Unskinny Bop

It was desperately sad to hear that former Big Brother desperado Nikki Grahame had succumbed to anorexia.

Desperately sadder still was the media puff about a lack of awareness of eating disorders.

Please, somebody turn that telescope around.

Surely, the most pertinent concern should fall on the apparent obsession with the modern-day freak show of reality TV?

The obsession with fame revolves around establishing a strong fit with popular expectations and perspectives. The reality personas grow through their exposure, which in turn rests heavily on popularity.

That quest to be popular brings with it as much judgement and criticism as it does praise. To willingly immerse yourself in that, you have to be either supremely confident or rhino-skinned, preferably both.

So, why would a person with an acknowledged distorted self-image allow herself – and be allowed – to be thrown to the lions?

Notwithstanding the termination of the show, nobody was ever watching or evaluating Big Brother.

And I don’t mean the series. The premise of that abject crud was a group of oddballs being thrust into a tacky house that would not have been out of place in an Austin Powers flick and being gawped at by the public. There was a Big Brother in the house and also one in terms of the viewing public.

The only Big Brother that ever really mattered though was the set of informal norms and standards that the vulnerable to this day imagine is watching over them, judging them, and which frequently kills them long before they shuffle the mortal coil.

Sadly, nobody actually gives a toss.

That is why the sack-of-spuds bliffer, clad in the spaghetti-stained pinstriped suit, elasticated jogging bottoms, and Rawhide boots who shuffles past you in Tesco Metro is in a much better place. He might throw shapes like some confused and incontinent MC Hammer, but at least he’s not unauthentic and reaching sub-cranial boiling-point.

He’s not a prisoner of his own mind.

While the programme has long since bitten the dust, the omniscient gaze of Big Brother culture remains. In advertising, magazines, on social media – everywhere we look – we see impossible expectations, after which many poor souls gamble their whole being.

And when a tragedy emerges, the scandal is perpetuated by all those who would continue to run distraction stories – like all this garbage about anorexia – that carve out audience meat rather than acknowledge the true abhorrent spectacle of reality TV and the media’s own role in fuelling its grotesque rise.

RIP Nikki, and RIP our moral compass that, if functioning, would have not permitted our entertainment culture to have fallen to these depths.

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