After her time on The Bachelor vying for Matt Agnew's heart, many Australians fell in love with Abbie Chatfield's upfront and honest attitude.
But although the 25-year-old beauty gained a multitude of fans from her appearance on the show, her fame came at a price and she became the target for intense online bullying.
"The issue with love-based reality shows is they require a villain. People hate-watch and the only way to have a hero is to have a villain," Abbie tells TV WEEK exclusively.
And during Matt Agnew's season, the villain edit landed on Abbie's shoulders. As she watched the series from home, Abbie was filled with dread.
"The Bachelor is so contrived and edited," Abbie reveals, "I used to watch The Bachelor shaking with anxiety."
But now, after a few years of being in the public eye, Abbie understands why she became such an easy target.
"People love to hate people, particularly when they like to put their own issues from their own interpersonal relationships onto TV. People enjoy it, it's cathartic for them," she says.
"There are still people tweeting even now saying, 'Abbie looks like the girl in high school that was mean to me.' And I wasn't mean to anyone in high school."
"It was something that never happened but because I remind them of someone in their life that hurt them they find it easy to hate me and post hate towards me online."
The trolling that Abbie has consistently received, and the interest from the media, has changed the way she interacts with her followers on her socials.
Instead of doing her best to hide her life from the world, she puts it all out there.
"I share more than I normally would," Abbie explains, "I shared about my abortion before anyone else could find out about it."
Following her Bachie appearance, Abbie used her social platform to speak openly about her experience, wanting the news to come from her, rather than other news sources.
After heading into the jungle for I'm a Celebrity, her haters are beginning to change their tune.
"It's so funny because people are like: 'I hated you once but I love you now" and it's like, have you been ignoring me for the last year and a half?" laughs Abbie, who hosts a popular podcast It's A Lot and boasts over 215,000 Instagram followers.
And thankfully, this time around watching herself back TV doesn't leave Abbie shaking with anxiety as much as she used to.
"I've been less anxious every day. Watching this, I still kind of shake but not much, not shaking hard," she jokes.
"It's literally just conversations I had that I'm watching back. It's so sad because I'm like 'that's wild, that's exactly what happened!' It's so great to see a show succeed and do so well in ratings that it doesn't even need the editing."
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Prizes To LoveMar 04, 2021