Five years ago I interviewed Arisa Cox just as the very first season of Big Brother Canada was launching. Time flies, and Arisa has recently resumed her hosting duties for Season 6. I was happy to get a chance to catch up with this busy wife, mom and TV personality!
What have been your most memorable Big Brother Canada hosting moments so far?
There have been too many to count! But there’s almost nothing that compares to announcing a winner each season. I get to be a part of one of the best days of someone’s life. It’s a moment they never forget – I don’t either. I’m so thrilled to get to do it again for the sixth time!
What are you looking forward to this season?
I love seeing how this season’s heaven and hell theme plays out in individual players. The play between instincts towards good and evil is something we see in every game of Big Brother, but this year it seems to be amplified. We have a really strong cast and the game has really started heating up.
You wrote a powerful piece for the Toronto Star a few years ago about refusing to straighten your hair for a TV job. What does it mean to be able to host such a high-profile show as BBCAN with your natural hair?
When I was a child, seeing a black woman in Canadian Television wearing anything but straight hair was unheard of. I could probably count on one hand the black women I saw at all. It blows my mind to think how far we have come in Canada… that each generation can do better than the last. All of the places I’ve worked while rocking natural hair – from Big Brother Canada to CBC’s The National to ET Canada – have been under leadership that understands the value of inclusion. ‘Representation Matters’ is not just a hashtag. It means so much for people of all ethnicities, sizes, abilities, sexualities and gender orientations to see themselves reflected in the world around them – in all areas, not just media and entertainment. Thankfully, more and more industries are realizing that inclusion is no longer an afterthought or charitable impulse, it makes sense for the bottom line as well. I’m hoping this trend towards inclusion and fairness is something we continue to see in more areas, like pay equity.
What do you do in the Big Brother Canada off-season?
Off-season I am a speaker focusing on empowerment, work-life balance and media literacy, and I host award shows, charity fundraisers and other live events. And running a family will always be a full time job!
Your kids were 3 and 1 when the show was debuting and we last spoke! What’s new with your family?
Wow, has it been that long? Time flies! Five years later, I’m loving the evolution of my children’s minds and the new and complex ways they grow and mature. They’re curious and thoughtful and my husband and I are so blessed to be holding their hands through this life. They’re still too young to watch the show, but they do watch the challenges and get to catch a glimpse of Mum on TV. They like to check out my outfit!
Since my blog is called This Mom Loves, I always ask my interviewees how they would finish the sentence “This mom loves…..”.
Well, this mom loves hiking in the woods with my family and dogs, and marveling at the natural world around us. I live in the country and feel lucky to be able to do that more! I also love making stop motion Lego movies with my daughter and having Star Wars battles with my son. Life is beautiful!
Thanks, Arisa! You can catch Big Brother Canada Wednesdays, Thursdays and Mondays on Global!