'Big Brother' houseguest Paloma Aguilar: The game "ate me alive," I was losing touch with reality
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/28/2022
Big Brother houseguest Paloma Aguilar has admitted that the game of Big Brother ate her alive and made her begin to lose touch with reality, which is why she had to leave prematurely.
Paloma exited the Big Brother house after struggling with anxiety, exhaustion and emotional breakdowns. At one point, she apparently locked herself in the Diary Room, seemingly unable to physically function.
But Paloma didn't explain what happened or what led her to spiral -- until now.
"I left because of an ongoing mental health battle I faced which began once inside the walls of an idealistic utopia of a reality set. A reality that was far from the reality of my San Diego life," Paloma captioned a variety of cast photos via Instagram on Tuesday.
"I became so quickly obsessed with the game -- I forgot how to take care of myself. FOMO consumed my every move."
Paloma explained that she lacked rest and a feeling of security while playing the game.
"I would get 2-4 hours of sleep at night -- no normal human could function off of (sleeping hours are 10pm-10am but everyone keeps each other up gaming)," Paloma said.
"I did not see the sun for 5 days so I began to loose touch with reality, there's no windows, and 100 cameras working 24/7 -- even when you're sleeping -- ate me alive."
The 22-year-old interior designer from San Marcos, CA, insisted "no one understands the psychological challenge of reality television unless you have first hand EXPERIENCED it."
"Mental health is something I believe I must stand up for with my platform because it is so stigmatized & belittled in a world where the majority of us face something mental health related in secrecy," Paloma noted.
Paloma also clarified that tension with other cast members and/or drama within the house had nothing to do with her sudden and abrupt exit. She claimed that she actually got along with Taylor Hale great and the girls developed a strong friendship during Paloma's last days in the house.
"Nothing but love for this beautiful cast. I genuinely have come out of this experience with only good things to say about each individual; aside from any game play that was talked," Paloma wrote.
And she finally concluded, "I will be addressing more of my time in the house little by little -- but I want to thank everyone for their love and support during an extremely hard time."
Many Big Brother fans accused Paloma of racist behavior directed at Taylor this season, including the show's Season 23 winner Xavier Prather, who had been a member of the historical "Cookout" alliance comprised of only people of color.
"The treatment of Taylor in #BB24 is a prime example of why The Cookout was formed," Xavier tweeted on July 10.
"Members of the black community (especially black women) and other people of color stand no chance in the Big Brother House due to perpetuation of micro-aggressions and unconscious biases which plague our society."
Xavier apologized for his own shortcomings when he played the game last year and continued, "I hope it doesn't take a 'Cookout' for black houseguests (or any POC houseguest) to finally escape the feeling of being ostracized within the Big Brother House for simply existing. Change is a MUST!"
But Paloma previously claimed that people jumped to conclusions "with the whole racist bit." She reminded fans that Big Brother is a very brief and edited version of the events that actually unfold in the house.
"Remember that reality TV isn't always real. I'm always rooting for boss babes, never going to try and tear a strong woman down and I was extremely straight up with her the first days when we didn't mesh," Paloma told Us.
She added, "And unfortunately our convo about that wasn't aired... Only love for this girl. I can't wait for her to come out so we can talk about it as two strong women."
Towards the beginning of the game, Paloma had an issue with Taylor's flirtatious behavior.
Paloma didn't appreciate Taylor prancing around the backyard in a bikini and spending most of her time with the guys in the house.
"Her demeanor comes across even more cocky when she's not trying to make an effort with women. She's just digging that hole for herself with the girls," Paloma said.
It especially rubbed Paloma the wrong way when Taylor modeled her tight sparkly dresses and jumpsuits from prior beauty pageants.
Taylor then told her pal Monte Taylor how Paloma was afraid the men were forming an alliance and would come after the girls. Monte brought that information back to Paloma, who felt betrayed and decided that she needed Taylor to go home.
"She's such a b-tch to me.. Her personality just rubs people the wrong way and she lacks, most of all, self-awareness," Paloma vented at one point.
Paloma also called Taylor "a lying b-tch" and "a snake in the garden."
She added, "[Taylor] will stab you from the back and make you a turkey club sandwich, okay?"