On March 23, the actress Carla Diaz was chosen to leave Big Brother Brazil 21 (BBB21). Her elimination made many people reflect about how sexism is still very present nowadays. “But how can a reality show make us think about such a deep subject?”, you might ask. Big Brother is actually a social experiment, it is supposed to hold a mirror up to society. Without a doubt, it raises important speculations and discussions.
A little bit about Carla’s journey at BBB
Big Brother Brazil is the most popular reality show in the country and has been on the air since 2000 on Globo, a Brazilian television network. The “game” is initially composed of 20 participants – called brothers and sisters ─ who are eliminated by popular vote every week. The dynamic of the game is usually the following: three people are nominated to be eliminated, forming what we call Paredão, and only one of them is chosen to leave the program. On Sunday, March 21, Carla, Rodolffo and Fiuk were up for elimination. As I mentioned earlier, she got the worse end of the deal.
Carla Diaz is renowned Brazilian actress, she started acting in 1992, when she was only 2 years old. Born in São Paulo, Diaz moved to Argentina after getting the part of Maria, in the huge success “Chiquititas”, a TV show. Her talent and charisma took her very far, having countless soap operas and films on her resume. In 2021, after surviving a cancer in the year before, she accepted the challenge to be in the “most watched house of the country”. The 30-year-old actress said that this was an opportunity for people to see her true self, since she has always been very private about her life.
At first, she remained very neutral and chose not to take any definitive sides. It is worth mentioning that some of her attitudes were influenced by the “hate office” ─ as the public liked to call the group formed by Karol Conká (a rapper), Lumena (a psychologist) and Nego Di (a comedian). A big turning point was when she had an argument with Karol Conká. The rapper, completely blinded by jealousy, accused Carla of flirting with Arcrebiano (her love interest at the show). This situation opened Carla’s eyes and forced her to make certain decisions in the game.
Toxic Relationship, starring Carla Diaz and Arthur Picoli
As the days went by, Arthur Picoli, another participant, became close to Carla and flirted with her, being sweet and thoughtful. Despite Arthur’s demonstrations, Carla was apprehensive and it took her a long time to give in and kiss the brother during a party. At first everything seemed to be great, they looked happy, but, soon enough, the game started to interfere in their relationship. Arthur and Carla had different allies in the show, because of that, they disagreed about a lot of things.
However, she dove head first and actually fell in love with him. Carla was always there for Arthur, going out of her way to save him from elimination, even if it harmed her position in the game. She wasn’t her first priority at the show, but he was hers. The decisions of the sister took her away from people close to her and she started to loose herself. Even though Carla was always worried about Arthur, the feeling was not mutual. He criticized the woman behind her back, treated her with disdain and had no clear intention to protect her from the feared Paredão. During a live program, Carla was called “unfaithful” by Rodolffo, being completely humiliated. Arthur did not even care to confront the brother and defend Diaz in the moment.
What does sexism have to do with it all?
Arthur didn’t seem to be as involved in the relationship as Carla. For those who are watching, that situation made her look like a fool. However, it is important to remember that it is very hard for someone who is stuck in a toxic relationship to understand they actually are in one. Many people called her dumb and even an idiot for staying beside Arthur. They wanted her to leave the show “for her own good”. Among Arthur’s many extremely ridiculous and disloyal attitudes, what was most striking for the audience were HER attitudes. She was judged and condemned for his actions. The fact that Carla left the program before him is truly disappointing. Especially when the two other people who were up for elimination, Rodolffo and Fiuk, had inappropriate behaviors inside the house, like homophobic and racist comments and even gaslighting.
It is very sad to see that when a woman makes a “mistake” – if we can call Carla’s devotion to her partner an error – she is judged way more than when a man does. Unfortunately, this is how our society works. Women are blamed and held responsible for their actions, while sexist and even homophobic men go unpunished for their speeches and behaviors.
Carla did make mistakes, but they were not the reason why she left the program. Big Brother Brazil, while being a fun source of national entertainment, it is also a great way for us to understand how our society works. Everything that happens in there, happens out here too. In the game, if we do not agree with the positions of certain players, we eliminate them, but what should we do when those same attitudes come up in real life? How long are we going to punish women for only being true to themselves?
It’s time to stop accepting the stupidest excuses for men’s behaviors. If you know someone who identifies with Carla, don’t accuse and condemn them. The best way to help is by being empathetic.
The article above was edited by Amanda Moraes.
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