put there by Demet. Perhaps Turkish culture allows women to display affection that, in our culture, indicates romantic love.
It is fascinating watching how far removed from reality people’s opinions of themselves can be. The bitchiest person in the house constantly prefaces her bitchiest comments with a disclaimer that she is not intending to be bitchy. It’s as if she believes saying it is not intended to be bitchy can magically prevent it from actually being bitchy.
Another interesting thing is how blind people can be and how much they can suffer because of that. One housemate is primarily interested in herself. Her attention is constantly on how she looks and what she enjoys and she has very little interest in anything that is not about her. One night she was asked about herself and began saying how lonely she is and how other girls just don’t seem to like her. She cried so it clearly hurts her yet she can’t see how her lack of interest in other people creates their lack of interest in her.
Breaching unwritten social rules can cause people a lot of grief too but it is surprising to see just how ignorant people can be about what is happening.
One of the current housemates would be horrified to be told that she is abusive and I very much doubt any of the other house mates, apart from one, would agree that she is abusive but she is. People complain about her but nobody in the house seems to realise she is breaching boundaries and subjecting people to abuse because of that.
She constantly touches people and forces them to accept kisses they don’t want. Clearly she has been raised in an environment that does not respect personal space. She appears to have been taught this invasion of other peoples personal space constitutes affection. She seems to believe she has an obligation to love all God’s creature’s and that is fine. What is not fine is to love them inappropriately.
Inappropriate love is love that touches someone against their will. Rebecca believes she must show her love by offering physical affection – goodnight kisses etc and she feels it is not acceptable for anyone to reject love. This is causing her intense distress when people, like Emma, do reject it.
People are repulsed and irritated by the way she breaches their boundaries, invades their personal space, and forces them to accept (or reject) what they instinctively recognise as inappropriate love.
The thing I find most interesting is that, if she were male, there would be no confusion or discomfort. She would swiftly be told, in no uncertain terms, to keep her hands and lips to herself unless invited!
If the house mates didn’t do it the uproar in the media over the “sexual harassment” going on in the house would force the Big Brother producers to do it!