Why we're all obsessed with the Bachelor contestants who "fell in love".

The story of two ex Bachelor contestants, Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon, falling in love has made international headlines.

Season four of The Bachelor Australia premiered in July of this year, with 25 women competing for a relationship with Richie Strahan, a 31-year-old rope technician.

In week three of the competition, 29-year-old Tiffany Scanlon was eliminated.

Four weeks later, early favourite 27-year-old Megan Marx, made the decision to leave The Bachelor. It was rumoured that Marx was uncomfortable with the process.  

In the months that followed, the friendship between the two began to flourish.

Once the series had begun airing, Scanlon posted a picture with Marx to Instagram, accompanied by the caption, “Finally I can proclaim that I did find love on The Bachelor and it was with @megan.leto.marx my hero, soul sister and BFF!”

We discussed Megan and Tiffany’s marketing genius on this week’s episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.

This was the first of many pictures the pair would post hinting at a romantic relationship:


Images became increasingly intimate, featuring Scanlon touching Marx’s breast, wresting in bed in their lingerie, legs wrapped around each other at the beach, and sharing pasta while topless.

Who doesn’t like bewbs amiright @tiffany_janes

A photo posted by Megan Marx ???? (@megan.leto.marx) on

 Late last month, The Daily Mail and News.com.au among others, interpreted an Instagram post published by Scanlon, as confirmation the pair was dating.

“After weeks of hints, Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlan have confirmed they are in a relationship,” News Corp reported.

Although their language is unequivocally romantic, the pair has, at no point, explicitly stated that they are in a monogamous relationship. They have played with convoluted euphemisms, referring to each other as “my girl” and “my favourite person in the world”, describing their relationship as “more than friends”.

 From a PR point of view, their approach has been nothing short of genius.  The buzz is fuelled by their careful ambiguity, but they’ve shared just enough for the story of the “two bachelor contestants who fell in love” to go viral.

Whether or not Scanlon and Marx are in fact in love or even dating is beside the point. It’s why this story has captured imaginations all over the world that’s worth reflecting on.

 Firstly, in Mia Freedman’s words, “they’re hot”. Blonde, thin and quintessentially feminine. The spectacle of two women posting half naked pictures of themselves inspires our prurient curiosity. We fetishise lesbian relationships, and Scanlon and Marx are giving us plenty of material.

Me probably talking about freediving instead of posing, while @tiffany_janes looks every part the mermaid ocean queen

A photo posted by Megan Marx ???? (@megan.leto.marx) on

But it’s so much more than that.

 Coming from a television show that is unashamedly heteronormative, where women compete for the affection of a man, what Scanlon and Marx have done is the ultimate transgression.

They’ve put their middle finger up to the show that created them. Their story is brilliantly ironic.

They didn’t ‘need’ Richie. In fact, they don’t need a man at all. And as a culture, we’re still uncomfortable with that.

Their refusal to use labels also challenges the discourse that our sexuality is set in stone. Perhaps we’re perplexed that a woman can desire a man, and then months later desire a woman. Can sexuality really be that fluid?

The answer is, of course, yes. It can be. Yet bisexuals (or people who choose relationships regardless of gender) are characterised as indecisive, confused or even dishonest. As though they are still experimenting, before eventually settling into a clear ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ category.

 This story, of the two ex Bachelor contestants who “fell in love”, complicates our understanding of sexual identity.

When ex contestant Faith Williams was interviewed about their alleged romance, she said she couldn’t confirm or deny, but did reflect; “It’d be a great story, wouldn’t it?”

And that it undoubtedly is.

You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here. 

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