The Bachelor Australia Got Slut-Shamey, & Fans Are Not Pleased

Photo: Toby Zerna/Newspix/REX/Shutterstock.
The Bachelor Australia has fans irate after the show mocked a contestant for doing sex work, as BuzzFeed points out. During episode seven, the show focussed on contestant Leah Costa, whose stated profession was "architecture student." However, during the most recent episode, which aired August 16, the girls in the house alluded to "rumors" that Costa was an "exotic dancer." According to BuzzFeed, this wasn't something Costa had told Matty Johnson, the current Bachelor. The episode then became the "Get Leah To Admit To Being An Exotic Dancer" show, which implies that being an "exotic dancer" is a mark on a person's reputation.
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Bachelor fans, who always tend to be more progressive than the show itself, weren't pleased. Costa has already been painted as the villain this season — she notoriously tried to kiss the Bachelor during a group date as a way to bait the other girls.
"Look I'm no fan of Leah but wtf has being an exotic dancer got to do WITH ANYTHING ?" one Twitter user wrote.
"I don't like Leah either, but that's no reason to slut shame her for having been an exotic dancer," another noted.
The general consensus is that yes, Costa is a villain, and she shouldn't win Johnson's heart. But that doesn't mean it's okay for the show to slut-shame her.
During episode 7, Costa admitted to having done "a bit of lingerie waitressing," as per News.com.au.
"I was on my own. I had no one here and I had to support myself. And I'm not ashamed of it. I had to do what I had to do at the time," she told Johnson when he asked about the rumors.
Johnson then kicked Costa off the show. When he said his goodbyes, he claimed that he couldn't stand the way she treated the other women of the house, and that her career history has nothing to do with her departure.
No matter what, though, sex work shouldn't be seen as shameful — Bachelor villain or no, Leah Costa didn't deserve the insults leveled at her last night.
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