reality tv

'I was a contestant on Farmer Wants A Wife. Please think before you send that message.'

I was a contestant on the latest season on Farmer Wants A Wife

I never thought I would apply for a reality TV show. My year was meant to be very different. I had been climbing the corporate ladder and was the Director of Communications for a senior politician and before that, Director of Communications for an ASX listed finance group. 

For years, I had been saying ‘this is not the life that I want,’ but I didn’t know how to change it. I finally came to a point, a devastating point, which forced me to really take stock of my life. 

I realised that if I wanted my life to change; I had to muster enough courage to make some big changes. So I sold my house in Sydney, left my job at parliament, packed my bags and decided to take an ‘adult gap year’ to travel overseas and think. A huge part of this process for me, was to put myself into new spaces to let what I call, ‘magic’, find me. For me, ‘magic’, is simply... possibility. The possibility of the wonderful unknown.  

Watch the trailer for the Farmer Wants A Wife finale. Post continues below.


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I was in Texas when the pandemic began. Soon I was back in my hometown, living back on my family's property. My family took social distancing seriously, as my dad is in remission after beating a rare blood cancer. I stayed on the property for about six months, only going into town twice for supplies. 

It was during this time some girlfriends started encouraging me to apply for Farmer Wants A Wife. They had actually encouraged me for years to apply and I always laughed it off. But suddenly... I saw their point. I had intentionally freed up at least 12 months of my life to take chances. So throwing my hat into a dating competition was my way of leaving it up to the universe to decide if I was meant to be in that space or I wasn’t.  

That’s how I ended up on Farmer Wants A Wife with Farmer Will. While this genre of TV show is a ‘competition’, unlike some of the other girls, I was never ‘competing’ for Will. I was there for love and it was either going to be there with him or it wasn’t, Will himself was not my goal. Love was. 

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I knew quite quickly Farmer Will definitely wasn’t the right person for me and I left filming when I did to show kindness to all parties, including myself. I had to leave for my safety and I’ve actually really struggled post filming because of this. I was a former TV producer for Channel Nine, so if there was anyone who had an inkling about ‘what happens on TV' it was me. But I didn’t sign up for the ‘reality’ of my experience. 

But after every cloud comes sunshine and what has been an overwhelming positive outcome from the show, is how incredibly amazing strangers online have been to me. My Instagram inbox has been flooded every day with incredible messages of support, where strangers have gone out of their way and taken their time to share their kind words, their stories, a meme, or just have a laugh. To date, I have not received a negative comment.

But this hasn't been the experience for a lot of the women and farmers on the show. While they have received a lot of support, they have received a lot of nasty messages as well – and those are the messages they remember. I had to ask them what they meant by “nasty”, as I hadn’t seen any of this. While most immediately delete the messages as a way to manage it, here are some examples of what hits their inboxes:

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Image: supplied.  

Image: supplied.  

Image: supplied.  

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Image: supplied.  

I was so saddened to see these. Why go to the effort to send someone a nasty message?

Contestants on reality TV are people too. It's highly edited. I myself wasn’t a runaway bride, but the filming of me explaining to Will on camera why I was leaving and saying goodbye to him, wasn’t shown on air. But having me ‘vanish’ made great TV. 

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And yes, with hindsight, some of the contestants and farmers are looking back and acknowledging that they made some mistakes. They’ve already learnt from these. 

But before you weigh in on the choices these farmers and women made (by what you see in the edit) please take a few moments to remember the majority of these women and farmers are in their twenties. Nobody wants to be remembered for their mistakes in their twenties. 

Please think before you send a nasty message. How would you feel if you received it? Would you feel good? Or would you feel hurt, anxious and mad?

Please think before you comment publicly on a forum and what you want to say about someone on that forum. Surely, if a farmer had the decency of personal character to acknowledge he hadn’t found his life partner, isn’t that a kindness to let a woman go, rather than lead her on? Finding love shouldn’t be about keeping ‘one’ for a game - it should be about finding ‘the one.’ The person you adore because they adore you.

With The Bachelor back on our screens, I think it's especially important to keep this in mind. As we watch and laugh, cringe and comment, please remember: none of us watching on at home had to risk our hearts or reputation nationally. 

For the contestants, what they are feeling is very real. They are vulnerable and exposed. 

Please think before you send that message or make that comment. And please, be kind. 

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