Oh, Gemma Collins. Off she goes, in her blaze of meek misery, entirely defeated by just three days in the I’m A Celebrity jungle.
She hadn’t even done a bushtucker trial, bless her, so the problem wasn’t so much that she had to eat a poisonous bat and crawl through animal testicles, it was simply that she couldn’t face eating any more boiled rice.
Well, that’s not entirely fair. She also had to battle ‘malaria’ (aka the runs), get in a helicopter she didn’t really like much and, of course, face up to - in her own wailing words - being “treated worse than a murderer - even a murderer gets fed three times a day”.
What she has to face now though, could be infinitely worse.
Because no one likes a quitter. In fact, many people actively hate them:“Gemma Collins has quit the I'm a Celebrity Jungle. And in other news, Bags of peanuts may contain traces of nuts,” said one comment on Twitter.
“How can Gemma quit I'm a celebrity, people starve across the world and she's lasted 48 hours on a low quantity of food,” reads another.
But why is it that someone admitting defeat, for whatever reason, so abhorrent to us?
Tying neatly into the jungle/back to basics theme, the reason is human evolution.
Judging quitters is in our genes
“We are hardwired to judge,” explains celebrity life coach Sloan Sheridan Williams.
“A recent University of Oxford study has shown that the human brain acts on preconceptions we possibly do not even know we have.
“Originally, we needed to be judgemental for survival, protecting us from the outside environment and the dangers that it possessed in the form of competitors.
“However, as we evolved, our subcortex still retained this instinct to judge. This ‘us versus them’ mentality is about protection from threats to our survival, and therefore we instinctively judge. Quitters who are interpreted as weak are judged the harshest.”
Weakness makes you a target
“It can become very boring in the jungle. Take away food, enjoyment and stimulation, and you’re left with your strengths and your weaknesses – it’s all about which wins out.
If weakness wins, then you’ve shown yourself to be a target. It’s a horrible truth, but human nature at its worst tends to pick on the weak, be it in the form of bullying or mere avoidance.
“In our attempt to survive on this planet, we try to surround ourselves with the strong - getting them onside - and disdain the weak, which makes one feel better and stronger.”
Gemma gave in to her needs
This all makes perfect sense, yet it doesn’t seem quite fair: after all, the same evolution is why Gemma quit in the first place.
“The driving force behind most behaviours is satisfying one or more of the six fundamental human needs a person has,” Williams continues. These needs, she explains, are certainty, variety, significance, connection/love, growth and contribution.
“Quitting the jungle enabled Gemma to be in control of her human needs again, with comfort via food being one of those needs and control of her environment being another.
“Celebrities in the jungle can’t control the media but they can control when they leave. There is comfort in such certainty and Gemma needed that. Seeing those needs being satisfied so openly in the public eye, however, will open her up to being judged fairly and unfairly.”
Only the strong survive
Sadly, it’s a bit too late for Gemma to turn this judgement around now that she’s crossed the rope bridge out of camp, but if time could be rewound, what could Gemma do differently?
“To survive the jungle, you need to be mentally tough, which is a combination of being emotionally fit and psychologically strong.
“There are three main principles of the Inner Game involved in psychological strength: a quiet mind, combined with non-judgment and detachment from the outcome.
“Unfortunately, Gemma did not have her game plan in place for the task ahead of her, and as such, quit before she’d really started.”