reality tv

In 2014, Big Brother's Cat and Lawson made national headlines. This is their life now.

When Cat Law applied for Big Brother in 2014, she was 30-years-old and looking for a unique life experience. Indeed, that’s exactly what she got by going on one of the most popular reality TV formats of the decade.

Cat formed a romantic connection with one of the other contestants on the Channel Nine show, then-23-year-old Lawson Reeves, who had a girlfriend in the outside world. The highly-publicised pair, known as Clawson at the time, sparked moral outrage from the country.

When the two were evicted from the show, Australia was intrigued: Was this a reality TV stunt? Would they last?

But despite the scrutiny and scepticism, Cat and Lawson maintained their relationship for four and a half years following Big Brother.

Watch: Cat and Lawson met on Big Brother Australia in 2014. Post continues after video. 

Talking to Mamamia, Cat says “It was a relationship that wasn’t for TV or for ratings or for getting us further in the game.

“It was something that developed unexpectedly and that’s why the relationship lasted outside the house as well, because there was genuine feelings there.”

She continues: “We just had so many things in common and it was just genuine love, he was a really significant person in my life and I will always have really strong feelings towards him I think.”

However Cat tells Mamamia the two have since parted ways: “We broke up early this year.”

She hasn’t spoken publicly on their separation until now, she explains, because it’s been emotionally tough.

“Breakups are really hard,” Cat admits, “and I find it really hard to talk about when you’re going through it because it’s so emotional.”

“We don’t have any ill will towards each other,” she adds, “but breakups are really painful and I think for myself limiting contact with him for the moment is really important for me to move on. It would bring back all those old feelings and I could end up back where I was when I was finding it really challenging.”

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Big Brother Cat Law
Cat and Lawson stayed together for four and a half years following Big Brother. Image: Instagram.

As for being a contestant on the reality TV show, Cat says she was not prepared for what the experience would entail.

The now 36-year-old remembers the different techniques that were employed by the production team to facilitate an emotionally heightened framework.

"I didn't realise at the time how manipulative the environment can be," she reflects. "They lower the ceilings to create the intense environment, they have bright fluorescent lights and really uncomfortable furniture - all these kinds of things to promote exaggerated responses. I was naive to all of that; I had no idea any of that happens."

But with the bad also came the good, Cat emphasises.

She finds it extraordinary that she now has a platform via social media that allows her to connect with so many people who have similar interests to her.

Listen: Mamamia's daily podcast, The Quicky, interviews a former Big Brother producer about how to get yourself on reality TV. Post continues after audio. 

"I didn't earn followers, I was given a gift of having followers on social media because of being on a television show. That's been a cool platform now that I get to use with things that I'm passionate about, like my job."

Cat, living in Victoria, is a midwife - the same occupation she had prior to Big Brother.

"I went back to work within three weeks of coming off the show. My career is such an important thing for me, I'm really passionate about it and I didn't want Big Brother to change that."

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She is currently studying a three-year nursing degree at the Australian Catholic University and continues to work part-time at a hospital.

Her social media focuses heavily on women's health, midwifery and life as a student.

She shares that gaining valuable life experience is a driving factor for everything she does, which is why next year she will be travelling to Cambodia as part of her degree to learn about health from a global perspective.

"My life just went back to the way it was [after Big Brother], but it had extra stuff that added on top of it."

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Cat Law | Your Pocket Midwife (@cat.law) on

With news of Channel Seven's reboot of Big Brother in 2020, Cat's advice to future contestants is to "think about what you're applying for and what your reasons are for wanting to do it."

"If you're after life experience, you're definitely going to get that - it's going to be a mix of good and bad.

"Make sure that you've got ways of coping. I think it takes a lot of resilience to be put in such a foreign environment."


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