Bachelor

Leah was shut-shamed on 'The Bachelor Australia' and we are not OK with it

Not cool.

By Jessica Chandra

Whatever your thoughts are about Leah Costa, the feisty blonde architecture student who went on this year’s season of The Bachelor Australia as one of the 22 women in the running for Matty J’s love, the way she was treated on the most recent episode of the show was not OK.

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After Matty’s big sister, Kate, made a surprise appearance on the show to deliver a date card and suss out some of the girls, it came to light that Leah is not only an architecture student, but also runs her own party-planning business — and those parties include bucks nights.

Kate was obviously tipped off about Leah anyway, as she spoke with Leah first, then grabbed her for another chat on the group date, where six of the girls were forced to make volcanos with five-year-old kids.

The main topic of conversation? Leah’s party-planning business — and her past as a topless waitress.

It was Elora who actually pointed Kate in Leah’s direction. During Kate and Elora’s conversation, Elora said, “There’s rumours that she could be some kind of exotic dancer… maybe she’s worried that she’s going to get caught.” Elora failed to mention that Simone, her best friend in the house, had also worked as a topless waitress in the past.

All of Kate’s questions for Leah — at least the ones we saw on TV — were centred around her experience as a topless waitress, and whether she’s told Matty about it yet. (Because that’s one of the first things you tell someone you barely know.)

When Kate pulled Leah aside on the kindergarten date, she wanted more details about Leah’s party-planning business. “I’ve lived a colourful life,” Leah prefaced. “So there’s lots of different things. I’ve done a bit of promo work, I’ve done things at the polo, I’ve done wild sorts of parties that are a little bit… you know.”

“When I was younger, I used to be involved in that. I did a little bit of lingerie waitressing, that sort of stuff.”

She told Kate that she hadn’t had a chance to tell Matty at that point, but that she would be happy to if the topic came up.

Naturally, it came up when Matty finally pulled Leah aside for a private conversation at the next cocktail party.

Leah didn’t deny any of her experiences. She explained that she needed money for university. Matty said that he didn’t care about her experience as a topless waitress — what he cared about was honesty, and that he felt like he was the last person on the planet to find out about Leah’s past. Earth to Matty: when you’re busy with other girls, the ones you’re not giving attention to will probably not spill their secrets to you. Just sayin’.

Matty may have said it was about honesty, and not about Leah’s job, but the fact that the whole episode revolved around it, and that it was discussed like it was the worst thing in the world, was unfair to Leah.

To top it off, when Leah returned to the group after chatting to Matty, Elora said, “Did he tip you?” And the girls thought it was hilarious.

Viewers on Twitter sided with Leah, for perhaps the first time this season.

And there were some who pointed out that Matty has also gotten his top off for a little extra moolah…

It wasn’t cool of Leah to tell Matty about Simone’s involvement in the same industry, but it was admirable that she owned her past — because even though she shouldn’t be ashamed of it, those convos can be tricky to have with someone for the first time, not to mention the whole TV thing.

Also, quick shout out to Bachelor host Osher Günsberg, who said, “Our first two Bachelors were topless waiters — Tim Robards and Blake Garvey. I’m proud of it!”

If anything, Leah might have the last laugh, especially if she gets more business through this promo on national television.