When police officer Negin Shademan revealed to her cop colleagues that she would be a contestant on The Bachelor NZ, there were lots of jokes and teasing from the co-workers she calls "my family in blue".
"All the boys at work, who are like my brothers, were cracking up as you'd do with a sibling," smiles the Iranian-Chinese beauty, 26. "They were taking screenshots of my little promo photo and giving me grief, like, 'You actually look like a Bachelorette – you don't look like this in real life!'"
And they're right, Negin admits. "At work, I'm no makeup and my hair's tied up in a slick ponytail, ready for action – no cares given. But the boys and girls at the station have done nothing but show me endless support. They're happy for me and it makes me so grateful to be part of this amazing family while doing something so completely out of my comfort zone. Shout-out to them!"
The Aucklander insists her job hasn't got in the way of finding her perfect match, however, she admits, "Dating isn't the easiest when I'm doing shift work – and it becomes the last thing on my mind when there's an emergency, hence why I'm still single and on The Bachelor to win Moses' heart!"
Negin adds, "I'm also a bit more cautious when it comes to letting my walls down, but that is just me as a person. I like to keep my circle small and trust for me is a big part of that."
Asked if she thinks being an officer may intimate guys, she replies, "I hope not, other- wise I'll be single forever! But in all honesty, I usually get really positive responses from blokes about my career because it's such a cool job. Every day is different and, like the adverts you see on TV, I do have better work stories!
"I'm super-proud of my job. If you've seen Police Ten 7, you'll know it can be scary, but that's what we signed up for, and it's rewarding having the opportunity to help people and give back to the community. Ever since I was a young girl, that's all I've wanted to do."
Growing up in West Auckland with an Iranian father and Chinese mother, Negin shares, "Life wasn't easy having parents who couldn't speak English when they moved to New Zealand. My brother and I had a challenging upbringing. We learnt we had to work hard in life."
Her mum and dad were too busy working to put food on the table to help with homework and the kids' school holidays were spent helping out at their mum's florist shop.
"Watching my parents grinding away, going from having nothing to something, has made me so thankful," tells Negin proudly. "The sacrifices and challenges we went through as a family have really shaped me and my values. It's made me strong and independent, and it means I know who I am and where I've come from."
Meanwhile, Negin was excited to hear that The Bachelor's dashing leading man Moses Mackay, 30, is keen to settle down and have children.
"That's awesome," she says. "It fits alongside what I'm hoping for and my mother will definitely be stoked. It's all about grandkids!"
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