It was the moment viewers couldn't stop talking about after Wednesday night’s episode of Married At First Sight, when Cody Bromley admitted that his lack of attraction towards Selina Chhaur was due to her race.
The 32-year-old bride, who had previously opened up about being bullied as a child due to her Asian ethnicity, bravely asked her ‘husband’ during Confessions Week if his lack of interest, attraction and affection had anything to do with her “nationality and look”.
“I think it did honestly have something to play at it initially,” he responded candidly. “I’m not racist by any means but it’s not something I’m familiar with. To be honest, the short answer is it probably did.”
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle about the dramatic incident - which left her in tears questioning the future of their relationship - Selina admits she feels “grateful” that the reality show decided to air it on TV.
“They could have just brushed this aside like every other thing under the banner of prejudice and racism, but they chose to air it and I think it’s great,” she says. “It's going to cause conversation and build awareness around the matter.
“For myself and people of colour or people of different sexual preferences, we feel like we can't say anything. We feel like we have to make excuses and say, ‘They didn’t mean it like that, that’s just them’. But there’s a way to speak your truth and be honest without hurting someone's feelings.”
‘You can’t keep using the honesty card’
While she acknowledges that honesty is an important factor of a relationship, and something that was at the top of her criteria during the matchmaking process, the hairdresser never thought she would’ve had to ask someone such a confronting question.
“In that moment of time I just felt like Cody wasn't making as much effort as I was in terms of getting to know me, it was quite clear,” she details.
“He was always honest with me and I am grateful for honesty, but you can’t keep using the honesty card and not be accountable when it gets to the point that your honesty is hurting someone. Maybe you need to look within yourself and reword things better.”
Speaking about the enormous fan response she’s received following the episode, Selina says she is “truly touched and humbled” by everyone’s support and wants to make one thing very clear: She knows she deserves better.
“I know I'm a good person and the conversation was not stemming from a place where I don't know my worth or what’s on the outside,” she asserts.
“I think for me it’s just bringing awareness that there is a way to speak your truth, be honest with someone but not hurt their feelings, and not judge a book by its cover. Give people a chance and don't treat people a certain way because of their exterior. That's the message I want to convey to everyone”.
‘I’ve never dated an Asian girl before’
Selina’s TV groom Cody has since spoken out about the incident and explained that he tried to handle the hard-hitting question the best way he could.
“It wasn't that it bothered me, so to speak, it was just something different, I've never dated an Asian girl before. It's not something I've been exposed to as often,” he told 9Entertainment.
“There was no part of me that turned around at the altar and thought, 'Oh, she's Asian this isn't going to work', that didn't even cross my mind. It was just a different experience all round, and that's part of the experiment, you're open to new things — which is great.”
The 30-year-old personal trainer went on to admit that he could’ve handled the situation much better, and he wishes he was a bit more sensitive and gave her the reassurance she needed.
Married At First Sight continues Sunday at 7pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.
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