Hey gal, this is me…. Monica (Mon), 29, Bachelor of Commerce/Law, The University of Sydney Business School
If I were to describe myself in three words: Independent, intelligent, funny.
Always blow my pay check on: SNS manicures (white, without fail), Brunch, Clothes (Specifically, dresses and active wear).
My deal is… I manage alumni engagement at the University of Sydney Business School, although you might recognise me from a brief stint that I did on reality television – I married a complete stranger! (No, it wasn’t legal. I promise I’m not that crazy.)
I’m half Dutch and the youngest of 8 children. I’m originally from country Victoria, went to university in Melbourne, have lived in the Netherlands, Italy and now Sydney.
I’m a fitness fanatic (marathon anyone?) and an all-round optimistic.
I’m all about pushing boundaries and living life to the full. My biggest fear is looking back and having regrets!
Recently… I got married to a complete stranger on national television – because, why not?! Hand on heart, I honestly believed in the premise behind the show and I thought that I might find my happily ever after… Unfortunately I didn’t meet my Prince Charming, but it was one hell of an experience and I don’t regret a minute of it. It absolutely challenged me and has provided me with an array of hilarious anecdotes for future dinner parties! Also, further down the track, I can’t wait to tell my kids/grandkids, that I took part in such a show.
Currently I’m enjoying getting back to ‘real life’ – which I genuinely love. I have an incredible job which constantly challenges me and also affords me the opportunity to travel and to meet some amazing people.
Why I did it… I took a chance – because I would have regretted it if I didn’t!
I really hoped I would meet ‘the one’ and I trusted that if I didn’t (in all likelihood, I knew this was the far more likely outcome) I would grow, learn and become a better person for it.
What I loved about it… I loved the excitement in the lead up to the wedding. And I won’t deny that I enjoyed being the centre of attention – at the start of filming at least. The cameras, the dress, the honeymoon.
I met some pretty awesome people through the show and it was a very unique experience that I’m really fortunate to have had.
What I didn’t love about it… The most challenging part of the show was relinquishing control and accepting that you have no control over the editing. Luckily, majority of how I was portrayed was accurate – although there were definitely moments were conversations, comments or actions were taken out of context.
Did you hear that I dated 150 men in on year?! I was surprised to learn this about myself too!
The one scene, over the entire series, which frustrated me the most was when they were matching the couples. I was defined as the strong, independent and driven woman who needed a ‘man to soften [me].’ Don’t even get me started!!! FYI – being strong, independent and ambitious are admirable qualities and any man wanting to soften me isn’t the right man.
What I learnt from the experience… I still wear my wedding ring (on my right hand) and it’s a daily reminder to say ‘yes’ to opportunities. Live life, take chances and learn from every experience. Things rarely work out the way you think they will, but there’s always a silver lining – sometimes it just takes some time to find it!
My advice to anyone pursuing this pathway is… Reality television isn’t for everybody and it’s genuinely tough to even get casted. If you do have the opportunity – take it, but be very careful about keeping your wits about you. At the end of the day, it’s all about the ratings so you really need to look after yourself and remember to stay savvy!
(E.g. Do not drink all the wine at the dinner parties and blackout. This makes for good television and consequently, massive reputational damage.)
And p.s I am passionate about… Currently training for my next marathon! I’m also obsessed with Reformer Pilates, yoga, brunch, and red wine.