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Big Brother’s “Freeze” Challenge: Where is the line between entertainment and psychological torture?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

That the number of reality shows is increasing, everyone already knows. But how long would you stay in a game that tests your emotions purposely?

The challenge that became popularly known in the reality show Big Brother as “Freeze” has been gaining backlash in the media for its controversy. It consists in a competition of who’s stronger psychologically, in which the participants receives a visit from a very special part of their life  – it can be a relative or even a pet, who is also part of the family. The rule of ordeal by fire is to keep immovable and not interact with the guest until it leaves, otherwise, the confined is immediately eliminated from the program.

More than a game, a true traumatizing experience

Staying in the game is no longer just about the physical issue, skills like aim, strength, or even luck. But it is also involving the emotional side of the participants. In a show like this, of confinement, people usually know the dark side of their nature. Strange feelings become real and anxiety, fear, and longing for life out there turn visible. The “Freeze” is literally just the top of the iceberg, once people are already hurt inside without that kind of dynamic.

Stigmatization associated with mental illness, sequelae, and emotional blocks can be some of the consequences of someone who goes through an inconvenience like this one, who already has a recently affected psychic history. The game had several versions in so many different countries such as Canada, The United Kingdom, Denmark, and The Netherlands.

As guests, dogs, daughters, fathers, grandmothers, and wives have already entered the famous house to make brief contact with the one who they were cheering for. Bravely, players stayed frozen and did not move until the guest left. Most of the victims of the challenge drowned in tears after the episode. Clearly, this situation further worsens the emotions of each person there.

Psychological torture is not entertainment, not on TV or anywhere

Keeping up with this exposure is also to condone this kind of torture. As long as there are viewers, there will be content and people thinking about strategies to obtain an audience.

How much does it cost your mental health? How much does it cost the mental health of your neighbor? What level of torture would you submit to for a fortune? Does it all really matter?

If it is to freeze moments, let them be moments of joy which we really must remember. A great example of a frozen moment of joy, is the Big Brother Danmark’s freeze challenge, in which a person dressed as a bunny entered the house:

Let’s freeze good moments and give the audience real entertainment!


The article above was edited by Clarissa Palácio.

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Gabriela Belchior

Casper Libero '26

Hi! I’m Gabi, journalism student at Casper Libero University. Welcome to the purest essence of me: communication.