Big Brother UK is on again. I always enjoy BBUK the most, possibly because the casting is the most diverse of the Anglosphere Big Brother shows, possibly because the edit and setup is a bit less artificial than the others, so you get to see more of the real people – or at least, you think you do. See this year’s housemates here. I think there might be a fair bit to wrangle about with sexuality this year, too, with at least two housemates out and gay as far as we know so far, and at least two out and bisexual.
Here’s a bit from the second show of the season, which shows an interesting little snippet of disability politics. Marcus and Sophia are introducing themselves to the group. Check out the way they evaluate their lives by the way they place themselves in the ability/disability hierarchy.
Transcript (hyphen-introduced lines are interjections from others.)
Marcus: …And I just, y’know, I may have like a – a …
Voiceover: Marcus has been talking for the last four minutes.
Marcus: I’m just so happy to wake up in the morning. I’m so happy to have the things, like, that I’ve got. Like I am strong, naturally strong, I’m fast, and I don’t take tablet for anything. I never get ill, I never get colds, I never get headaches. Well, I’m 35, I don’t think I’m doing too bad for my age, y’know, I don’t have glasses or any hearing aids or anything like that. And, y’know, I just think, I just think that’s brilliant, really.
*applause, murmurs of assent*
Sophia: [unintelligible] I am er, er, like a lot of other people. I like partying, I like being a bit naughty with the drink and being a bit naughty and provocative with clothes, and doing all them kinda things, as ladies do. Yep, but you’ll notice a lot of this. *motions* Stretchmarks – you’ll see it around the abs, you’ll see it around the buttocks, you’ll just see it on me really. The reason behind it is this: I have something by the name of lupus. Don’t know if you guys have heard of it.
– murmurs of “no”
Sophia: OK. Cut a long story short, when I was young, they didn’t know what it was at first. It was kinda – something was attacking the body, shutting down. They didn’t know what it was. So what they usually do is just pump you up on steroids. That’s where all the weight just literally will stick. And then it just went “voomph”.
– You put the weight on through the steroids, you mean?
Sophia: Yes, and it was quick.
– So you’ve stretched and ripped?
Sophia: Yes, literally it was ripped. But they eventually found out after prodding, poking, doing all kinds of stuff what it was. Um, and, by the time that happened, I nearly died by the way. Great. Um, and then it got under control, everything was doing fine, then my sister was diagnosed with it. [shocked murmurs] Yes, crazy crazy stuff guys. And then, cut a long story short, hers got worse, and blam she was cut. She died, three years ago. Um, she was older than me, I am now the same age as her. So I always say to people, “Think positive, cos positive will come for you. You have negative around you? Yeah? That will plague you, literally like a cloud. But I am thankful for everything I have been through. Because I am a strong [unintelligble] now.
– It made you the person you are today.
Sophia: Hell yes.
– Because you seem so confident and so bubbly and so …
Sophia: I am, I am! It could be a lot worse. Life could always be a lot worse. At least I’ve got my two legs and walk and breathe!
– Cos some people –
– Well done.
Anyone want to talk about the disability hierarchy, how these ideas play out in your life, the “think positive” mantras?
[note: Please don’t bother commenting to say “I hate Big Brother!” or “Why do you watch that crap?”]
Categories: arts & entertainment