Reality television is the demon that we all love. Sure, it’s edited to the nines and never truly simulates reality, but it’s fucking incredible to watch with a class of Pinot and live tweet about. We form opinions on people that we know nothing about based on a weeks worth of footage that’s been edited to fit 3-4 hours of screen time. We know it isn’t a true reflection of every participant’s personality, and we still get invested. Unfortunately though, some people get more invested than others and take it too far. The treatment of Abbie Chatfield throughout and beyond her season on The Bachelor is proof that the reality TV demon can bring out the real demon in anybody.
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Throughout her season on The Bachelor Abbie was portrayed as the mean girl who was only there for two things, sex and instagram fame. The nationwide hate came thick and fast and showed no signs of slowing down. I have personally witnessed the comments that were initially left on Abbie’s instagram profile, including death threats, and can only imagine what she would have received in her DM’s. Having posted some of the horrible messages she’s received slut shaming her, body shaming her and more I know there is worse there. Abbie was also the victim of the outrageous double standards that exist between men and women when it comes to confident, assertive, sexual people.
I’ll admit, I too am guilty of judging people based off of the reality TV monster, I didn’t like Abbie either. I certainly didn’t send her death threats but I didn’t like her. There is a lot to unpack in my initial distaste for Abbie, that I have actually unpacked because of her, like my insecurity, being ashamed of sexuality etc but that is a completely different story and not at all why we are here today. We are here today, as I sit here with my glass of wine and watch MAFS, to discuss why Abbie has very quickly become an inspiration to me. Someone I idolise, someone who is on my I WANT TO MEET THIS PERSON IF IT KILLS ME list. Yes, I have one of those, but I’m not here to get carried away with the nitty gritty details of everyone on the list. Another time after a couple more wines, maybe.
Abbie has openly discussed in multiple interviews (I’ve read and listened to them all) her struggle with her mental health and needing to hand her social media over to a friend during the time in which her season aired. She’s spoken of her lowest points, her fear of leaving the house, her suicidal thoughts. These issues alone are a topic that are hard to talk about. It takes strength to open up about any of those emotions without knowing that almost the entire nation already doesn’t like you. Her strength in confronting those who send her hate, in speaking out about female sexuality, about self confidence, self love and embracing imperfection has been a catalyst for the hundreds of thousands of people who adore her.
Abbie hosts weekly instagram story-times where she encourages her followers to spill some tea, she’s just launched her podcast: it’s a lot with Abbie Chatfield, which you can stream now, and has secured an advice column on PopSugar. Abbie is living her best life. Vocally advocating for womens rights and sexual empowerment, she has risen above the smouldering ashes of the Reality TV demon into a Phoenix and I am here for it. I regularly check Abbie’s Instagram, her posts have reminded me that my passion and enthusiasm for feminism is important. Each one of us are important, our tolerance and acceptance is important, our respect for each other is important. Abbie continues to encourage her followers to embrace their sexuality. Be proud, you’re a woman, you’re important. You’re not there for anyone’s gratification, you’re not there to please anyone, you live for you.
Abbie is very seriously part of the reason I’ve started taking care of my own mental health again. She’s part of the reason I’m teaching myself to be comfortable with sex, and trying to love myself. I urge you to check Abbie out if you haven’t already, follow her, listen to her podcast, read her advice column, love her like I do. Add her to your list.
Do you follow Abbie? Did you judge her based on her time on The Bachelor? Who is a woman that inspires you? Let me know in the comments!
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