Being on a reality TV show like Big Brother Australia is no easy feat, especially when you have the opportunity to see yourself from every angle imaginable. Season 14 intruder Jules Rangiheuea and returning OG housemate Tully Smyth both recently opened up about the body dysmorphia they experienced after watching themselves on TV.
In a recent episode of the podcast Good Bitch, Jules spoke candidly with co-host Jodie Clarke about how her experience on the show was tainted after watching herself back.
“I’m watching myself on TV and I feel like a really bad feminist because all I can think about is the way I look,” Jules said.
“And it’s annoying me that I’m doing these great challenges and I’m living out my childhood dream and watching back on it, all I can see is, in my head, how much fucking botox and fillers would not go astray, and it’s really annoying me because in the time, in the moment, I’m a happy gal.
“I love living life and it’s actually frustrating me that I’m not looking back with the same fond memories whilst living it.”
Not only did Jules have to grapple with her own feminist beliefs by wanting to change her appearance but she had to cope with the added layer of trying to adhere to Western beauty standards as a woman of colour.
“I probably am chasing that Western beauty standard of that beautiful porcelain doll-like face and my [Māori] lineage – we’re not doll-like women. We are strong, thick and powerful,” Jules said.
“When I read the comments, I’m looking out for that one that says that I look really masculine, I look like a drag queen and I look too old.
“Honestly, those are the three comments that I’m waiting to pop up, so clearly it’s a big insecurity of mine.”
The podcast’s discussion on insecurities based on self-confidence issues seemed to also ring true for other contestants like Tully and Season 12’s Sarah McDougal.
Tully took to her Instagram Stories after the podcast episode aired and admitted she also felt a lot of body dysmorphia watching herself back in Big Brother’s house on TV.
“I personally loved this episode because it’s something I’ve been struggling with myself. And I had no idea I wasn’t alone,” she wrote.
“The early morning shots where I look puffy and saggy in the face. The horrible camera angles of my double chin. The social media photos that are sent to us that I hate so much, I refuse to use.
“The shots of me in activewear where I find myself wishing the scene would just hurry up and change.
“Self-love and self-confidence is an ongoing journey.
“Jules speaks on all of this… plus the struggle of wanting to be a good feminist.”
Sarah McDougal said she was also consumed with commentary about her body and appearance when she was on Big Brother Australia in 2020. She was a teenager at the time.
Sarah posted on her own Instagram story that she couldn’t help but empathise with Jules’ Big Brother experience. She thanked Jules for being so vulnerable while talking about things like the patriarchal issues around female beauty and reality TV as a whole.
Big Brother Australia is currently airing at 7.30pm Monday-Wednesday on Channel 7 and 7Plus.