In the immortal words of André 3000, sometimes “roses really smell like boo-boo”—and, such is the case of Victoria Fuller, one of the 30 women vying for roses on this season of ABC’s long-running franchise The Bachelor. Fuller (not to be confused with the former Playmate of the same name) is a 26-year-old medical sales representative from Virginia Beach, Va., who has apparently been considered a frontrunner in this season’s batch of bachelorettes (or so we hear).
And as it turns out, she’s also played frontwoman for a line of apparel touting the slogan “White Lives Matter,” as the Daily News reports.
On Monday night’s episode, Delta Airlines pilot Peter Weber and the 12 remaining contestants had a steamy photo shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine in Costa Rica.
Victoria Fuller won the honor of gracing the mag’s next digital cover with Weber, but the women’s magazine has decided to pull the cover after photos surfaced of the 26-year-old front-runner modeling a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt.
Though it went unaddressed in Monday’s episode, the revelation was a profound disappointment to the editorial team at Cosmo, which was unaware of Fuller’s association with the phrase when she was chosen to participate in the feature, which ran on Monday. In a letter explaining the controversy, Editor-in-Chief Jessica Pels wrote:
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I found out that the woman I’d chosen had, in her past, modeled in an ad campaign wearing White Lives Matter attire.
(It’s been reported that what she modeled for was actually a Marlin Lives Matter organization focused on preventing white and blue marlin from being overfished, which used “white lives matter” and “blue lives matter” messaging on its promotional shirts and hats. In my view, the nature of the organization is neither here nor there—both phrases and the belief systems they represent are rooted in racism and therefore problematic.)
Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color.
Good on Cosmo for taking a public stance against racism—though we’ll call straight-up BS on any assertion that an organization advocating for marlin preservation needs to do so by appropriating the Confederate flag.
As for this season’s “bachelor,” Peter Weber? As reported by the International Business Times, he took what can only be described as an “All Lives Matter” stance when asked about the controversy during an appearance at the Build Series in New York City this week, saying, “Just being completely honest, I can’t really speak too much on it, because I don’t really know many facts about the whole situation.
“All I can speak on is the time I was able to spend with Victoria throughout this experience,” Weber continued. “I truly enjoyed my experience with her. I really feel like she’s, you know, a good person and she’s got a lot of endearing qualities.
“I just hope people can form their opinion on her based on what they see between the two of us and her time on the show,” he concluded. “She’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. No one’s perfect, but that’s all I can really say on that.”
Fittingly, Fuller’s profile on Cosmo’s pre-season Bachelor cast announcement included the note that “[s]he wants a man who can love her through the good, the bad, and the ugly.” This episode certainly falls under the latter, so maybe she and Weber turned out to be well-matched.
After all, #AllRosesMatter.