This series of Celebrity Big Brother has brought us plenty of dirty knicker-airing — and now, literally, some dirty knickers. Which in itself is hardly something to get riled up about. Unless you’re 8 years old and think anything in the general nether region vicinity is absolutely hilarious.
The CBB housemates are significantly older than 8 years old, although when it comes to their maturity levels, you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
Saturday night’s episode of the reality TV show involved a row over a pair of dirty knickers, belonging to Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Davis — and it led to 165 complaints to Ofcom, who told Metro.co.uk that they were assessing them “before deciding whether or not to investigate.”
The complaints weren’t about the fact that the CBB house is home to dirty underwear, because the housemates are human, and clothes get dirty. What got viewers angry was the humiliation of Davis at the hands of John Partridge, Christopher Maloney, Darren Day, Gemma Collins and Danniella Westbrook, after she admitted to owning the underwear.
The row began when Partridge, Maloney and Day were organising the dirty laundry and came across a thong with discharge (a natural white substance produced by women from the neck of the womb) on it. Despite being grown-up men, they all screamed at the sight of them. Kind of how 8-year-old boys who don’t know any better would. Partridge then went into the bedroom and told the other housemates the knickers had “pigeon shit” on them.
Many viewers have been shocked by the housemates’ behaviour, accusing them of publicly shaming a woman for having a normal bodily function.
It might not be something we talk about often, but maybe we should. Since when was vaginal discharge something to be ashamed of, a reason to be taunted? It’s the female body’s natural way of keeping things clean down there and something that is impossible to control. Oh, and any woman who says it doesn’t happen to her is lying.
The row made for uncomfortable viewing and is no different to period-shaming, which has been flagged as a huge issue for women across the world recently. Many viewers expressed their disgust on Twitter, calling the scenes “cruel”, “shameless” and “mean” and calling out Partridge, Collins and Westbrook for being the main “bullies”.
Channel 5 have said they would “prefer not to comment” on the incident (they too have come under attack for choosing to air the footage), which is incredibly disappointing. Their recognition of this as an incident of body-shaming would go some way to reversing the damage and forcing the bullying housemates to rethink their immature, sanctimonious attitudes.