For The Bachelor contestant, Kristen Czyszek, there are two words Australia will unfortunately remember her by: China Girl.
In the season premiere we saw the China researcher make her way to the bachelor mansion to the tunes of stock oriental music, before telling the camera: “Hopefully I remember how to speak English,” and that “fun fact, sometimes my friends call me the China girl!”.
Watching at home, some were offended, myself included, while others were shocked, or just plain confused at the questionable cultural appropriation happening on our screens.
Watch makes her cringe-inducing appearance on The Bachelor:
However, speaking to Mamamia on the day after her eviction, the 24-year-old is adamant this wasn’t a true reflection of who she is as a person. Kristen says that watching herself in those initial episodes were confronting, and she is quick to clarify that the words: “China girl” were purely a joke.
“This is reality television and we are put into characters and little did I know that that would be mine,” she says.
“It was a little bit confronting for the first couple of episodes. I had no idea this was the plan for me, and it’s disappointing to see that the only conversations that were shown of my time on the show was when I had something to say about China or speak in Mandarin, because that was what was vaguely relevant to the show or the story line.
“I shot myself in the foot by saying that’s something my friends joke about, and they kind of just ran with it, and here we are… now I’m Australia’s China Girl.”
While her passion for China was definitely exaggerated, this also meant audiences weren’t able to see her and Matt Agnew’s genuinely “intimate and close” connection.