take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Monday, August 21, 2006


On the surface, we couldn't be more different.

She, the "promotions girl"; me, the software engineer. She, the tanned blond with fake boobs and an enviable figure; me, the ghostly, pear-shaped brunette. She, the wearer of minimal, brash, unambiguous clothes; me, shrouded from head to toe (although the toes do come out to play in the summer...) in neutral tones.

But we all know that the surface does not tell the story. The affinity I feel comes from somewhere inside.

Her accent reminds me of "home", of the people I mixed with at school. Her humility, lack of confidence, emotional flakiness and self-deprecation are all behaviour traits I recognise. She has an ability to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds (often an error, as inevitably in that environment you will be branded "two-faced" or "playing a game") as do I. Her (fatherless) upbringing and the "loss" of her mother, though due to completely different circumstances, have helped to crystallise my feelings of sisterhood. Like me, she is honest. Like me, this doesn't always help her. Like me, she often appears to be misunderstood.

She is at times silly, irrational, funny, ridiculous, kind, annoying, flirtatious, caring, impulsive, over-emotional, passionate, confused, calm, helpful. She is, in short, utterly human.

Sometimes, I became so incensed by the way others treated her that I was close to tears. The bare-faced lies, the pure venom, the cruelty and hatred all directed toward one person; I felt such an incredible sense of injustice that I almost left the room in disgust. I was staggered by my own reaction, as was Big.

But I identified with her so strongly that it was as if the venom I saw were directed at me.

If you've been watching (and I bet the majority of you haven't, or wouldn't admit to it if you have), you should know that I'm talking about Aisleyne, the second runner up in Big Brother 2006.

I imagine that many of you are mentally pouring scorn on me for watching the programme in the first place, but I truly feel that it is both an interesting social experiment and an insight into human behaviour. As a self-confessed people watcher, it has a unique appeal to me.

Yes, the subjects of the experiment are often fame-hungry wannabes, but whatever you say about them, they are real human beings, members of our society. I would much rather watch real people, warts, tantrums, fake boobs and all, than fictional, formulaic caricatures in elaborate drama series and soap operas.

Never before have I identified with someone on a television screen to that extent. I laughed with her and cried with her. If that makes me sad, I am guilty as charged.

Now that it's all over, I just need to work out what I'm going to do with my new-found evenings.

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