She seemed so nice and normal. The whole season on the show she had been the happy, positive one who was always cheering her friends on and having a great time. The next year she seemed to be the one who had known that everything that had happened on camera was fake from the start. She was still happy and goofy and seemed to be enjoying running around under the summer sun. No hint of the confusion, secrets, and disillusionment the others were facing. She even had parents who sent her awesome care packages. Really, really great care packages. With fancy bottled water in them.
But… it wasn’t bottled water. Her mother had sent her six bottles of straight vodka. To summer camp! Apparently the best way to deal with post-reality show blues is underage alcoholism. The camp found out, and the girl got booted out. I think she only made it about two weeks of the summer before she disappeared.
I mean, obviously there were some extreme home issues if her mom thought mailing vodka in Evian bottles to a summer camp was a good life choice. Maybe it was just a sense of entitlement that made the girl think she could get away with having enough vodka to de-stink a fleet of clown costumes hidden under her bunk, but either way, it’s sad.
I hope the girl got help. I hope she still has a liver. And I really hope that whatever trauma she managed to hide from the Disney cameras so well isn’t affecting her anymore.
Reality TV is nowhere near real, but what it does to people’s lives once the cameras have packed up, and the episodes have aired. That is very real indeed.