As social media stands accused of bullying The Bachelor contestant Naz, Joanna Hunkin asks if it's okay to hate Naz?

Earlier this week, I caught myself shouting at the television. My exact words aren't fit for print but a loose translation would be, "Goodness, you nasty person. What a devilish little minx you are." Or something.

I was, of course, watching The Bachelor. In particular, I was watching Nazanin Khanjani - or Nasty Naz as she has come to be known - talk about her hit list of fellow contestants.

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Naz is a piece of work. She bitches and schemes and is on a mission to take down everyone on The Bachelor.

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Naz has earned a reputation for scheming on The Bachelor NZ.
Naz has earned a reputation for scheming on The Bachelor NZ.

She is reality television gold.

But is she real?

There's been some speculation as to the background of Naz, who delivers her malicious missives with a thick Aussie accent.

Last week, the Herald revealed that despite being described as a landscaper from Christchurch, Naz spent most of her teenage life and early adulthood in Brisbane.

Rumours abound as to her exact background. Several tipsters have emailed the Herald newsdesk with cryptic clues about her past. None has been substantiated.

The reality, I suspect, is not nearly as exotic or mysterious as we might think (or secretly hope).

Just as the Naz we see on screen, I suspect, is not a real reflection of who she really is.

Naz flirts with Jordan Mauger on The Bachelor NZ
Naz flirts with Jordan Mauger on The Bachelor NZ

For one thing, I find it hard to fathom anyone like that exists in real life.

After years at an all girls' boarding school and a career in television, I've encountered just about every variety of bitchy female around. And yet, I've never met anyone like Naz.

She is Regina George. A Hollywood caricature.

Just who has crafted that caricature is unclear. Is Naz on a personal mission to earn fame and notoriety or is it a deliberate ploy by producers to keep viewers hooked?

But make no mistake, it is intentional. She's the girl you love to hate and it's all part of the fun.

Is it okay to shout abuse at the television? Of course it is.

Should you shout abuse at her in the street? Of course not.

Because reality television is not, and has never been, reality. And while it's okay to get caught up in the drama of the show, ultimately, we all need to remember it's just that. Television. And Nasty Naz is just a character.

- nzherald.co.nz