The hidden history of Danielle Bregoli

Written by: 
Gabe Fryar
BYU-Hawaii students and staff feel compassion and sympathy for Danielle Ann Bregoli, a girl made famous by memes and remixes based on her appearance on the Dr. Phil show. Bregoli is perhaps best known for her unintentional catchphrase, “Cash me ousside, howbow dah?” 
 
The clip of her now viral line begins with the live audience laughing, to which Bregoli responds, “All these hoes laughing like somethin’ funny.” TV Show Host and Psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw replied, “You said the hoes are laughing? So the audience are a bunch of hoes?” Bregoli then looked at the audience and answered, “Yup! Cash me ousside, howbow dah?”
 
In General, people who see the one minute clip think it portrays Bregoli as “uneducated and aggressive,” according to Roche Donato, a sports and exercise science freshman from Qatar. Leilani Auna, director of counseling services, explained the importance of not judging people with behavioral disorders, “Often the media will put out what they want and not allow you to see the whole story of it. Sometimes we are quick to assume rather than really look at the deeper issues.”
 
Auna explained how she thought Bregoli had been using a method of self-defense in her wording to mask feelings of low self-esteem. “As a counselor I have dealt with people who have this defense mechanism,” Auna said, “They express themselves [this way] and you learn not the judge them. One thing that’s important to remember is that even if you have had a hard life, that doesn’t mean you have to channel that anger and aggression in a destructive manner. You can channel your energies in a constructive manner.”
 
Donato added, “I think if people will watch the videos and memes, they will only see the tip of the iceberg, not the whole picture. Yes, it might be funny to watch, but in reality it’s heartbreaking because the problem is much deeper than most people might see. When we understand the reason why she has behavioral issues it makes it hard to judge.” 
 
As the episode progressed, the viewers discovered Bregoli is suffering from the absence of her father and a past plagued with both physical and emotional abuse. Bregoli explained how her mother would, “come after me. Like if I tell her to hit me she’ll hit me and I gotta dodge it. Because if she hits me I’m giving it to her.” 
 
Bregoli continued describing the mutually aggressive relationship with her mother, “Either I’m breaking down her door or she’s breaking down my door. I don’t stop till I start seeing dents in the door.”
 
Bregoli’s mother proclaimed Bregoli as the “antichrist” after Bregoli detailed, “I ran out [of my house] four times in one day and the cops brought me back every time.” Dr. Phil cautioned Bregoli’s mother, “I don’t think this is an evil girl here. I don’t think she is the antichrist at all. I think she’s kind of taken on this persona. When you go through life with a ‘get them before they get me’ kind of attitude, it's very protective. Anger is a very protective emotion. If you’re angry, if you kind of have this rough edge around you, you don’t have to worry about rejection because you reject everyone else first. That way you don't ever get hurt.” 
 
Dr. Phil continued, “You don't feel the sting of rejection, and it's a way to go through life when you have low self-esteem and low self-worth. I think that somewhere along the line you’ve been really hurt. And then you [Bregoli’s mother] get cancer, not once but twice and so that's very scary for a child.”
 
“And you two have been really close growing up. I’ve looked at your past pictures and I can see genuine bonding and intimacy. She cares about you and you care about her. I don't think it's an accident that she sleeps with you every night, because there’s this role she has to play, but then she has to touch base,” Dr. Phil observed.
 
Freshman history major Brittany Barlow from Utah said, “My first impression of the girl made me kind of uncomfortable. I was watching it with a friend and he was laughing, ‘Oh haha this girl is so funny,’ but I just kinda felt bad for her. I don’t think she’s realizing that the decisions she’s making are gonna affect the rest of her life, and how sad it is to see her alienating herself from her family.”
 
“We all make mistakes and we’re here to figure out and learn from our life choices, even the bad ones. I would want someone to give me a second chance when I hit the lowest points of my life. I would give anyone a second chance, even her, because that’s the kind of respect I would want and everyone deserves,” continued Barlow. 
 
From her experience working in counseling services, Auna explained, “We really can’t judge a person strictly based off their physical appearance. Just because they might look [or act] a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean they are that person. I think judgment is a very destructive concept and we as people should stay away from it.”
 
Date Published: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Last Edited: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2017