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The Bachelor's Tessa writes for Mamamia: "Coming off the show was soul destroying."

“Wait,” you’re thinking. “I thought I’d clicked on an article about a contestant from the Bachelor? Who the hell is this?”

You did, guys. My time may have been short, but it was still very real and I’m planning on clinging onto it for five final minutes, so stick with me.

Overall I spent just two weeks in the Bachelor house, which translates to about a grand total of five minutes in actual TV air time. And even with that teeny tiny sliver under my belt, I can’t help but think how Sam Frost feels every time she has to come out hitting and waste her time justifying her weight gain or weight loss to the world.

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“Remember me now? I wanted to burn that dress.” Source: Channel 10.

I was only on the show for a couple of weeks and the body shamers were brutal, so I’m still not sure how she manages to do it every day, but it’s pretty amazing that she does.

In 2015, I entered the Bachelor house as a happy and confident woman. But by the end of the year I was exhausted, emotionally broken and a little bit heavier on the scales.

Not unlike others who have come before and since me, I hadn’t exactly planned to go on The Bachelor. Some of the girls I worked with asked if I was open to it and wrote an application for me.

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Looking back, I was just as interested in the overall “behind-the-scenes” type experience of entering the house as much as I was looking for love. Then by some trick of fate, I eventually found myself at the house, standing in front of Sam Wood and introducing myself as well as meeting some amazing women I now call my friends.

Overall, the experience is nothing short of bizarre. You get up at 6:00am and have to pack your bag without knowing where you’re going. Then you arrive somewhere, have to take all of your makeup off and sit there for four hours before anything happens.

It’s exhausting and you’re hungry, so when they do bring out the carbs you eat a lot because you don’t know when you’re going to get another meal again. Next thing you know, you’ve put on some weight.

You’re unsettled and not in a standard routine. It’s normal to put on weight under those conditions. Anyone would, with or without the cameras rolling.

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The 2015 Bachelor alumni. Source: Channel 10.

After leaving the house and getting back into a routine, I lost the weight and began to feel like myself again. But then as soon as the show aired, the comments began. The thought pieces about me, my motives and my waist size were generated.

The experience of having people I’ve never met dissect and comment on my body as though it was public property was one of the most horrible experiences I’ve ever been through.

Those who know me will tell you that I know how to take a joke. I’m the first one to laugh at myself, and I really took that into consideration before going on the show. But no amount of mental preparation could have got me ready for the way people are willing to talk about others online.

Tessa with fellow Bachelorettes Sarah, Ebru and Emily. Source: Instagram.

Up until last year I’d never looked in the mirror and thought I looked fat, but coming off that show was soul destroying. All of the comments were such superficial crap, and labels were being put on my body that had never been associated with it before.

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I remember one publication referring to me as “the curvaceous one”. Fundamentally, I don’t have a problem with that label, but it was used in a way that physically pit me against other women, and it was used as a tool to publicly rank our worth. And spoiler alert, they didn’t think I was worth much.

So there I was, with a group of keyboard warriors calling me a bogan and a wannabe and a parent’s greatest mistake. Still showing up to work every day. Still trying to be a good friend. Still trying to find the positives out of my recent Bachelor experience.

Tessa on holiday with fellow Bachelor contestant Sarah Mackay. Source: Instagram.

But such is human nature that when someone starts making you feel bad about yourself, the reaction isn’t what it should be. As much as you want to work harder and turn those lemons into lemonade, the reality is to reach for the jam donuts and call your mum to see if she’d been lying all those times she told you that you were beautiful.

I’ll never understand why people want to be cruel or mean to anyone, let alone a stranger. It’s pathetic and uncalled for, and there’s no merit in celebrating the bringing down of another person.

Before going on the show, I spent years working in radio, so I know what Sam’s hours must be like. Presenters work gruelling schedules and give it their all every day of the week, so it’s only natural that in her first gig, her weight made changes, just as her hours, workload and priorities all did too.

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“No evening gown can ever compete with a good pair of jeans and a flanny.” Source: Channel 10.

When I look at how Sam Frost handles herself and the haters, I want to throw on my bogan flanny and cheer.

After so much public scrutiny, she’s managed to surround herself with genuine, loving people, has an amazing work ethic and hits delete every time someone tries to bring her down. And you can physically see all of those things irrespective of what her frame is doing. So what’s not to love about that?

If you love The Binge, here’s your opportunity to come to our first-ever live recording, in Sydney on Thursday, April 7. 

The Binge is all about frank, funny and smart conversation, what’s on the box and whether you should invest your precious time watching every season in existence.

And next week that conversation will be live in front of an audience for the very first time. Hosted by Monique Bowley and starring Rosie Waterland and Laura Brodnik, this is your opportunity to see your favourite podcast come to life.

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