Two years ago Abbie Chatfield was one of TV’s most trolled villains. Fast forward to 2021 and she’s found huge success, but what’s next for her from her?
In July Abbie Chatfield had an anniversary to celebrate.
No, it wasn’t a birthday or relationship anniversary, but a career milestone of sorts.
“Happy two years to me manipulating myself into a media career,” Abbie told her more than 300,000 Instagram followers.
“Thanks to everyone who said I was there for the wrong reasons and created a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“Anyway listen to my podcast, like and share this post, follow me on TikTok and buy my vibrator.”
In the two and a half years since she first appeared as the ‘villain’ runner-up on Matt Agnew’s season of TheBachelorAbbie has enjoyed more success than any other Australian reality TV star in such a short space of time.
The outspoken feminist and sex positive influencer hosts podcast It’s A Lotboasts a slew of lucrative brand deals, her own namesake sex toy and even scored a TV hosting role.
Abbie also has a legion of female fans who take it upon themselves to defend the influencer when she is sex-shamed or attacked by trolls, including when she spoke in support of coronavirus vaccines.
But Abbie’s public image took a hit in December when she was criticized for hard launching her relationship with 2021 bachelorette contestant Konrad Bien-Stephens.
This year’s Bachelorette Brooke Blurton, who was previously close friends with Abbie, called her out after the show’s finale.
Brooke accused Abbie of showing white privilege by debuting her new relationship the day before the finale aired, taking the spotlight away from the franchise’s first queer and Indigenous lead.
In response Abbie issued an apology, claiming she had been mistaken in going public with Konrad so soon.
It’s the first misstep from the star whose media savvy nature has been seen her turn a bad reality TV edit into a full-time career as a feminist commentator and influencer.
Reality show win sees Abbie become mega-influencer
Abbie started the year off with a bang in January by winning I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
While the series had been filmed in advance due to the coronavirus pandemic, viewers were able to vote for the final winner.
Speaking to news.com.au at the time, Abbie credited the show with being able to “change people’s minds about me”.
She also wrote on Instagram of her win: “A year ago I was getting death threats and now (previous I’m A Celeb winner Miguel Maestre) is crowning me!”
Riding on a high from her reality TV win, Abbie’s social media and podcast success only grew in 2021.
After teasing fans about a new project for weeks in March Abbie launched a vibrator she had collaborated on with sex toy company Vush.
Called the Abbie, the sex toy is a bright orange gadget that the influencer said she made “suuuuuper strong” to compensate for the amount of times she’s returned home from a date in need of “self care”.
The vibrator was a massive hit with Abbie’s fans, selling out during its first release and attracting some very glowing (and obviously NSFW) customer reviews.
From influencer to vaccine advocatetea
When Sydney was placed in lockdown in late June due to an outbreak of coronavirus, Abbie used her platform to encourage followers to stay at home.
As the outbreak worsened and focus turned to getting people vaccinated so NSW could reopen, Abbie began advocating for the jab.
She documented her process of getting the AstraZeneca vaccine at a time when fears about the extremely rare blood clot side effects were at an all time high, as well as demolishing misinformation pedaled by anti-vaxxers.
While her vaccine stance saw her applauded by health workers and her Instagram follower count increase, it also saw her once again become the target of trolls.
In September Abbie posted a TikTok of the outfits she would wear in Byron Bay when fully vaccinated and out of lockdown, mocking anti-vaxxers who would still be required to follow restrictions.
The video, which she also shared on Instagram Reels, appeared to hit a nerve among the anti-vaxxer community, with hundreds of comments with nasty insults and sending vile direct messages.
One particularly disturbing message told Abbie: “It’s not just unvaxxed people you should be worried about in Byron darl, I’d watch your back”.
In October the 26-year-old told HIT Queensland’s breakfast with Cliffo & Gabi that the trolling she receives has become more intense – and terrifying.
“This new wave of anti-vaxxer trolls, they’re a special breed,” she said.
“I get death threats a lot… voice note death threats are the worst. The text ones are fine but the voice notes are scary.”
Abbie said the audio death threats have left her “pretty scared” and she will now “double check my locks at night”.
New TV host role
In September it was revealed Abbie would be appearing on her fourth reality TV show — but this time not as a contestant.
Instead Abbie would be hosting Love Island Australia‘s weekly interview and behind-the-scenes show After Party — a huge coup for the hardworking influencer considering she had no formal TV hosting experience.
But while her appearance on Love Island Afterparty earned glowing reviews, some objected to Abbie getting her hair done for the role.
When Abbie began filming for the series Sydney was still operating under a strict lockdown meaning hairdressers and beauty services were closed.
But because she was appearing on TV, Abbie had been able to get her hair dyed and cut by Channel 9’s hair and beauty team while following strict safety Covid protocols.
Abbie ‘sorry’ for debuting new romance
Abbie ended has ended the year with two major milestones: she bought a $1.45 million home in the Byron Bay hinterland and went public with her relationship with Konrad.
While many fans were elated when it was revealed Abbie and Konrad were an item Brooke’s statement about Abbie’s actions surrounding the timing of the incident were damning in many people’s eyes.
Brooke confirmed the pair are no longer friends, taking to Instagram to slam Abbie for displaying “narcissism”, while never actually mentioning her by name.
In response Abbie wrote that she was “sorry” and that she hadn’t taken into account “the inherent privilege that I hold as a white woman”.