Of all the original contestants on Love Island Australia, Cynthia Taylu has struggled the most to find romance in the Fiji villa.
Now, three weeks after a race debate emerged when nobody chose her on the first night, Cynthia appears to have found her match in newcomer Aaron Shaw.
Fans of the 23-year-old model have rejoiced after Channel Nine shared a sneak-peek clip of Cynthia and Aaron kissing ahead of Wednesday night’s episode.
“I’m grinning ear to ear like an idiot. I definitely ship this! And it’s such a relief to see a guy actually interested in her like a real man! Go Cynthia!!” one viewer wrote on Instagram.
“Cynthia finally getting some love,” another fan tweeted.
Cynthia is the first black contestant to appear on the Australian version of Love Island.
The model, who was born in Liberia, west Africa and moved to Australia at age seven, was rejected by Matthew when she showed interest in him, only to then be matched with Sam as they were the last two standing solo.
“One good thing to come out of this is the producers give us the opp to discuss inherent racism in Aus. Would have loved to see less tokenism. Cynthia is brave to put herself out there,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.
“Women of colour not getting picked. #diversity #LoveIslandAU,” wrote another.
Cynthia is proud of her cultural heritage, and since having entered the Love Island villa in early October, there’s a critical part of her identity that she hasn’t shown off.
The model from Brisbane has been vocal about the challenges she’s faced with her Afro-textured hair, admitting showing her natural hair leaves her feeling “vulnerable” as “it’s letting the world know who I really am, and stripping off the layers is confronting.”
Cynthia has been sporting shiny brown locks with a bold front fringe on the show – a very different look to her naturally curly black hair which she’s presented in a previous blog post.
“Growing up in Australia, I always envied my Caucasian friends’ hair – the texture, the length, and the ease of maintaining their hair,” she wrote for Ascension magazine in 2017.
Cynthia initially came to Australia with her biological father before moving in with her aunt, and it was during her schooling when she experimented more with her hair. She wore her hair braided with extensions or clip-ins up until high school, before wearing a “full set of weave” or “relaxing” her natural hair, which involves chemical straightening.
“Extensions were always the easier option, and from a young age I associated long hair with beauty. I couldn’t see the beauty of my natural hair; it was like a rebellious child I could never quite tame,” she wrote.
Love Island Australia airs Monday to Friday at 8:45pm on Channel Nine.