5 women we would actually like to see in the Big Brother house
This year, apparently in honour of the fact that it's 100 years since women in the UK were granted the right to vote, the country’s version of Celebrity Big Brother has launched the first ever all-female house. After all, what could be a more appropriate way to celebrate the united struggle of hundreds of selfless women than to pit D-list female celebs against each other, hoping for drama, and to encourage people to pay to select their favourites.
The line-up includes Malika Haqq, who is best known for having a famous best mate (Khloe Kardashian), model and reality TV star Ashley James, and former soap actress Amanda Barrie, who told British newspaper The Mirror that she entered the house as: “occupational therapy to stop me thinking about death”. But, far from a list of wannabes and has-beens, we can think of a whole host of awesome and inspiring women we’d much rather see in the house. Here’s just a few…
1. Meghan Markle
The media may currently be lauding her as the next princess, but even before she was moving in royal circles - where all the charity stuff is kind of a requirement - Meghan was already kicking ass in the "helping others" department, with a ton of humanitarian work. She’d probably understand the actual importance of the centenary better than most too, having served as an advocate for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Plus, she could dish the dirt about what the royals are really like. All in all, a solid candidate.
2. Helen Pankhurst
If we're talking about keeping things fitting, then surely Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst - the woman at the forefront of the UK's original suffrage movement - would be a great choice? A women's rights activist in her own right, she has spent her career working in international development organisations, often focusing on women's issues, and was invited to appear at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics in honour of her and her family's dedication to equality.
3. Kate Winslet
Successful, impossibly graceful and unapologetically to-the-point, Winslet was an outspoken advocate for natural beauty and refusing to succumb to body-pressure long before it was even cool. Plus, she seems like a damn good sport: she recreated that Titanic flying scene on the side of a cliff with Bear Grylls, and in 2017 her and BFF Leonardo DiCaprio auctioned themselves off to raise money for one British woman's cancer treatment. Cool, kind, fun and feisty - exactly the kind of lady CBB needs.
4. J. K. Rowling
Not only would we love to see the true story of what the woman behind our favourite books is really like, but we also just think she'd be a lot of fun. Famous for her magical Twitter takedowns and fervent criticism of anyone that doesn't strive for equality, she'd surely be one of the wittiest and most entertaining members of the house, and get along with everyone else too.
It would be kind of rude to leave out the “Queen of Media”, someone who’s been ranked the most influential women in the world multiple times, wouldn't it? With a rags-to-riches, media revolutionising story, and an insanely colourful life - including poverty, teenage pregnancy and drug use - she'd certainly have an interesting tale or two to tell. As if that wasn't enough, she's also one of the world's biggest philanthropists, having given millions to educational causes and raised awareness of causes including AIDS and LGBT rights. We like to think she'd be the one that puts everyone else in their place, and boy she's earned it.
Don't get me wrong, wishing for these ladies isn't to detract from any of those currently in the house. But when, in the very first episode of a show that claims to be dedicated to celebrating one of the greatest achievements of feminism, a glamour model is shown even struggling to pronounce the word, you've got to wonder what the producers' intentions really are. Not to mention the fact that less than a week in, they're already sending blokes in - stomping all over their own PR campaign - because what, a show can't work without them?
So instead of pretending that there is anything vaguely feminist about this year's CBB, can we please just create TV that holds up women of great achievements and huge humility, working to empower each other, rather than relying on chucking women together and, as one panel member gleefully put it in the post-launch show analysis, "hoping for bitchiness!"
Who would you put in the CBB house if you were in charge?